art, art installations, artists, Gaeilge, Palimpsest/ Rianú

Occupying Space, achieving Balance – gold leaf and old photographs

photo of gold leaf artwork by Nuala Ni Fhlathuin

Mmmmmmmm. Gold leaf, so delicate, so pure, so fragile. This is what artist Nuala Ní Fhlathúin has been using in her artworks in recent times. You might’ve seen some of her work at the National Gallery this year, on Culture Night, as part of the IdirÁite projections.

I don’t know if you’ve ever used gold leaf but it is actually real gold that has been hammered into extremely thin sheets and is generally used for gilding frames and other decorative surfaces. Now when I say ‘extremely thin’, I mean extremely, EXTREMELY thin. It is so light that it could fall apart or blow away in the slightest breeze. But Ní Fhlathúin uses it for this very reason.

So I’m paraphrasing now but her art practice is an investigation into material processes and procedures, exploring the mysterious divide between material reality and the disembodied world of abstract sequenced thought. She works with ceramics, soil, string, fragments of paper and other such found objects, paying attention to their distinct physical properties – their weight, their balance, their particular way of occupying space, how they impinge on each other etc…

The image above shows a detail from a piece for IdirÁite, inspired by a painting by Francesco Da Rimini entitled: “The Crucifixion, Noli Me Tangere” but I also wanted to show her work for The Palimpsest/ Rianú Project at The Pearse Museum (See below). Here she was working with educational texts and photographs preserved by the Museum. It’s an installation in a glass case. That cut-out photo, by the way, happens to be my grand uncle Frank, as a young fella!

 

artwork from the palimpsest/Rianu Project
“Léaráid 1/ Diagram 1”, by Nuala Ní Fhlathúin

 

So, bhí muintir Mhic Lochlainn an-tógthaí leis an píosa ealaíne seo a chruthaigh Nuala. D’aithin mé an sean-ghrianghraf sin ach níor chuimhin liom ar dtús gur ár sean-uncail Frank a bhí ann (mar leaidín óg). Chuaigh eisean ar scoil i Scoil Éanna agus is amhlaigh gur ghlac sé páirt i ndráma eicint mar Setanta. Bhí an-spéis ag an bPiarsach sna sean-scéalta agus sa bhFiannaíocht agus bhíodh drámaí acu go minic leis na scoláirí a spreagradh. Bhí Cú Chulainn mar eiseamláir ag na buachaillí, agus an mana a bhí ag an scoil ná: “Glaine inár gcroíthe, neart inár ngéaga agus beart de réir ár mbriathra” – an mana céanna a bhí ag na Fianna.

Tá mé ag ceapadh gur chuimhin liomsa Frank mar sheanfhear maol. Is cuimhin liom a dhéarthár níos fearr, ár sean uncail John. Fear ard a bhí ann le srón maorga. (Tá an srón céanna tar éis teacht chun solais arís is aríst inár gclann ó shin) (níl sé agamsa).

Ach, ó thaobh na h-ealaíne de, cheap mé go raibh sé spéisiúl mar a chuir Nuala an gasúirín óg le chéile le banna gasúirí agus mar a bhí roinnt eile acu ina luí – ar Chnoc an Áir, b’fhéidir…  Nuair a thosnaíonn tú ag scrúdú mar a d’eagraigh sí na píosaí éagsúla, feictear go bhfuil gach sórt scéalta agus smaointe fite fuaite san saothar ealaíne seo.

Beidh an taispeántas seo ar siúl i Músaem na bPiarsach go dtí deireadh mí na Samhna.

The Pearse Museum is open every day except Tuesdays

9.30 – 5.30pm. Do drop out for a visit, it’s in St.Enda’s Park in Rathfarnham and there’s a nice coffee shop there too.

http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/Dublin/PearseMuseum-StEndasPark/

http://theshedgalway.blogspot.ie/2011/10/nuala-ni-fhlathuin-galway-based-artist.html

http://www.culturenight.ie/regional_event/idiraite/

 

 

 

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