“Our current age has been described as the Anthropocene period and defines the extensive human impact on the environment which effects the world’s climate, lands, oceans and wildlife. Over time, human influences have changed our landscapes and shaped our biodiversity”.
Denise Reddy (Curator -IN-SITES/ÓN CHEAPACH)
IN-SITES/ÓN CHEAPACH is a group exhibition featuring the work of artists Monica de Bath, Lisa Fingleton and Gareth Kennedy and explores the different ways in the artists address our relationship with a constantly changing environment. New and existing work reflects on the role of art and ecological practices highlighting the complexities of historical and contemporary land use. Diverse themes are investigated relating to industrial peat excavation, land rehabilitation, farming, food, sustainability, deforestation and invasive species. Inspired by interactions and conversations with ecologists, foresters, local growers, Bord na Móna workers, the artists draw attention to the impacts of land management decisions on biodiversity and the consequences for people and place.
Specific sites such as the Bog of Allen in Kildare, the Atlantic Bog in Mayo, Killarney National Park and an organic farm in Kerry are the chosen points of for the artists’ investigative processes. Their work responds directly to these environments and have led to initiatives, actions and collaborations which address environmental concerns arising from particular types of land use…..
Lisa Fingleton’s Holding True Ground explores deep-rooted connections between art, food and farming. Living and working on a small farm in Kerry, she combines farming with her arts practice. Motivated by concerns relating to the global food industry and our reliance on imported foods, the artist undertook a 30-Day Local Food Challenge, where she ate only food grown in Ireland. Working collaboratively with local food growers, farmers and communities, the artist developed work addressing issues associated with food security, sustainability and climate change.
This ‘edible action’ raised awareness of where and how our food is produced and the environmental costs of food miles associated with global imports. Fingleton believes we can be the catalysts for change. The food challenge encourages further action by others to return to locally grown seasonal produce.
Many of our crops and plants are reliant on bees for pollination. Fingeton’s work references some of the possible causes, such as pesticides, affecting the decline of our bee populations and the importance of protecting these vital pollinators to ensure stable food production. Her humorous and playful works deliver underlying critical environmental concerns and invite us to consider the harmful effects on industrialised agricultural systems on our biodiversity
IN-SITES/ÓN CHEAPACH is a touring exhibition supported by the Arts Council of Ireland. Venues included: Siamsa Tire, Tralee; The Couthouse, Tinaheely; Birr Arts Centre; Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge. Curated by Denise Reddy and Supported by Michelle De Forge, Dunamaire Arts Centre