“To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul”. French philosopher Simone Weil
The work has evolved by examining the concept of time-consciousness, a strand of thought related to the study of conscious experience. The vast rural landscape of the West of Ireland inspires the work. The final presentation represents a quest for calm in a frenetic world. This quest leads us in search of a tranquil space of peace and stillness.
The paintings are recreated from images photographed during the Winter Solstice. Capturing light and atmosphere is at the core of the work. The magical, fleeting essence of light is encapsulated in the work so that we can contemplate the beauty and intensity of these transient moments a little longer before the temporality of the setting subsides and disappears to time.
Remote places are associated with a quality of reminiscence, a connection to ‘pastness.’ The remoteness and solitude of the images are a direct reflection of the solitude that can be found in such remoteness. The remote is a place out of place and nostalgia is a longing for a time out of time.
The light of the Sun begins a new solar cycle at Winter Solstice. In winter everything lies dormant. Winter Solstice is the great stillness before the Sun’s strength builds, and days grow longer. It is a time of rest and reflection before the awakening and the slow build toward brighter days.
The work is not intended as a representation of a specific place in time but rather to question what it is that attracts us to the imagery in the artwork where we can transcend time and space. Rather than physical rootedness, is it an idealised sense of time rather than place that we seek?
This exhibition is part of our 2023-2025 exhibition programme, selected by Eamonn Maxwell
Serena Caulfield (b. 1985) is (a ‘painter’) an artist who makes paintings. Memories morph into tall tales. Invented imagery invites novel narratives. Transforming old to new, past to present, absence to presence, here to there, she likes to paint quickly and think slowly.
Serena has exhibited regionally and nationally. Recent group shows include WIDE OPEN SPACE, at Wexford Co. Council Buildings, BEEP Painting Biennial, Wales, GENERATION2022: New Irish Painting, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny and Zurich Portrait Prize, at the National Gallery of Ireland and Crawford Art Gallery, 140th Annual Royal Ulster Academy Exhibition, Belfast, Crossings at King House, Boyle Arts Festival (2021), and MEET at Periphery Space, Gorey School of Art, (2021).
Recent solo exhibitions include Not somewhere else but here at Wexford Arts Centre, (until 23 March 2023) Flexions at Luan Gallery, Athlone (2021), and she is currently working towards a solo exhibition at Hang Tough Contemporary in Autumn 2023.
Recent awards include The Arts Council of Ireland Visual Arts Bursary, Platform 31 Artist Award, an Artlinks Visual Arts Bursary and an Arts Council Agility Award. Serena has an MA in Fine Art from NUA, Norwich, UK (2009) and a BA from Gorey School of Art and Wexford Campus School of Art and Design, IT Carlow.
Her work is held in Wexford Co. Council collection, and in private and corporate collections nationally and internationally.
About Fathomless Arms
Sorcha works as a painter; or more accurately a maker of things. But even ‘maker’ isn’t really the right word. It’s too organic, too suggestive of the handmade, or the nobility of a craft. Instead she is more of a composer, a conductor – the person in front of the orchestra waving their arms about, whose function and purpose you’re unsure of, but you know they are important for the stability of the whole piece.
Fathomless Arms is an exhibition of work that follows this thread of thought. It contains a gathering of fragments; found, reclaimed, and repurposed material assembled in such a way to construct whole painterly objects, taking shape overall as a site-responsive, site-sensitive installation within the gallery’s concourse space.
Sorcha McNamara is a visual artist living and working in Mayo, Ireland. She holds a BA in Fine Art – Painting from Limerick School of Art and Design (2019) and is currently completing her MA in Art + Research Collaboration at The Lab/IADT Dun Laoghaire (2022-2024). As an artist, her interest lies in acts of resourcefulness and improvisation, making paintings out of found materials, and focusing her attention on the discarded detritus of the everyday.
Sorcha’s work has been exhibited both in Ireland and internationally, in London, Lisbon and Tokyo. Recent solo exhibitions include (dis)attachments at The Hyde Bridge Gallery, Sligo and Readymade #2 at Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin. She is the recipient of a Mayo Artist Bursary Award (2022) and an Arts Council of Ireland Agility Award (2021, 2022) and has previously been selected for residencies at Joya AiR, Almeria (2022), Tangent Projects, Barcelona (2021) and PADA Studios, Lisbon (2020). Collections include The Office of Public Works (OPW) and The Hunt Museum, Limerick.
Entry – Admission Free
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