The Museum Has Closed





March 20, 2020

Like many of you I have been overcome by recent global events.  My latest exhibition, Repeated Visits to the Museum of Life, opened at Gallery@501 in Sherwood Park on March 5th but has now closed to the public until further notice.  As well as the many people who came to the opening reception I know there are many others who expressed interest and expected to see the exhibition during March and April.  

During the weeks ahead I will be posting a series of photographs and descriptions of the work on display here on my website.  You can also take a virtual tour of the gallery by clicking on this link I will also be sharing content on Instagram @Artmachian

I am also working with the gallery staff to come up with more creative solutions to online programming and look forward to sharing those with you soon.

Artists have a huge ability to educate, entertain and brighten our lives in these trying times.  This is part of my contribution.

Stay engaged, stay active. Draw, dance, listen, read, run, sing, talk, walk, stay well.

Some words about the exhibition . . 

In this age of ‘immediacy’ it seems that we are eager to create self-imposed, artificial borders that do not stand up to historical or sociological scrutiny. How do we navigate between respect and learning? How do we deal with politically and culturally significant issues without stifling creativity and freedom of expression? 

Evidential boundaries are important as they provide a sense of identity and community and allow us to better understand our pathway to the present. Yet delineation has an inherent danger to it. At the very least it can create a heightened sense of proprietorship. It often removes cultures and traditions from their place in the evolving physical and social landscape. Separation runs the risk of creating barriers to understanding in context.  For as long as we have identified them our languages and cultures have evolved and borrowed from one another over time.

My philosophy has been influenced by growing up in Northern Ireland, at a time when the use of geographical boundaries and belief systems were bitterly divisive. I find it difficult to express an interest in human attachment to the land while using the narrow confines of the present. Instead my aim is to engage with the land through memory, history and imagination. 

Much of the work in this exhibition focuses on the distillation of forms and their symbolic, monumental capacity. I want to create new pathways that are built on respect and understanding of cultural traditions but refer to different landscapes that are influenced by my spiritual connections and developing memories of place.

For this soul needs to be honoured with a new dress woven

From green and blue things and arguments that cannot be proven.

Patrick Kavanagh, Canal Bank Walk