Date(s) - 02/04/2019 - 15/05/2019
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Illuminations Gallery NUI Maynooth
As part of this exhibition the artist will present a new performance intervention, collaborating with musician Nina Hynes and the staff and students from Maynooth University. This exchange of ideas will culminate in a gathering in the Illuminations gallery space and connect the floors above as the ‘activators’ will perform a chorus from the balconies. This performance will take place from 1pm on Thursday 2nd May 2019. All are welcome to participate, for more details please contact the artist email@example.com.
For her solo show at Illuminations Gallery, Yvonne McGuinness presents The Well (2017), a multi-screen film installation and Borders (2019) a series of photographic collages.
The Well is a context-specific, performative, multi-screen film work which has been re-edited specifically for the 8-screen configuration of the gallery. The film is set in St Patricks Well, Clonmel where elements of pagan and folkloric traditions coexist with the religious and historic significance of the site. Recognised as being places of enchantment, it is also believed holy wells hold curative powers and are popular places for people to commune and engage in acts of ritualised behaviours in the hope of receiving a requested favour or cure for a particular ailment.
The artist is drawn to these thin places, where the veil between this world and the eternal world is faint. These sites are often in rural settings, where a glitch or schism seems to naturally occur, altering ones perception of time and space, where the body and place are ritualised, swapping and exchanging qualities. McGuinness’s practice enacts disruptions and glitches of its own, by devising performative interventions and constructing other connective layers and imaginings.
In 2016 McGuinness devised a live, public, performance intervention at St Patrick’s Well, Clonmel. Inspired by the story of Bridget Cleary a local woman suspected to be a witch, who was burned alive by her husband in 1897. McGuinness returned to the well a year later to work with David Flannery, the custodian and keeper of the well whose daily ritual of maintaining and protecting the well is observed in the film. This quotidian existence is juxtaposes with that of the female dancer whose restless movement looks to harness the energy within the well. Neither is witness to the other but both use the well as a host site, a place to experience deep belonging and connectedness. As with previous works at ancient pagan sites, the artist draws on the universal symbol of the well as a place of ancient mystic charge and a symbol of female fertility and power. Collaborating with dancer Liv O’Donoghue and the guardian of the well David Flannery, the artist combines real and fictive performances in a multi-screen installation. Director of photography is Michael Kelly and soundscape is by Ellen King.
For this exhibition McGuinness developed ‘Borders’, a series of photographic collage works which explore the experience of embodying place.
Yvonne Mc Guinness is a graduate of the Royal College of Art London, she lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. Her practice encompasses, performance, film, writing, collage, sculptural elements and costume. Mc Guinness has an interest in embodied experience of place and belonging by staging live, public, interventions and performances which create surreal and dynamic moments of interaction and connection to place, time and communities. This is immersive work, which is collaborative and generally temporary. Her film installation work often reconstructs the documentation of these performances for gallery contexts. She also makes stand-alone films, combining real and fictive performance to create non narrative, multi-screen film installations.
Image – Still from The Well, featuring Choreographer and Dancer Liv O’Donoghue, 2017.