Landmarks and Lifeforms
An exhibition by Frieda Meaney and Danny Osborne
11 March to 20 April 2017
Landmarks and Lifeforms is an exhibition by Danny Osborne and Frieda Meaney, two artists who live and work on the Beara Peninsula on the western seaboard. The artists' interests in geology, biology, marine science and zoology as well as travel and navigation is presented in this exhibition through painting, print, video installation and sculpture, combining scientific with artistic interpretations of the natural world.
The visual and artistic expression of biology as employed in the work of Frieda Meaney is inspired by the ecosystem as a natural system consisting of plants, animals and micro organisms functioning together within the environment. She depicts the ecosystem in an intuitive way that is inspired by scientific disciplines. She works with images of living and extinct marine, terrestrial and airborne creatures in a way that blurs the lines between their respective realms to create work that portrays an idealistic and imaginative environment.
Her video installation for this exhibition mixes footage of endangered species of fish taken in an aquarium on the island of Tenerife, with the soundtrack of a chorus of birds in a South American jungle. The printed skeletal images of dinosaurs, reptiles and birds, revolving across and layered on the video projection, suggest an evolving world which is constantly changing and adapting to environmental circumstances. See here for a video fo the installation.
Danny Osborne is fascinated by lava. The primordial material that formed the earth and everything that exists here now, including us, originally came from lava. This creative process continues today, marking the land around active volcanoes with both destructive and creative forces. Using the strong symbolic significance of the material, he developed a method of casting sculptures using red hot lava coming straight out of the vent of a volcano. Film of Danny at work making the sculpture on an erupting volcano is also included in the exhibition.
In another form of visual landmark, he explores the changing perspective of the Beara coastline when viewed from the sea. Recently he spent six days drawing the coast while on the ‘Celtic Dawn’, a local fishing boat working between the Bull Rock and the Mizen. Engraved drawings on whalebone represent some of the reference points that the whale would have registered while navigating these waters.
Lava also features in a large collaborative print work entitled Mater, where Osborne's images of lava flows are placed side by side with Meaney's bird, gorilla and human skulls.
See here for an interview with both Frieda Meaney and Danny Osborne during the installation of Landmarks and Lifeforms at Uillinn.
Here is a video of Cruinniú na Cásca at Uillinn, a national cultural day which took place on Easter Monday 2017 during the run of Landmarks and Lifeforms at Uillinn.
A Panel Discussion with Frieda Meaney, Danny Osborne, zoologist Dr. John Quinn, and poet and navigator Theo Dorgan will take place on Saturday 1 April at 12 noon.
Initiated and developed by Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, Landmarks and Lifeforms will be presented in different iterations at Limerick City Gallery of Art (7 September to 22 October 2017) and Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda (3 February to 14 April 2018) with the support of the Arts Council of Ireland's Touring and Dissemination of Work Award.