Local Exotic

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“Our unfenced country Is a bog that keeps crusting Between the sights of the sun” Seamus Heaney, Bogland The artist’s response to our native Irish landscape can often appear too familiar. The current exhibition in Damer House Gallery will offer a new and vibrant way to view our unique and ancient land. Exotic Local, a three person show, introduces us to the work of Tina Claffey, Sheila Hough and Hanna Van Aelst. Claffey, a well-known and published photography artist, takes us deep into the raised bogs and wet woodlands native to the midlands of Ireland. The artist lurks among the overlooked flora and fauna of these places, shrinking us down and blowing them up in scale. Claffey invites us to see what she sees, her macro lens allowing us to see our landscape as never before. A different view to appreciate and consider with care. Hough shares her abstract realism with us through the medium of paint. Here the bogland is treated as both an ancestral memory tomb and a symbol of femininity. Layers of mark making make us question the landscape in a new way. What is hidden emerges the more we look. The work pulsates with callings of our own wildness and makes us question our treatment of these fragile eco-landscapes. Our history laid bare. Van Aelst’s sculptural forms in willow take us through another landscape. One of patience and methodical making. The work echoes the nature of willow, ever flexible, bending rather than breaking. The pieces too, sing of ancestor, craft, and the untamed world. Untreated, the willow displays her natural colours, creating a seamless landscape in sculpture. Monumental, unconventional, and stoic, the works speak of the physicality of making and the relationship between maker and landscape. The exhibition was opened on Saturday, 8 June by Chris Uys, of Abbeyleix Bog Project and runs until 12 July. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10.15am to 5.15pm

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10:15 am
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05:15 pm
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