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The Hawk and The House

The Hawk and The House

Anne Ffrench and Julia Pallone
9 March to 10 April
Gallery II and III
A two-person exhibition of photography, video, sculpture, drawing and installation by Anne Ffrench and Julia Pallone.

Anne and Julia will present an Artists' Talk in the Gallery on Saturday 30 March at 12 noon.

Over the past two years, Anne Ffrench and Julia Pallone shared a studio at Uillinn over a three part residency, during which a new body of work has emerged. Their work shares a similar aesthetic and sensibilities and has developed around the notion of passage. The intangible passage of time for Anne, and a passage linked to geography and symbols for Julia. The work of both artists touches on the idea of archetypes: a primitive mental image inherited from the earliest human ancestors and supposed to be present in the collective unconscious. Also common in their practice is a love of materials; feather, clay, wool and milk are seen juxtaposed here in film, photography and physical objects. Materials are always on their way to becoming something else in an ongoing metamorphosis.

Julia Pallone’s Sentinels investigates the animals seen on entrance pillars of the gates of houses, bungalows and cottages in West Cork. Since she moved to Ireland, those creatures have always intrigued her: they mix a sense of kitsch with the statuary, they sometimes look enigmatically decrepit and strange, half finished. As guardsmen, they seem to watch, look and keep an eye on those who pass. Do they symbolically protect the house, or do they reveal the inner and hidden essence of the place? Do they materialise a passage, or are they reminiscent of a forgotten link to nature?

For this exhibition, through drawing, photography and sculptural installation, Julia explores the symbolic nature of gateways and totems, the ideas of shelter/home/protection/body and the notion of territory. The human body - as the ultimate shelter - may also be protected by totems or sentinels: this is envisaged through her work on ceramic collars. Similarly, floating houses – houses, this time understood as the symbol of protection –   somehow uprooted and showing improbable outgrowth, may reveal inner doubts and anxieties; but they could also express the need for protection, the need for the security of a home.

Anne Ffrench’s work is steeped in the experience of pregnancy and the role of motherhood. The bird of prey becomes metaphor, a trained hawk is never tame but retains its instincts to return to the wild. In this exhibition, Anne reconnects to her primordial self. Ritual, creation, transformation, altered states, and the changing of forms translates into performative video, alongside physical sculpture in varied materials. Ffrench’s practice is intuitive and the work reveals itself through a play with materials and objects. Making becomes a process of correspondence, juxtapositioning of materials creates a dialogue between them. Ffrench connects to a universal experience of motherhood and strives to achieve an unexpected newness from this familiar territory. 

Julia Pallone comes from west of France and moved to Ireland in 2006. She graduated with a Masters in Fine Art in 2002 from The Ecole des Beaux Arts in Nantes, France and has also studied at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Venice. She works with a variety of media, ranging from drawing to photography and installation, through which she explores a poetic vision of the world. Julia has exhibited extensively in Europe and in Ireland at The Glucksmann Gallery; Cork; The Crawford Gallery, Cork; Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin; and Galway Arts Centre amongst others. She was awarded several residencies including at the National Sculpture Factory, Tyrone Guthrie Centre and Uillinn, and bursaries from the Arts Council and Cork County Council. She teaches art in Kinsale.

Anne Ffrench was born in Wexford, she now lives and works from Ballinspittle, Co. Cork. She graduated with a Joint First Class Honours degree in Fine Art Sculpture and History of Art from NCAD in 2004 and received a First Class Honours MA in Art Therapy in 2010. Anne was awarded an Arts Council New Project Award in 2010 and 2012 and a Cork County Council Bursary Award 2013/2016. Anne has exhibited widely including at The National Sculpture Factory, Cork; VISUAL Carlow; The National Review of Live Art, Glasgow; Tulca, Galway; and the Fringe Festival, Dublin

Images: Julia Pallone, Floating Houses, 2019
Installation by Anne Ffrench, artist; Hawk and frozen breastmik eggs melting, Photo: Stefan Syrowatka, www.syro.net, stefan@syro.net

WCAC acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council and Cork County Council 

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