Notes from a Digital Sea | Trudi van der Elsen at Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan

Notes from a Digital Sea | Trudi van der Elsen at Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan


27/02/2020 - 27/03/2020    


Burren College of Art
Newtown Castle, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare

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NOTES FROM A DIGITAL SEA an exhibition of paintings by Trudi van der Elsen opens in the Gallery at the Burren College of Art on Thursday 27th February from 6-8 pm
Official opening by Úna McCarthy, Director/Curator of Limerick City Gallery of Art.

NOTES FROM A DIGITAL SEA is a new body of work that analyses digitization as a source of new abstraction in painting.

Since building my studio and working full time as a studio artist, I find myself caught between two world views, local and global: the first real and transient, the latter virtual, synthetic and petrified. Living in a timeless ‘natural’ environment, the Shannon Estuary, while at the same time being plugged into the extended reality of the digital world, I find my experience of the landscape around me beginning to shift.

A certain level of alienation and decoupling results from the speed and the flickering of the virtual world. The slowness of the act of painting serves as a way to ground these hyper-movements, while the surface of the work serves as a locus for the fragmentation that multiple vanishing points generate in our experience of the world and of ourselves. Working intuitively and at a large scale becomes an immersive, embodied experience in which I am bringing inner forms of consciousness and the fragmented movement of information and images to the surface.

For me painting has once again become necessary. The slowness of the process means that time is concentrated into the work in different layers. Although the finished work is a still image, it does not mean that it is still. The energy and motion concentrated into its making is always present, waiting to be activated by the perceiver. In contrast to the insisting flickering of the digital image the painting waits for the viewer, back to its stillness. The act of putting large paintings into the world opens a space for a different kind of attention.


I am an artist with a practice that combines painting, drawing, installation work, performance and lens-based work. I live in Co. Clare since 2004 and exhibit regularly nationally and internationally. My recent solo exhibition ‘XR-Extended Reality’ in Toledo, Spain was supported by Culture Ireland, Nov. 2019.

In 2018, my portrait was selected for the National Self Portrait Collection and exhibited in the Bourne Vincent Gallery in Limerick. I presented Songlines, a solo exhibition in Punt WG, Amsterdam in 2012. In 2015 and 2017 my work was selected for the Annual Exhibition at the Royal Ulster Academy in Belfast, and in 2013 I participated in ‘Komplizen’, Ostrale 013 in Dresden, Germany. I was co-ordinator and curator at the Courthouse Gallery and Studios, Ennistymon from 2009-2016. My work is in private and public collections around the world, including the Office of Public Works and Clare County Council.

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