CONNECTION ‘a relationship in which a person or thing is linked or associated with something else’.
Droichead brings twenty-seven visual artists together for a new creative initiative called CONNECTION, which is part of an ongoing commitment to participate and engage in reinvigorating our community during a time of crisis. Connection presented by Droichead Arts Centre culminates with an offsite exhibition for Culture Night 2020.
Connection 3, curated by artist/curator Brian Hegarty in association with Droichead Arts Centre, involves 9 artists, each responding in their own unique way to local retail units and buildings. The theme ‘CONNECTION’ as a word has gained a lot of resonance during the Covid pandemic. It is a word that has come to the forefront in a time of isolation and uncertainty.
But how do we define ‘Connection’ and what does it mean to us as individuals or as a community? How do we express our ‘Connection’, be it with each other, to nature, technology to our town or country, history or to our individual beliefs?
Fran Cassidy (Former O’Reillys Building, Narrow West St.)
Fran Cassidy is a photographer and poet from Dublin. He is an observer whose practice captures the essence of everyday life from candid moments to the unexpected. There is a warmth to his photography that is always empathetic to his subjects who are often on the margins of society. ‘Phoneshop’, his piece for this show asks the question: are we really that connected or are we becoming more isolated through technology. His piece captures this perfectly, the nonchalant expression of the shop keeper lit by the latest in phone technology while 2 people pass by, one on his phone despite being in company.
John Moloney (Boyle Sports, West St.)
John Moloney from Drogheda treats his practice as a mediation. Interventions, found materials and readymades are part of his practice while his work can be permanent or ephemeral. Play is an important part in what he does.
Mark Templeton (Kevin McAllisters Electrical, West St.)
Canadian artist Mark Templeton is best known as a sound artist and photographer. His piece ‘Anonymous Subjects’ investigates the unknown through single image processing. Scanned 35mm slides of people, set against the backdrop of water, the video loop acts as a reflection of our past, assembled during a period of uncertainty.
Claire Fitch (Westcourt Hotel, West St.)
Claire Fitch is a Composer, Digital Media Creator and lecturer at DKIT. Claire has created a virtual work ‘Populated Solitude’ which can be scanned from QR codes at the WestCourt hotel which delve into the rich history of this iconic Drogheda landmark.
Namara Lindsay (Westcourt Hotel, West St.)
Namara Lindsay lives and works in Dublin. She holds a BA Degree in Painting and a Master of Fine Art (MFA) with distinction from The University of Ulster, Belfast. She has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally. She uses both video and photography to explore human vulnerability. Her work (Nora) is a complex examination of our collective memory, and is not just an ode to her Grandmother but also a poignant response to our elderly and to healthcare challenges which has come to the fore during these Covid times.
Helen McDonnell (Little Duke Theatre, Duke St. )
Originally from Drogheda but now living in Belfast Helen Mc Donnell has been working as a professional tattoo artist for over 20 years. This is reflected in her art work Walk in these Shoes which acknowledges the lost art of Scrimshaw and the traditions of folk art. For this exhibition Helen has intricately carved and transformed former shoe making molds, investing them with new meaning both personal and social.
Gee Vaucher (Former Choice Building, West St.)
Gee Vaucher artist and activist is most known for her work with pioneering punk collective ‘Crass’. For this exhibition she and her coconspirator Penny Rimbaud have created slogans playing on the word ‘Choice’ and what it means to us as individuals
Sarah La Puerta (Stockwell Artisan Café, Stockwell St.)
Sarah La Puerta is an American Musician, writer and visual artist. A short run of her visual art postcard anthologette, “Always Check the Mail” has recently been published as part of the ‘Drag Acid’ photo-zine series produced by ‘thirtythree-45’ in Drogheda, Ireland. Sarah is one of the main composers behind the avant-garde minimalist classical ensemble, Thor & Friends. Always Check the Mail is an ongoing project since 2015 that promotes the exchange of unique art, poetry, and prophecy between strangers who may never cross paths in person in order to establish a connection, in the belief that every connection, no matter how small, expands our collective network and our definition of what is possible.
Orla Fitzpatrick (Drogheda Library, Stockwell St.)
Orla Fitzpatrick is a photgraphic historian with a PHD from the University of Ulster. For this exhibition Orla presents a rich collection of intriguing portrait postcards which were taken in the photographic studios in Drogheda between 1860 and 1910. These cards were exchanged between friends and family and sent to emigrants in America. They provide a visual connection to the commercial and social history of the town.
A tour of the exhibition will take place at 8:00pm with curator Brian Hegarty, and Droichead Director Collette Farrell on Culture Night this Fri 18 Sept. Limited to 10, advance booking only, available in pairs, meeting at the former O’Reillys building at 8:00pm, social distancing should be observed at all times. Duration 60 mins. The tour will finish in the gallery of Droichead Arts Centre, and masks should be worn when entering the centre.
Connection is a Droichead Arts Centre initiative, Strand 3 is part of Culture Night 2020, and runs until the 3 October. With support from the Arts Council, Create Louth, Louth County Council and Drogheda B.I.D.S (Business Investment Development Scheme). We would like to also thank all the business owners/buildings who are participating in this project.
CONNECTION is part of an ongoing commitment of the Droichead Arts Centre to comment, participate and engage in reinvigorating our community during a time of crisis.