Exhibition Opens 6th October, 5-8 pm
Continues until 4th November 2023
Maria McSweeney’s recent body of work entitled Submerged Mythos explores the mythological significance of fourteen prominent Lakes in North Leitrim. Employing deep mapping and psycho-geographic techniques, she embarks on a multifaceted exploration, enabling her to connect with the landscape on a psychological level. In her quest to ascertain whether remnants of mythology still linger within the landscape fabric, she physically immerses herself in the environment, utilizing swimming and kayaking as modes of discovery.
McSweeney documents these mythological narratives by various means; the collection of found objects, water samples, written text and a diverse array of analog & digital photography taken from the perspective of both above and below the waterline.
In mythology, bodies of water were often seen as mystical gateways connecting our reality to otherworldly realms. McSweeney physically delves into this vision of the land through her photography, capturing the everyday visible experience on the surface together with the enigmatic and mysterious unknown below; seeking to emphasize the contrast of the mundane, familiar reality of the surface as we perceive it with the mystical and unconscious potential and largely undiscovered depths beneath.
In this artistic endeavor, McSweeney intricately explores and depicts the narratives and connections bridging these contrasting worlds, revealing the elaborate interplay between the tangible and the mystical, the seen and the unseen.
In today’s world, lakes and waterways face multiple threats, from the destruction of their delicate ecosystems and rich diversity to the loss of the ancient tales and myths that helped bind our ancestors to these bodies of water. Through her work, Maria hopes to shed light on the environmental and historical importance of these unique and rich landscapes and reconnect the viewer to their sublime and life-affirming power.
Maria McSweeney (1998) is a lens-based visual artist, holding a bachelor's degree in Sculpture and Combined Media from Limerick School of Art and Design. Her practice revolves around the exploration of place and the intricate process of deep mapping the diverse landscapes she encounters. Furthermore, her artistic practice integrates elements of social engagement, with communities of interest that she interacts with when exploring these landscapes.
Maria is a founding member of the socially engaged collective known as Women from the Inside. This collective explores and documents the communities of women in Limerick City. Her recent achievements include the Aran Island Underwater Photography Project, a Super 8 motion film residency in collaboration with the Darkroom in Dublin, a solo exhibition titled Images from India at the Clonakilty Community Arts Centre, and the Artist in the Community Mentorship Award from Create Ireland.