Our current age has been described as the Anthropocene period, an era defined by the extensive human impact on the environment which affects our world’s climate, lands, oceans and wildlife.
IN-SITES/ÓN CHEAPACH curated by Denise Reddy, features the work of Monica de Bath, Lisa Fingleton and Gareth Kennedy. The exhibition explores how, in different ways, the artists address our relationship with a constantly changing environment. New and existing work reflects on the role of art and ecological practices in highlighting the complexities of historical and contemporary land use. Diverse themes are investigated relating to industrial peat excavation, land rehabilitation, farming, food, sustainability, deforestation and invasive species. Inspired by interactions and conversations with ecologists, foresters, local growers and Bord na Móna workers, the artists draw attention to the impacts of land management decisions on biodiversity and the consequences for people and place.
Monica de Bath’s PLOT/CEAPACH addresses people’s relationship with land and sea and the need to make a living at critical and contested sites. Her work investigates the changing nature of land use, bio-fuels, land rehabilitation and renewable energy projects on the Bog of Allen, the Mayo Atlantic Blanket Bog and coastal areas in the West of Ireland. This work was developed during a residency on the Bog of Allen at Ballydermot works in Kildare, an industrial peat excavation site operated by Bord na Móna.
Lisa Fingleton’s Holding True Ground explores deep rooted connections between art, food and farming. In September 2015, the artist undertook a 30-day local food challenge, where she ate only food grown and produced in Ireland. Working with local food growers and farmers the artist developed work addressing food consumption and agricultural systems. The project raised critical environmental concerns about food sovereignty, sustainability and climate change.
Gareth Kennedy’s Post Colony (2014) explores the microcosm of natural, industrial and colonial histories through a specific project in Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry, focusing on the invasive species Rhododendron superponticum. First introduced to Ireland in the 1700’s as an ornamental landscape feature, this plant has become deeply problematic within the national park, threatening native biodiversity. One- legged stools produced using Rhododendron during a workshop, supported by Kerry County Council Arts Office, at Siamsa Tíre will be presented in the exhibition.
Exhibition launch: Friday, 26 October 2018
7pm Exhibition Launch by Dr. Catherine Farrell, Senior Ecologist, Bord na Móna Michelle de Forge, Director, Dunamaise Arts Centre
8pm Screening of Post Colony (2014, Gareth Kennedy, 25 mins) followed by talk by guest speaker Michael Jacob, botanist and wildlife enthusiast.
IN-SITES/ÓN CHEAPACH is a touring exhibition in assocation with Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, supported by the Arts Council.