11 January to 17 February
Opening Thursday 11 January, 6pm
The Golden Thread Gallery is delighted to be starting the New Year with a new exhibition by Dublin based artist Vanessa Donoso López. For this exhibition Vanessa gathered soil from three different relevant locations in Spain. Utrilla, in the Spanish midlands, Alanís de la Sierra (during my residency in Casa de las Artes, Alanís) in the south of Spain and Camallera (during her residency in Nau Côclea) in Girona, north of Catalunya. Then, soil was processed and clay extracted. She made familiar multi-cultured clay objects that will first engage with real life, then later transforming themselves into sculptures as a way of defying the function of the domestic object.
Prior to the opening of the exhibition, a meal was organised for the gallery personnel. In all societies, eating is a powerful way to initiate and maintain human relationships. The way of eating links with the group itself and its history and it has a huge force of evocation of intimate and primal experiences. For this meal, a traditional La Mancha soup, was served in bowls made with clay from Utrilla, salads with Girona recipes, were served of plates made with clay from Camallera, and wine from Andalucía was served in cups made from Alanís clay. The gallery will become a transitional space, the dinner will work as a bridge, and the plates, the spoons, the forks, the cups and bowls will turn into tools as extensions of our bodies.
Clay is a recorder of marks, and on clay was found the first evidence of the written word which starts with cuneiform script inscribed into clay slabs. It has deep literary history and relationship to narrative. On clay slabs was written the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’, which is the oldest piece of literature ever found, written on 2100BC by the Sumerians. The main characters of this Epic, shared a meal and told their story. Clay presents itself as a historic super-material that works as a catalyzer being able to link physical experimentation to multi layered histories and multicultural interactions.