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IMMA invited the artist Navine G. Dossos to realise an ambitious new commission for IMMA’s iconic courtyard, titled Kind Words Can Never Die, the work explores new psychological states that have emerged in response to a greater awareness of global and local climate change. Inspired by the books Earth Emotions (2019) by Glenn Albrecht, and Thought Forms (1901) by Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater, these wall paintings designed through a series of workshops at IMMA, explore how we can use colour to express emotional states, and make images of these complex feelings that can be both negative and positive responses to ecological change.

One of the major issues of addressing climate change is how we visually represent it. We rely heavily on photographs to evidence the drama of ecological degradation, but also on data-driven charts, informational diagrams and other schematic representations to describe something that is almost intangible in our everyday lives. However, these issues also weigh on us psychologically, and our mental health influences the nature of our response. Kind Words Can Never Die aims to bring together our internal and external worlds, to create a new way to think about the intimate effects of climate change, and to shift our relationship to the planet.

About the Artist

Navine G. Dossos is a visual artist working between London and Athens. Her interests include Orientalism in the digital realm, geometry as information and decoration, image calibration, and Aniconism in contemporary culture. She has developed a form of geometric abstraction that merges the traditional Aniconism of Islamic art with the algorithmic nature of the interconnected world we live in. This is not the formal abstraction we understand from the western history of art, but something essentially informational, and committed to investigation and communication.

Dossos is a painter, and uses this medium and its history to ask fundamental questions about the ways in which we see, understand and represent the world around us. Her work suggests that contrary to the mediatic impulses of the present, we must not rely upon, nor constantly reproduce, the figurative language of television, online media, videos, and the endlessly circulating images which shape our shared imagination of reality. Her work frequently emphasizes the contrast between the timeless and the ephemeral, whether in the painting over of temporary murals, her own effacement of underlying works in ongoing series where each iteration is applied over the last, or her choices of material, from traditional icon boards to cardboard and found wood, and the balancing of classical training and technique with a constant reappraisal and critique of the contemporary.

Workshop Participants

Karen Aguiar, Hanora Bagnell, James Bridle, Zephyr Bridle, Emmett Cathcart, Paola Catizone, Ciara Denham, Grainne Doyle, Trish Duffe, Thomas Duffy, Carmel Ennis, Rachel Fallon, Cathy Fitzgerald, Annie Fletcher, Monica Flynn, Elizabeth Fuller, Paula Galvin, Éidín Griffin, Marese Hickey, Josee Hodgkinson, Terry Hodgkinson, Alexandra Hoppe, Janice Hough, Mary Hoy, Barbara Keary, Christina Kennedy, Owen Kennedy, Navine G. Khan-Dossos, Emilia Krysztofiak, Deirdre Lane, Roxana Manouchehri, Máire O’Higgins, Béibhinn O’Higgins, Sadhbh O’Higgins, Ellie O’Sullivan, Laragh Pittman, Sarah Quinn, Evy Richards, Rosa Roach Arthur, Ruth-Anne Ryan, India Ryan, Jennifer Rylands, Leda Scully, Emma Sheridan, Rachel Sheridan, Maria Vncentelli, Peter Willis and Monika Ziel.