Telling the Bees, 2015.
Selection of installation and still images from a solo exhibition at the Galway Arts Centre, IE.
Media: Wood, kiln-formed glass, glazed ceramic, digitally printed silk, brass. Single channel HD digital video projection, surround sound. Dimensions variable.
This exhibition speculated on ideas around animism, the belief that a non-human entity contains a memory. The outdated practice of telling bees about important life events, refers to a culture that connects us with our past, yet has also been classified as uncivilised within what Harry Garuba calls a ‘colonial, modernist order of knowledge’ - it could be said that this kind of practice is considered uncivilised by todays standards.
Highlighting language or the reciting of words as a means of keeping something alive, the exhibition culminates in a new video depicting the interior walls of a recently vacated Irish military barracks, situated in an area whose name place may be translated literally as ‘honey meadow’. The enduring symbolism of the bee and the mysticism that traditionally surrounds it, its relationship to environmental precarity and societal order, references a potential for the demise and inevitable evolution of things.
Alongside the video, a series of fabricated clay and glass objects contaminated the Galway Arts Centre. Exploiting the plastic memory of materials, these forms are mid-stretch: presented in flux to embody movement, the passing of time or memory traceable in the inanimate. Petrified secretions, spillages, warped objects that imitate, visibly peel away from, crawl and cling to structures – form a collection of primitive, uncanny, nonsensical and transgressive relics of remembrance. Those mutated forms are accompanied by swathes of silk imprinted with englarged images of dripping liquid, draped over collapsed brass structures. These seemingly fallen proclamations speak of a sense of ruin, the fluid - an image of honey spilling, is testament to a moment and substance which cannot be retrieved, represented through the image of a material which is known for its' preservative qualities.