Eye of the storm
A solo exhibition by Siobhan McDonald.
Curated by Aoife Tunney
Opening at the Galway Arts Centre
May 25th, 2012 6pm
As the world turns . . . The artist observes, records, relates. Since the Cosmos and all that’s in it were born of a singularity, all things are related. The task of the artist is to trace the lines of this universal cousinage.
In Siobhan McDonald's work a circle is drawn logging the moments of calm, when the Earth’s core is rumbling, building towards the moment of chaos in the eye of the eruption, to the time of intensity in the quiet of the aftermath of the explosion. Movement is engulfed by many types of stillness: a monument to evolution.
Siobhan McDonald’s work explores the idea of studying ‘nature’. Her recent works have been triggered by the eruptive nature of the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajokull since 2010, alluding to tensions between chaos and entropy, and between the teleological and the merely random. For this exhibition, Eye of the Storm, she employs geology as a language to conceive an understanding of time and our relationship to a constantly evolving environment, juxtaposing new artworks in poetic relation with historical and geological artefacts. Early 20th century Jesuit seismograms, from Dias, The School of Cosmic Physics, and a series of newly realized works—drawings, paintings, sculpture, video and sound works — consider and reflect on the volcano, history, technology and mans' recordings of events, as they interconnect with human experience through the physicality of the surrounding landmass.
Eye of the Storm is comprised of several elements, including a series of paintings and drawings made with the process Eninka, a technique devised by John Cage in the 1980's, where fire becomes fossilized in the paintings surface. In this process McDonald seeks to create works that connect both the artist and the viewer with a primordial state of chaos, contained in the moment of explosion.
Aircraft pieces, collected from a crash-landed, abandoned 1950's DC3 Dakota plane, found on the site of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, are sculptural readymades which map the fallen metal bird and its continuing erosion.
The artist attempts to physically embody the energy that comes from the Earth's core, by making works either at the site of the volcano, or in the studio. The objects in this show are works that record the artist's interpretations of nature, human presence in geological time and the durational process of decay as cycles pass.
Alongside the visual components of the exhibition, McDonald collaborated with artist Slavek Kwi on a sound piece, Implodex Tremoranti 20:16 based on original Eyjafjallajokull data (from the Icelandic Meteorological Office by Sveinn Olafsson) and field recordings by Siobhan McDonald taken in August 2011. Other explosive sounds are derived from the archives of Slavek Kwi. Slavek Kwi is a sound-artist, composer and researcher interested in the phenomena of perception as the fundamental determinant of relations with reality. www.artificialmemorytrace.com
A short talk between Siobhán McDonald, Aoife Tunney and Maeve Mulrennan will take place at 5.30pm on the opening night.Publication and talk by Katherine Waugh:
On the occasion of the exhibition, a publication is published with the full text by Tim Robinson. Katherine Waugh will give a talk in the Gallery on Wednesday 13th June at 7pm and the publication will be launched.
Siobhan McDonald is a visual artist working with paint, sound, photography and drawing. Her recording of the earth’s rhythms and it’s ephemeral occurrences explores patterns in nature and reveals realities that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye. Recent pieces develop her preoccupation with transformation in manifestations of the explosive, like volcanoes, and the gradual, like the passage of icebergs. Siobhan has exhibited both nationally and internationally and her work is in many private collections around the world. www.siobhanmcdonald.com
Aoife Tunney is an independent curator working in Dublin. She received first class honours in her MA in curatorial practice at IADT. She was the curator-in-residence at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, sat on the curatorial panel for Temple Bar Gallery and completed a residency at The Model in Sligo in 2010-11. She has curated All humans do, group show at White Box, New York in January, 2012, which travelled to The Model, April 2012, Conquested group show at The Paper Store, Spencer Dock and TBG&S, Dublin 2011. This year she is developing a series of shows to be brought to New York in 2013.
This exhibition has been kindly supported by The Arts Council and the Dias, The School of Cosmic Physics, Dublin.