Move to sharpen | Saoirse Wall at Custom House Gallery, Westport

Move to sharpen | Saoirse Wall at Custom House Gallery, Westport


01/12/2020 - 17/01/2021    


The Custom House Gallery and Studios
The Quay, Westport, Co. Mayo

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Move to sharpen (2020) is a film consisting of: a description of a landscape painting by James Arthur O’Connor, a plan for a film responding to this painting, and a hopeful mantra towards learning from the landscape. This work is a sensory exploration of ways to consolidate learning in the body, incorporating footage of Croagh Patrick, the Bohea Stone and a point-of-view journey through a forest, up a hill and out to its joyful summit. Moving is learning; touch is acknowledged as both playful and serious. Simultaneous to this depiction of the pleasure of feeling one’s body in nature, it warns of the danger that fascist attitudes pose to our ability to grow, learn and move with each other.

Saoirse Wall is an Irish artist working with moving-image and performance to articulate experiences that lack representation in social narratives of gender, health, and the body. Scale, immersive sound, and suggestive gestures are manipulated to disrupt and discomfort. Wall’s work has recently been screened and exhibited with AEMI, LUX Scotland, Platform Arts Belfast and Hotel Maria Kapel (NL). From 2018-2019 they participated in School of the Damned, a UK-based, peer-led alternative art school. Their film Gesture 2 (2014) was shortlisted for the inaugural Hennessy Portrait Prize and subsequently became the first moving-image work to be purchased for the National Gallery of Ireland Collection. They are a 2020 recipient of the Irish Arts Council Next Generation Award.

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