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Connected – Unconnected: An exhibition from the IMMA Collection at the Dock Centre, Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim

An exhibition of works from the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s Collection opens to the public on Thursday 16 March at the Dock Centre, Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim. Connected – Unconnected includes works by well-known Irish and international artists, such as Clare Langan, Caroline McCarthy, Paul Nugent, and Nigel Rolfe. The exhibition will be opened by Catherine Marshall, Senior Curator: Head of Collections, IMMA, at 6.00pm. The artist Nigel Rolfe will make a performance during the preview.

The exhibition is the result of a partnership between the Leitrim Arts Office and the Museum’s National Programme which resulted in staff members from Leitrim County Council being invited to curate an exhibition of works from the IMMA Collection. By means of a collaboration process of discussion, demonstration and visiting the museum, a selection panel, comprising of staff members from various departments, within the council, explored the processes involved in selecting and displaying work for an exhibition. 

Nigel Rolfe, a prominent performance artist since the late 1970s, also creates works that involve installation, drawing, tape and slide, video, and audio material. Initially using photography to document his performances, he has recently begun to explore this medium as a primary art form. Rolfe is intensely aware of the influence of history on the individual and society, using a combination of carefully chosen objects and single human actions, to explore the burden of history. 

Rolfe’s Blood of the Beast is a triptych focusing on the subject of conflict and history in Northern Ireland, a subject that Rolfe has returned to on many occasions. A series of symbolic actions and hand signs are presented in this triptych including the red hand of Ulster; a lambeg or bodhrán and a white lily, symbol of peace.

In the photographic work The Luncheon Caroline McCarthy makes witty observations about the nature of consumerism and representation, while engaging with and commenting on historical and traditional notions of art and the artist. As the ideas of abundance, excess, desire and consumption have historically been intrinsic to still-life painting, McCarthy produced a sculpture of a sumptuous banquet made completely of coloured toilet paper.

Forty Below is the first in a film trilogy by Clare Langan shot between Ireland and Iceland that explores the limitless forces of nature as it traces the path of a solitary figure through a post-apocalyptic landscape. It depicts a world where the delicate balance has been upturned. There appears to have been a flood and the familiar world is now submerged in water. We see a destroyed world fossilised, frozen in time yet remaining mysterious and beautiful. There is only vague evidence of human life suggested by the single isolated figure.

In tandem with the exhibition, IMMA mediator staff, will facilitate workshops with local national school pupils from the Leitrim area. The workshops are supported by the Department of Education and Science.

The National Programme is designed to create access opportunities to the visual arts in a variety of situations and locations in Ireland. Using the Collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and exhibitions generated by the Museum, the National Programme facilitates the creation of exhibitions and other projects for display in a range of locations around the country.

Connected –Unconnected continues until 15 April at the Dock Arts Centre.

For further information and colour images please contact Monica Cullinane or Patrice Molloy at Tel: +353 1 612 9900, Fax: +353 1 612 9999, Email [email protected]

3 March 2006