On Thursday 8th October Galway Arts Centre will open ‘Water That Sleeps’, a solo exhibition of new work by Galway based Visual Artist Ruth Le Gear.
Tip of The Iceberg
The exhibition marks the partnership between Galway Arts Centre and Baboró International Arts Festival for Children. Writer Mike McCormack will officially open the exhibition for grown ups at 6pm on the 8th October. McCormack’s works include the novels Notes from a Coma, and Crowe's Requiem, as well as a short story collection, Getting it in the Head, which was voted a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1998 and for which he received the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.
Ruth has used a recent residency in Iceland as her starting point for this exhibition. Ideas about how water holds the memory of what has passed through it brought Ruth to Iceland. Says the artist: ‘We are living in a world where we only see the tip of the iceberg but somehow there are vivid bursts of brilliance, like fireworks, a healing light in a hazy apparition.’ Ruth explores the imperceptible qualities of water, the most receptive of the four elements and how it can be seen to be the only element in an embryonic stage, at a time of destruction. Glaciers disappearing in Iceland, polar bears being denied refuge and changes in our world can leave us feeling displaced and vulnerable.
Through multi-media the artist has created an in-between world where stories, dreams and memories are told through water. Through the melting of glaciers these long forgotten tales of polar bears, sleeping giants and distant places are brought back to life and revealed. A bear's long solitary journey across the frozen ocean is not precisely what the imagination usually conjures when thinking of Iceland. Now all too often wherever they go someone is in the way. In 2008 a polar bear was discovered on Iceland, hundreds of miles from the threatened species' natural habitat. It swam more than 200 miles in near-freezing waters to reach Iceland and was shot on arrival in case it posed a threat to humans. Icelandic authorities shot and killed the polar bear discovered in the Nordic country, claiming they were not equipped to safely apprehend the animal. Polar bears are rare sightings on Iceland, since they have to swim hundreds of miles through icy waters to reach the island from their natural Arctic habitats. ‘Water That Sleeps’ documents the story of a bear searching for a safe place to call home.
This exhibition is for both adults and young people and is free. Galway Arts Centre is open Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 5.30pm.