Florida State University’s Museum of Fine Arts (MoFA) presents a multidisciplinary exhibition titled Talamh agus Teanga which considers relationships between people, language, land and sea through the work of 10 Irish artists, including IMMA Collection artist Dorothy Cross and her work Ghost Ship.
This exhibition explores how artists engage the Irish language in contemporary creative practice to reflect on our interconnected worlds.
Gathering artists who are both native speakers and learners of Irish, the exhibition explores the ethos of fite fuaite (interwoven or inextricably connected) through visual art, dance, film, installation and performance.
Ghost Ship is Dorothy Cross’s personal homage to lightships, which were once a familiar sight around the Irish coast. In their heyday there were twelve lightships used to mark reefs or other dangers in the open sea, the names of which were painted in large white lettering on the red ships. These engineless ships were towed into position, anchored in place and crewed by the lightshipmen who served on board for up to six weeks. Cross secured a decommissioned lightship, the 140 ft long Albatross, which she covered with phosphorescent paint and moored in Scotsman’s Bay in Dun Laoghaire from 3-21 February 1999, creating a magical ghostly presence glowing in the dark out at sea. At regular intervals the phosphorescent paint slowly faded and was then re-charged using UV lights.
While this was a temporary, site-specific piece, Cross also made a film of ‘Ghost Ship’ as it appeared in Scotsman’s Bay.
Curated by Dr. Kristin Dowell, artists featured in this exhibition include, Kari Cahill, Ceara Conway, Liadin Cooke, Dorothy Cross, Miriam de Búrca, Katie Holten, Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín, Méadhbh O’Connor, Éimear O’Keane and Kathy Scott, director of The Trailblazery, a forum for Irish cultural activism.