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Artists: Andrew Dodds, Diane Henshaw, Seoidín O’Sullivan and Moira Tierney. Curator: Sean O' Reilly.

Title of Exhibition: 'FIELDS OF VISION” - Re-imagining Human Geographies in a Border Landscape'

Date: June 11th – July 30th 2010

Exhibition Images:

Andrew Dodds: ‘End Times’


In his new work, End Times, Andrew Dodds continues his ongoing interests in artistic agency, methods of display and collaboration to examine ways in which social and political resonances might be embedded in our cultural and natural histories. The artist’s activities are centred on two subtly different, historically charged, cross-border sites: the grounds of Glenfarne Forest, Co. Leitrim and Florence Court House, Co. Fermanagh which form two separate demesnes – enclosed landscapes previously owned and planted by senior figures in the British establishment during the 18th and 19th centuries. Over time, as the political climate and ownership of the demesnes changed, the management strategies for each site significantly altered their landscapes. Dodds hired a local ecologist, Anja Rosler, to lead school groups on biological fieldstudies of these locations. Through a series of direct observations, hands-on activities and an introduction to contemporary ecological ideas the children experienced a range of habitats and flora & fauna. Eschewing orthodox scientific systems of categorisation, the children collected, documented and grouped plants, animals and cultural artefacts according to categories such as their patterning, colour and shape. This kind of ‘folk taxonomy’ presents a gap between enthusiast and professional understandings of the ‘natural’ world, opening a new space where future relationships and engagements can evolve.

Dodds’ display within the Sculpture Centre reflects the expeditionary aspect of the children’s fieldtrips and the ongoing quest for new ways to relate to our natural environment. The research tools and materials gathered by the children are displayed alongside photographs and video footage of the expeditionary fieldwork; crucially, documentary material is captured both from the children’s and the artist’s perspectives, emphasising multiple viewpoints and interpretations. The artist has arranged the collective material to form a kind of speculative archive that points to a fantasy order. Acknowledging display methods from a period before the emergence of specialist disciplines, such as those used in early wunderkammer, the artist has presented material with little distinction made between ‘natural’ and cultural objects.

'End Times' was made in collaboration with pupils from Florencecourt PS, Drumlease NS and St Hughs, Dowra with the support of Community Connections.

Florencecourt School: Natalya White; Chloe Crozier; Leigh Crozier; Sarah Lucy; Sarah Rooney; Sarah-Louise Collum; Ciara Holland; Emily Rooney; Ian Armstrong; Andrew Dunne; Callum Maguire; Ewan McCutcheon; Adam Johnston; Amy Manley; Caitlin Crawley; Victoria Wallerson. Drumlease NS: Róisín Jenkins; Jared Taafe; Emma McGovern; Ross Mostyn; David Fox; Elenore Bascoulergue; Matthew Gleeson. St Hughes, Dowra: Kieran McGovern; Dylan Sheridan; Enda Keegan; Noel McGovern; Catherine Gilmartin; Geraldine Halley; Michaela O Loughlin; Darren McTigue.

Andrew Dodds is a Belfast-born artist, now based in London. His work is exhibited and commissioned widely at major public galleries, artist-run spaces and sites beyond the gallery. Dodds consistently engages and acknowledges others in the imagining, production and reception of his artwork, often questioning received structures and certainties within and beyond the art arena. He is particularly noted for his context-specific works exploring our historical and cultural relationship with ‘nature’, the ‘voice’, and the shared potentialities of public space. He has a Masters in Fine Art from the Slade School of Art and has received awards from the British Council, University College London and Arts Council England among others.

Recent exhibitions include Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2009), Azad Art Gallery, Tehran (2010), The Architecture Centre, Bristol (2009), Gallery 400, Chicago (2007). He is currently undertaking a series of residencies in Iran supported by Visiting Arts, London; writing an article for Frieze on Fakes and Forgeries at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and continuing his long-standing interest in the talking budgerigar Sparkie Williams with a publication by art publishers ‘information as material’. More Info, www.andrewdodds.com

Diane Henshaw : ‘Drawing Music’

Henshaw’s work ‘focuses on the creative use of paper and line in the music composition and the audio reception process, particularly with the interaction between paper and the concept of developing a connection with sound and line.

When expressing musical ideas, composers and musicians draw in a precise way, not just sketch. Working in close collaboration with musicians, Henshaw creates work to provide the viewer with a smooth transition between paper, drawings and sound, a flexible music archival & composition tool. Henshaw also defines new gestures and associates them with her own perceptions of space and line as a mode for delayed interpretation and perhaps a new medium through which one can enjoy music.

In this work Henshaw engaged with Schools from West Fermanagh and Leitrim to create 4 large scaled collage drawings made to live and archived traditional music from the border during February 2010 focusing on notions of the border and concepts relating to regional styles of local traditional folk music.The Children explored areas of abstract expressionism through the medium of line as well as created a contemporary landscape of works inspired by their local area, real life stories and local literature.

40 school children worked together over two days to create work at The Leitrim Sculpture centre and created panel works as well as hand made mini sculptural books. This work is collaborative and children from both sides of the border from different backgrounds and religious beliefs made the work discussed and celebrated difference through the two days of the Drawing Music event.

Drawing Music was made in collaboration with pupils from Kiltyclogher NS, St Marys Killesher, Glenfarne; Gailscoil Cluainnín; St Martins Garrison with the support of Community Connections.

Kiltyclogher NS:  Aisling Doherty; Niamh Fox; Tegan Chandler; Ben Galgey; Gráinne Lambe; Oisín Keaney. St. Mary’s, Killesher: Eibhlín McKenna, Rory McAloon, Eoin Baxter; Daniel Maguire; James Baxter; Ross Corrigan; Orin McGovern; Connor Baxter; Blathine Tierney; James Baxter; Daniel Corrigan. Gaelscoil Chluainin: Dara Ní Sheannáin; Eibhlín Ní Mhuireagáin; Aoife Ní Ghallchóir; Caoimhe Ní Earraigh; Lughaigh Labhraigh; Cal Mac Úgán; Oisín Walker; Aoife Ní Earraigh; Dara Ní Reagain. St. Martins, Garrison: Declan Webb; Lily Keaney; Megan Feely; Fionnuala Maguire; Aoife Maguire; Jack Brady; Caoimhe Gilligan; Caitlin McGowan;; Oran O Loughlin; Patrick McTernan; Oisín McGuinness; Ben Dolan; Roisín Keown; Niamh Keown; Christopher McGowan; Tiarnan Cullen.

Diane Henshaw graduated with her Degree in Fine Art from the University of Ulster in Belfast in 1995 and with her Masters in Fine Art from UUB in 2000. Originally from Islandmagee in County Antrim, Henshaw practised in Belfast at Queen Street Studios Artists Collective, for just under a decade before moving to Tempo in County Fermanagh.

Henshaw has exhibited both Nationally and Internationally over the past decade and has worked as Artist in Residence at The Hooger Institute for Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium; The Chitraniketan Art Residency in Kerala, India; The Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig in Monaghan (multiple visits), The Sanskriti Kendra Artists Residency - New Delhi, India and in ‘08 at The Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Residency in the Queens Borough of New York City. Her work is in many private collections both nationally and internationally.Henshaw’s work has travelled as far as China, New Zealand, New York, Las Vegas, Mexico, France, Belgium, Bosnia, Georgia and many other International venues over the past 15 years.

Seoidín O’Sullivan: ‘Lines of Flight’

“Lines of flight are everywhere. They constitute the available means of escape from the forces of repression and stratification. Even the most intense strata are riddled with lines of flight.” – Miguel Rojas-Sotelo

In 1910 the eagle became extinct in Ireland through a process of industrialisation. This was largely because its habitat had been affected and it was seen as a threat to livelihoods by farmers trying to protect their livestock. This time period was also one of political turmoil and struggle within Ireland with land ownership being contested on a National scale.

In 2004 the Golden Eagle was reintroduced, this was at a time when Ireland’s ecological footprint was at its largest. The Celtic tiger and a growing economy meant rapid development with little thought of environmental sustainability.

The project ‘Mapping Flight’ looks at issues of land use and conflict from what supposedly seems like an apolitical starting point- the eagle. By developing a relationship with the Golden Eagle Trust, O’Sullivan introduced the students from St Mary’s, Manorhamilton, Leitrim and St. Clare’s, Brollagh, Fermanagh to this once extinct and now struggling bird of prey through drawing as well as kite making and flying.

They worked closely on this project with Lorcan O’Toole project manager from ‘The Irish Golden Eagle Reintroduction Project’ following the movements of Conall, a golden eagle in Leitrim. The students built kites that they then flew at one of the sites that Conall was roosting on. During the project Conall was poisoned. The project responds poetically and critically through the collaboration with the creation of film, drawing and photographic work.

Lines of Flight was made in collaboration with pupils from St Mary’s Brollagh; St Clares Manorhamilton with the support and facilitation of Community Connections.

St. Mary’s  Brollagh, Fermanagh; Fionnuala Ferguson; Terry Keown; Rosemary McGowan; Elaine Rooney; Kevin Tracey; Gareth Elliot; Danielle Britton; Gillian Larson; Ruth Leonard; Ciara Flanagan; Roisín Flanagan; Lisa Galligan. St Claire’s, Manorhamilton; Owen Rock; Shane McDermott; Jason Bramley; Zoe Fox; Tara Finotan Joseph Mercier; Cathal O Hara; Cormac Finan; Aran Packer; Orla Fox.

O’Sullivan’s practice investigates socio-political and ecological narratives which she re-presents in critically engaged and poetical ways through a variety of media. Recent concerns involve an interest in ideas of ‘the commons’ and the notion of shared assets. What if we recognized ‘the commons’ as belonging to all of us? What would happen if we put a renewed interest in our inherited and publicly owned commons. O’Sullivan’s case studies focus on people joining together in action to protect or develop an aspect of their local commons. Her practice supports sustainable models within various ecological contexts and addresses issues of land use, lost knowledge and bio diversity.

Seoidin O’Sulivan grew up in Kitwe, Zambia and later lived in Durban, South Africa where she completed a degree in Fine Art in 2000. She completed a Masters in Fine Art at the National college of Art and Design, Dublin (2005- 2007) where she researched the cultural challenge environmental sustainability poses to contemporary art. Her practice both collaborative and individual has received numerous awards and she have been exhibited widely. She currently teaches an elective at Dublin Institute of Technology that she designed called ‘Cultural Practices and Ecological Debate’.

Moira Tierney: ‘Are We There Yet?’

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“When I arrived up in Manor to start the schools workshops, it was with great delight that I discovered the irrelevance of the border to the participating children; as one of their teachers put it Sure we don't use those words any more; I've a 20 year old who doesn't remember what the troubles were like; there's no border any more ... and sure enough, driving backwards and forwards between Leitrim and Fermanagh, there was no way of telling at which point the mysterious line had been passed; even my phone was undecided as to when exactly to welcome me to the UK. It was on one such trip that the footage for the exhibition was shot - an afternoon in January, with one of the celebrated local mists hanging heavy on the hills and the road disappearing into itself around every bend. When the film came back from the lab there seemed to be something interesting about it - enough anyway to provoke me to blow it up to 16mm, with a view to making a loop for the exhibition. The optic printer broke down, repeatedly. It stuttered, it jumped, it stuck; I rewound, started again, reloaded ... In the end I kept it all in - the jumps and the flares as well as the conventionally well-behaved footage; for me it represents the the apparent paradox of the border and the struggle one faces when attempting to describe something that slippery - landscape? political imposition? colonial hangover? to be avoided in polite conversation? fact of fiction? comedy, tragedy or farce? to which the only answer I could find is another question: are we there yet?

For the childrens' workshop I handed the reins over to them: their film, to be shot as they saw fit, with myself as technical assistant. I expected them to take a semi-documentary approach to the project: this is my classroom, this is my schoolyard ... but on the contrary, being told they could shoot whatever they liked, the directors had much more ambitious ideas: aliens, explosions, car crashes, disco extravaganzas, safaris ... we set to work with the super-8 camera and recorded a good half-hour of film footage, almost all of which will end up in the finished product (a practically 1:1 ratio - Hollywood bite the dust). Once the footage was shot and developed, the children recorded sound to go with it - commentary, music and effects, some of which were improvised on-the-spot while watching the footage.” Moira Tierney 2010

Tierney’s project successfully engaged the children in the notion of ‘identity’ in a way that engaged them with the past whilst empowering the creation of new idenities of their choosing for the future.

Killyhommon NS Boho: Michael McGourty; Connor McLaughlin; Gareth Jones; Shane McGullion; Rachel Wheeler; Megan McCauley; Shannon Corrigan. Florencecourt: Natalya White; Chloe Crozier; Leigh Crozier; Sarah Lucy; Sarah Rooney; Sarah-Louise Collum; Ciara Holland; Emily Rooney; Ian Armstrong; Andrew Dunne; Callum Maguire; Ewan McCutcheon; Adam Johnston; Amy Manley; Caitlin Crawley; Victoria Wallerson.

Moira Tierney graduated with an honours BA from University College Dublin and went on to study fine art at l’Ecole Nationale d’Arts de Cergy-Paris, graduating in 1997 with an honours Diplome Nationale Superieure d’Expression Plastique. She was granted an Arts Council film award and a Fulbright Scholarship (to Anthology Film Archives in New York) in 1998 as well as a grant from the Irish Taoiseach’s Department for her film project ‘Matilda Tone’.

Since moving to New York Moira has completed 14 short films as well as the half-hour documentary ‘Matilda Tone’; her films have screened internationally at venues such as the Fondation Cartier in Paris, the Rio Film Festival, the London and Edinburgh Film Festivals, the Rotterdam Film Festival and the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, as well as participating in numerous touring programmes and gallery shows. Anthology Film Archives in New York and Les Inattendus Film Festival in Lyon have screened retrospective programmes of her work. Her films are distributed by Third World Newsreel and the Film-Makers Co-operative in New York and the Collectif Jeune Cinema in Paris. For more info see www.moiratierney.net

Schools Workshops, Research and Facilitation: Hayley Fox-Roberts and Sandy Holland; Community Connections CDP
Critical Texts: Sean O’Reilly, Bryonie Reid (Cultural Geographer)
Reports/Evaluation: Hayley Fox-Roberts, Sandy Holland; (Schools Workshops) Sean O’Reilly, Bryonie Read, (Workshops and Exhibitions) LSC.
Operations & Technical: Richard Cavaliero, Christy McAteer, LSC

About the Exhibition: Developed by the Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Fields of Vision explores the diversity of the border landscape, its cultural and physical geographies and their interactions.

Supported by PEACE III, the project is funded by County Leitrim Peace III Partnership through the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). As such, the project focused on the ‘border landscape’ and its use as metaphor and mediator for peace and reconciliation between different communities in the region.

Specifically offering opportunities for young people to engage with the rich heritage of their surroundings, the project fostered interaction between different schools and professional artists whilst exploring diverse viewpoints and perceptions of the land and its culture.

Four Irish artists, Andrew Dodds, Diane Henshaw, Seoidín O’Sullivan and Moira Tierney, each with particular interests in landscape representation and environmental arts practice, worked with ten schools from different border areas and cultural backgrounds. A total of 96 primary and secondary pupils participated.

The research and workshop stage with schools was made possible with the support and facilitation of Community Connections CDP, Black Lion Co. Cavan who worked closely with LSC during this developmental stage.

The artists engaged school children with their own practice leading visual arts research and field study trips to various locations along and across the border between counties Leitrim and Fermanagh. Their collective research and various artistic activities were presented as a joint exhibition at LSC where the artists and children work were integrated within a non-hierarchical presentation forming the final four projects. These included:

End Times’ by Andrew Dodds and pupils; ‘Drawing Music’ by Diane Henshaw and pupils; ‘Lines of Flight’ by Seoidín O’Sullivan and pupils; and the filmworks ‘Are We There Yet?’ by Moira Tierney and pupils.

Participating schools included: St Clare’s, Manorhamilton; St. Mary’s Brollagh, Fermanagh; Killyhommon NS Boho; Kiltyclogher NS; St. Mary’s, Killesher; St. Martins, Garrison; Gaelscoil Chluainin; Florencecourt Fermanagh; Drumlease NS and St Hughes, Dowra.

This project has been funded by the Peace III Programme through the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body