When you think about it, we really are making a mess of this planet, with so little respect for nature, but no, this is not going to be a post about Climate Change. It’s just another in the series about artist’s works at the Palimpsest /Rianú Project in the Pearse Museum, Rathfarnham.
When we did a site visit there a few months ago, in preparation for the exhibition, we were all fascinated by the glass cases containing specimens and samples which had been collected and displayed at St.Enda’s school in the last century. All sorts of things – butterflies, birds’ eggs, rocks, minerals, tools, weapons etc – various implements to facilitate a broad education. It was clear to us that the school principal and poet Patrick Pearse had progressive ideas about the boys’ education but it was never far from our minds that he was also one of the leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916.
Claire Halpin’s artworks for the exhibition developed from her research into surveillance and unmanned drones, implements of modern warfare including micro-aviary, the tiny surveillance drones that are modelled on birds and flight patterns in nature. She decided to place her “specimens” in a glass case, using the aesthetic language and materials of museology, re-imagining these machines as mechanised birds with mechanised eggs and nests. These sculptures were constructed using computer cables and plastic webcams and such, playful perhaps but with a sinister reminder of the horrors of modern warfare.
The Pearse Museum is open every day except Tuesdays, 9.30 – 5.30pm. Drop out for a visit, it’s in St.Enda’s Park in Rathfarnham and there’s a nice coffee shop there too.