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Artist: Ross Cochrane, Artist in Residence 2014

Title of Exhibition: 'Polis'

Date: Friday 27th June - Monday 16th July 2014

Exhibition Images:



About the Exhibition:

POLIS is a record of the artist’s journey and exploration of liminal landscapes and ‘edge-lands’ within Manorhamilton and surrounding areas. By examining places through touch, the artist rediscovers and opens a dialogue into a sequence of ever-changing and diminishing landscapes, which intersect between former ecologies and new consumer topographies.  The aim of the exhibition is to explore memories that remain embedded in the material fabric of the landscape, and which relate to a common community consciousness which the artist depicts, as a real defined object. The exhibition comprises of found objects, installation, video works and interactive elements. 

The growth process of cities involves layering over time; a densification which gives rise to demolition and fracturing. This act or an instance of erasing, intersecting and cutting, opens up new voids. The division of territorial space to be negotiated is assigned; void spaces such as streets and squares are created to connect and provide spaces for civic life. There are however complexities within spaces of the city which are left over; useless or contentious, these boundaries are often vague and therefore the idea of the ‘non-place’ comes into expression.

The ‘non-place’ or void can be overlooked as somewhere which is not often gazed upon; the void as an object has few defined uses, beyond its function or symbolic meaning; ones that seemingly bear no purpose in relation to our daily lives, the ‘others’ created out of emptiness. The production and intent of this material space is, in itself, a performance; an event where memories intersect and are parallel to spatial hierarchies, ecologies and new consumer landscapes.

In these spaces, a new found land, a new territory of performance is constructed, one which relates to all other spaces, a place where memory is deeply embedded in the landscape itself. - The void manifests this stored energy; in which something is oscillating, and moving, and even understands. Only through breathing and touching the ground can we define a sequence of narrative, wherein all other spaces can be negotiated. Contained somewhere in the fabric of the space, the void can be sensed as a real defined object”.

Taken from a passage of research writing conducted by the artist, the above text evokes the core themes and areas of investigation, providing the basis for concepts, technical processes and material explorations of local landscapes. One aspect of the exhibition was to invite the audience to participate in a creative process. The process of participation engaged with places and objects related to memories concerning the artist’s own childhood growing up in the area. These memories however are both triggered by and active within the material fabric of the landscape itself. In acknowledging this double movement within the exhibition the artist attempted to involve the audience in developing ‘memory maps’ of their own experiences whereby their expressions and gestures became an integral part of the exhibition.


Born in Cavan in 1978, Ross Cochrane studied at Sligo Institute, the University of Wales and the University of Ulster, receiving a MFA, PgDIP, BFA and PgCFHE respectively. - A recipient of the Tommy Mc Loughlin memorial award, Ross has exhibited widely in Ireland and internationally, most recently at Trans-Art (2012), the Bluewall Gallery (2011), the Leitrim Sculpture Centre (2010) and the Customs House Studios (2009). Invited residencies include the Kuntsmeile Krems, Austria (2010) in association with the Customs House Studios. Cochrane was recently selected as an Artist in Residence by Cavan Arts Office (2014).

Cochrane curates exhibitions independently through the ‘WhiteRabbitProductions’ group; exhibitions include; ‘Cavan Re-imagined’ (2009) / ‘Something Other Than the Usual’ (2010) / ‘The 48Hour Project’ (2011). Cochrane lectures in education and delivers creative arts programs through ‘OutReachOne’; an education provider, working with primary schools, community groups and special needs education in the North West regions. Having primarily studied as a painter, Cochrane’s current practice has gravitated to a more multi-disciplinary approach.