21 June 2010

Goodbye I Love You

The occasion of my recent trip to Sligo was the opening of an exhibition by An Snag Breac, knitter of Daleks and good friend of those of us here on Booming Back. I have written on a number of occasions about the power of art as a form of communication between the artist and audience, but this exhibition was something on a deeper level, both because of the personal connection with the artist herself as a friend, and because of the nature of the exhibition itself.

In 2006 a close friend of the artist killed himself, an event that affected all those around him quite deeply, and this exhibition, "Goodbye I Love You", was a collection of pieces crafted in the subsequent months and years that chronicle her attempts to understand what happened, her own reaction to it, and possibly in some way to come to terms with it.

The exhibition was in mixed media, text on fabric, sewn and stitched works, photographs of those stitched works in tranquil locations, and intensely powerful installations layering written narratives on to objects with a contextual and emotional link between the artist and her friend.

The power and raw emotion was overwhelmingly tangible, something to do with the hard, sharp and spiky concepts/emotions being rendered in such soft and/or familiar/mundane media. It was rather unnerving walking through what felt like the inner workings of the artist's heart and mind, seeing so much of her exposed, and while each piece stands alone on its own artistic merit, there was a tangible sense of the cathartic power the production and exhibition of the pieces held for the artist independently of their value as expressions of humanity.

While the exhibition is over now you can find out more about it on An Snag Breac's blog. I've also uploaded some photos with the artist's permission, but as she herself says the exhibition contains works of a graphic nature and are not suitable for children.

Goodbye I Love You commentary by An Snag Breac
my photos of the exhibition

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