Eve Parnell, a member of the Tondo artists’ collective, has a thought-provoking installation entitled “ Time in your Pocket ”, in the Courthouse Arts Centre in Tinahely for the month of August. I went to the official opening on Saturday when Eve was giving a talk about the work.
You can see in the photo above that there is an old suitcase in the centre of the floor; there are hundreds of measuring tapes emanating from (or heading to) the suitcase. The measuring tapes are connected to simple wire coat hangers, the hangers perhaps symbolising the multitudes of people who passed through this old courthouse or through this life before us.
As Eve said in her talk: ‘ There is always a certain horror in considering life in terms of measurement. The average life contains a quantifiable number of hours and minutes, a certain number of events, but the counting of things, the lists etc, fall far short of life itself…’ For me, the suitcase evoked the journey, or perhaps ‘just a station on the way’, but the suitcase and measuring tapes also brought to mind the horror of the Nazi concentration camps.
But Eve introduced a further element to the installation by inviting Pethelpers’ founder Tina Brophy to speak at the opening. Tina told us how her organisation rescues thousands of battery hens from the slaughter every year and finds good homes for them in Ireland and in Great Britain.