Stories from Lismore and Beyond documents an extraordinary moment in society, since the Covid-19 pandemic has spread across the globe. As people have been in lockdown for several months, our lives have seemingly transformed beyond recognition, with a shared moment for contemplation unimaginable only a few months ago.
Lismore Castle Arts extended an open call for entries in June 2020 inviting artists and the public to submit images of their new normal – this may involve a new routine, a hobby, or a new way of working. The images on display are a document of this new existence – with an attempt to display as many images submitted as possible.
The exhibition has 3 distinct strands – invited submissions of images of daily life, mostly submitted through social media; invited responses from Irish-based artists who have previously had a connection with LCA; and artworks from the Lismore Castle collection, which have a resonance with the current times.
This pairing of new and very current images alongside historic work suggests that artists have always closely investigated our relationship with the simple, the routine, the everyday, and of course, the quiet contemplation that Lismore itself has always offered artists and visitors. The exhibition hints at an optimism, at the opportunity to re-evaluate our routines and priorities.
Some of the images and works in the exhibition include: –
Over 120 images submitted through social media – from artists and the general public. Some of these images range from simple walks, making jam, bread, knitting, to documents of making artwork, studio life, and more contemplative moments.
Ephemeral material submitted in display cases – The Skellig Lists – a poem from 1947 of scurrilous verses written in local parishes and passed hand to hand, this edition features Lismore; fishing hooks collected by a local diver off the coast by Rinn; postcards sent between families who were unable to visit each other during the lockdown; poetry by Lismore-based writers. The exhibition also features sound works by The Quiet Club, made during the lockdown, and many more works by LCA alumni artists.
Artworks from the LCA collection including Louise Wallace’s Rock Stars, documenting the life of 2 men living off the grid in the Burren; Carol-Anne Connolly’s Pattern Landscape, made from an image of ferns in Lismore Castle; Ciara Roche’s series of paintings capturing different times of the day and night at Lismore Castle Gardens.
Artworks from the Lismore Castle collection – including Lucien Freud’s Eli, an etching of his beloved dog; Emma Tennant’s watercolour Two Leeks; Fanny Currey’s stunning Lismore Before a Storm, and 3 posters designed by Paul Henry for British Rail advertisements in the 1920’s to encourage tourists to visit various parts of the British Isles, in this case, specifically Ireland.
Lismore Castle Arts is open daily from 11am to 5pm (last entry 4pm).
Image: Myra Jago, Stay Home, Stay Safe, 2020. Image courtesy the artist.