Art June 2021
Following an open invitation by Artlink my proposal for a collection of three objects devised around the theme of pilgrimage was selected for the open art exhibition at Dunree Fort in the Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal (Ireland).
This proposal takes a number of sources as inspiration for establishing a temporary (permanent) art work at Fort Dunree. These include a nod to the pilgrim trail (Turas Colm Cille) of St. Columba (Colmcille), where the pilgrim is entreated to mark various sites by circumnavigating various crosses and stele three times (“The pilgrim circles the cairn three times, praying, and then, placing his back to the stone, makes a declaration renouncing the World, the Flesh, and the Devil.”). In two instances there are three circles (Cloch an Aonaigh, “The Stone of the Assembly” & Gannew and Curreen townland) located on a single cross and in another three squares (Straid townland, with echoes of the labyrinth).
This composition has three vessels for gathering, which echo the form of wicker baskets and creels, shaped in part like ballistic shells.
The material framework provides the visitor with a legible framework and interactive container. Visitors are encouraged to carry with them a stone (white) to locate in the container. Over time the artefact and its material reality will change, according to its exposure and its vulnerability to the elements.
The maquette shows the scale of the creels and how the creel will be populated by visitors. This gathering is purposefully permeable, illustrating the ultimate futility of containment and the fragility of permanence.
The material for these creels is readily available, constructed from reinforcing bar and mild steel wire which is spot welded to form the creels. A base plate facilitates the anchoring to the vessel to the concrete pad. The metal is untreated and left to oxidise.
From simple materials this proposal seeks to address the sacred, in terms of both placement and idea. It also nods to the influence of the site, both materially and functionally. As an active participatory installation it will take on different values according to each visitor and begin a movement to repopulate with new ideas. It is hoped by interfacing with this installation that the visitor will think anew about site and place, and the relationship of human activities.
Noel Brady (transdisciplinary artist)
The Group Exhibition will run during July and August 2021
This work has been made possible by the generous support of ArtLink and The Arts Council of Ireland