Thursday, March 31, 2011

Was I really there?

Tuesday evening Jane asked me if I'd like to go on a bit of a field trip with Pat the next day. Tuesday was such a tonic that I was in two minds whether or not I could really make a treck to Offaly the next morning, but on looking at the website, my mind was instantly made up. Lough Boora Parklands consist of 50 acres of cut away bogland, which up until 20 years ago, was being harvested for peat by Bord Na Mona. Now I have quite mixed feelings about bog, and peat and everything that goes along with it, but I wont go into that here...Ill try and concentrate on the art!
We went with a group of GMIT students who are doing outdoor studies, which definitely added a bit of life and entertainment to the whole experience.
The parklands were very well laid out, they had paths running between all the pieces, picnic benches, and toilette facilities, which I was very impressed with, considering that Pat nearly had heart failure when I landed to the centre yesterday morning in my converse and summer dress :)
Any way... Mostly I liked the pieces...I think one thing I have taken away from being in college is my inability to fault anything. I look at artwork and see the concept, and understand what the artist is trying to get across. I don't have that sort of gut feeling anymore that would have instantly said "oh, I don't like that at all because..." Instead there is something saying "oh, right...I see" in it's place. Ill give an expamle when I get to the pyramid, and you'l see what Im trying to say.

Bog Wood Road 2005 by Johan Sietzema

Raised Line 2002 by Maurice MacDonagh

A Tree in a Sculpture 2002 by Naomi Seki

Sky-Train 2002 by Mike Bulfin

60 Degrees 2002 by Kevin O'Dwyer

Cycles 2006 by Caroline Madden

Boora Convergence 2006 by Dave Kinane

System No. 30 2009 by Julian Wild

Passage 2009 by Alan Counihan

Tippler Bridge 2009 by Kevin O'Dwyer

Boora Pyramid 2002 by Eileen MacDonagh

Yes, here we are, the pyramid. Now this had a lot of discussion around it. We all know about the pyramids in egypt. And seemingly, the metholithic graves found in Ireland date from the same time, but our grave sites are not nearly as advanced as the Egyptian pyramids. The student who was giving us the little talk on the Boora Pyramid but forward that this is not a new idea. It isn't a new shape. That its not original and blah blah blah...I know where she is coming from, really I do...but I think it is a lot more complicated then that. If we took that attitude towards art, then no new art would ever be created. Art, put simply, most of the time, is just a regurgitation of things that have happened before, put differently. This piece is taking the pyramids of Egypt, the Inca Pyrimids etc, placing the 'irish pyramid' in close proximity to a Mesolithic site for a reason. They are talking to each other, like so many of the pieces in the park. The stones were found on site, put together through modern is not the same thing as the pyramids dotted around the world. No disrespect to the student who brought up the question, but this piece is a lot more then just a direct copy...its symbolic, its not just  a pyramid made of stones...
And that is what I mean about not being able to not like anything anymore.
See...before college interfered with my thinking pattern, there is no way I would have had any time for this pyramid...but now, I can write a paragraph about it. And I cant decide if I actually like it or not.

Ruaille Buaille 2008 by Patrick Dougherty

But this, I like. This was a total surprise and a real treat. I wrote about Patrick Dougherty for my thesis, but I had never actually seen any of his work in person. But yesterday, low and behold what I found nestled into this clutch of trees...pure magic.

I could have spent all my time walking in and out though the woven hallways and little rooms, had it had a roof, I might have been tempted to put down roots and live there until the day it blew inspiring, the shapes, the way the sun danced in and out of it...even just being able to 'walk through' a work of art...I know its TOTALLY different, but it reminds me of walking through Damien Hirst's cow...its not everyday that you get in engage so physically with art. So often we are not allowed to touch, barely breath in the direction of paintings or scuptures, incase they disintegrate before our very eyes...but actually being able to touch and lean against, and take pictures, and be a part of the work, to see it in such an amazing space, where every angle gives you a different reading of the work...yesterday was pretty special.

So today you ask? Well I was woken by a tempest raging outside my window...I felt as if I was in kansas, and any moment the house would land on the wicked witch. Ive been researching different things today...seemingly the Summer Addition is not being run this year, which has dampened my spirits a little...But I still have a ton of projects to do, so maybe it is a good thing...One less thing to distract myself with!
Hope whoever is reading this is having a nice and productive week :)

1 comment:

Jane O Sullivan said...

wow a great review shelly , I am so pleased that you went and to read it through your eyes makes me feel inspired too :)
No worries about summer edition , one door closes (for another maybe better one to open :)