Almost 50 artists from 13 counties across the island of Ireland and Canada responded to the theme ‘Turas ‘ (gaelic for journey) for the annual Artlink Members Show. Forty wall based artworks, eight sculptures and three films make up this year’s exhibition Bring the Mind Home, curated by Kaitlynn Webster from 126 Gallery in Galway.
The journeys we’ve taken in the last year are almost certainly not the ones we envisioned for ourselves – we trekked from bed to desk, couch to kitchen, up and down the same routes in a 5km radius. We relied on screens to transport us to concerts, classes, gallery openings, family gatherings. Stay-cations replaced holidays abroad. Faced with varying degrees of isolation, we had time to think – a blessing and a curse. Perhaps the most significant journeys have occurred in the surveying of our own minds.
“When you face your aloneness, something begins to happen. Gradually, the sense of bleakness changes into a sense of true belonging… In a sense this is the endless task of finding your true home within your life. It is not narcissistic, for as soon as you rest in the house of your own heart, doors and windows begin to open outwards to the world.”
Curator Kaitlynn Webster says “This exhibition asked the members to look at the journeys they’ve made over the past year – journeys that inevitably were not the ones they had planned on taking. We have all become intimately acquainted with our immediate 5 km radius, and we’ve had the chance to become even more intimately acquainted with our own minds. These pieces speak to those journeys – they speak to the meaning we have crafted while confined within our locales, perhaps while longing to be somewhere else, and always in the company of ourselves. They speak to ritual, connection, reflection, and resilience. It was a delight to be able to view these artist’s journeys through their work, and by so doing, reflect on my own – and I believe the viewers can look forward to doing the same”.
Kaitlynn Webster is an interdisciplinary artist and curator from California, now based in the west of Ireland. After completing her MFA in 2019 she joined the board of directors at 126 Artist-Run Gallery in Galway. Her practice looks at the way we create meaning through ritual and storytelling, and her curatorial research focuses on interrogating hierarchies within the arts.