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03 Oct 2022

Exhibition by upcoming KCAT artists in Callan

Exhibition by upcoming KCAT artists in Callan

KCAT artist Margaret Walker

‘What Am I?” is an exhibition of three KCAT artists and focuses on landscape paintings.

Margaret Walker’s and Eileen Mulrooney’s artworks are landscapes of Callan and its surroundings. However, Briana Hurley’s work is of the invented landscapes on the imaginary planet Castilia.

Altogether their work offers an insight into how landscape can be linked to our identities.
Artists who paint landscapes have historically often been seen as trying to root themselves to a place.

In the Irish context, the landscape can be seen particularly as a postcolonial finding of identity.
Since the beginning of the Irish plantations in the 1550s and until Independence in 1922 many people felt that they were never seen as inhabitants nor legitimate owners of the Irish landscape.
Artists with disabilities like Margaret, Eileen, and Briana are still seeking to inhabit and own the landscape legitimately. There are physical, social, and sensory barriers in public spaces that prevent people with disabilities from feeling comfortable in urban and rural places.

Margaret and Eileen are concerned with the Callan townscape and its architecture as well as the surrounding countryside. By painting these sites, both artists are taking back these sites, claiming them as their heritage and identity.

Briana’s landscapes of Castilia, often include depictions of the planet’s indigenous people gazing out across the land, bow and arrow in hand, waiting for the invading alien humans to attack. There is a glass wall that separates the two communities.

According to Róisín Power Hackett who is curating the exhibition Brianna’s paintings show the division between people with and without disabilities, and the vulnerability and oppression felt by the disability community fighting to keep their ground with inadequate resources.

‘What Am I?’ includes audio descriptions of each artwork. These audio descriptions can be heard through headphones in the gallery or can be accessed through the QR codes printed beside each artwork. An audio version of Briana Hurley’s ‘The Story of Castalia’ is also available to listen to.

The exhibition will be launched at 2pm on September 2 followed by the curator’s talk at 2.30pm. The exhibition takes place at the Edmund Rice Visitor Centre in Westcourt in Callan and is open from 10am to 4pm and is closed on Sundays.

The exhibitions runs until September 23 and all are welcome.

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