Sunday 28 August 2011

Press Statement Yarra Sculpture Gallery

Press Release 7/2010

Tears, Trash and Decay is an exhibition by three Irish artists, Harry Moore, Sarah Iremonger, Marianne Keating and Australian artist Sarah Catherall at Yarra Sculpture Space in Victoria, Australia  August 5th –15th 2010.

The exhibition explores our relationship with our environment from four different perspectives, each artist using their distinctly differing practices to articulate their specific concerns and outlooks. The grouping of four artists who work and function in different media articulates the complexity of the issues we face whilst providing a rich and broad experience in a single show of works.

Harry Moore uses pinhole photography to record an eerie shadow world, another reality which we can only gain a glimpse of. These images, from the series “Ghosts in our Machine”, are printed onto large canvas, up to 3m X 4.25m and displayed in a coral style creating a kaleidoscopic landscape for the viewer to observe and almost enter into.

The idea of fragmented realities is explored through the installation by Sarah Iremonger of 2,000 badges adhered directly onto the wall of the gallery, each badge is made from an individual photograph is bagged and labeled ‘I thought I dreamed of you’ evoking the idea of a personal keepsake with mass production undertones. ‘Upside-down Vista’ is a painted mural which will also be installed directly onto the wall of the gallery, the drawing for this piece is developed from a photograph of Mizen Head in West Cork and literally turns on its head the idea of an idealized landscape view.

Marianne Keating has developed a body of work that is an exploration of the individual and their perceptions of reality, focusing on how recurring motifs of the outside world may alter and impact on preconceived ideas. Through the printing of wall-paper which uses bugs instead of flowers to create their pattern Marianne undermines the viewers idea of what is expected.

Sarah Catherall is an emerging Australian artist who works in various mediums - including performance, installation and sculpture. Her work focuses on the ideas of identity, often using her body as a tool for introspection. For this exhibition she has chosen to work with a combination of found and everyday objects that have been affected by the process of rust. The materials for this work have been specifically chosen for their aesthetic and metaphoric qualities.

The Irish artists have undertaken to occupy the vast space Yarra Sculpture Space for 10 days, to establish a working relationship with Sarah Catherall and to allow a snapshot of contemporary Irish art to be encountered in Australia.

This exhibition is part of a series of exchanges, residencies and exhibitions, which has been developing over the last two years to establish an Irish presence in this part of Australia. It follows from a similar event when Australian artists, Julie Collins and Derek John working together as DJ Projects, attended a residency in Ireland, showing their work in Cork and Tralee and interacting with local artists and organisations.  Their exhibitions and project “Shared Journey” at the National Sculpture Factory in Cork made a profound impact on local artists and this exhibition is a great opportunity to develop those connections. “The interest in Irish culture in Australia is legendary and the exhibition, Tears Trash and Decay is a great opportunity for Irish artists to establish real links with the contemporary Australian art world and market,” said visiting artist Sarah Iremonger.

Each artist has been invited to give talks at the Art Department of Ballarat University in Victoria, developing an ongoing relationship.

Thanks to Culture Ireland and Yarra Sculpture Space

Invite Yarra Sculpture Gallery

Iremonger at Yarra Sculpture Gallery - Melbourne, Australia 2010

Sunday 12 June 2011

Images of Gallery 817, UARTS USA

Images of West Cork Arts Centre

Main Gallery View

Upside-down Vista painted mural

Fake Installation ink drawing on photo

Main Gallery View

Flood-path photograph album, case & table

Flood-path photograph album, case & table (detail)

I thought I dreamed of you badges, bags, labels, case & table

I thought I dreamed of you badges, bags, labels, case & table (detail)

I thought I dreamed of you badges, bags, labels, case & table (detail)

Vista photograph & light box

Access photograph & light box

Designs for Neon Waterfall ink on paper

Designs for Neon Waterfall ink on paper

Emersion photograph

View of Second Gallery

View of Second Gallery

Neon Waterfall

Ode to Courbet video

Habitation video


I thought I dreamed of you
by Sarah Iremonger

West Cork Arts Centre
Co. Cork, Ireland
November 28 2009 – January 30 2010

Gallery 817
Anderson Hall
UARTS, The University of the Arts
Philadelphia, USA
March 17 – April 1 2010

With special thanks to Ann Davoren and everyone at the West Cork Arts Centre for the opportunity show this work, to Mara Adamitz Scrupe and the University of the Arts, Philadelphia for inviting me to be visiting artist and tour this exhibition, Culture Ireland, Ian McDonagh and Cork County Council for a Bursary Award 2008 towards the making of this work and to Stephen Mcllroy, Sandra Minchin and Mary Cooke for helping me make the badges.

West Cork Arts Centre
North Street, Skibbereen,
Co. Cork, Ireland
T: +353 28 22090

The University of the Arts
320 South Broad Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19102
T: +1 215 717 6000


‘I thought I dreamed of you’ continues West Cork Arts Centre’s ongoing programme of solo exhibitions with artists whose work contributes to our understanding of contemporary art practice. We are delighted to show this installation - comprising a mural, video works, a neon work and digital photography, made by Sarah Iremonger over the past 18 months - which explores and questions the nature of reality and how we construct that reality through our interaction with others and the world around us.

This new body of work revisits themes and concerns explored by the artist in previous projects. In Lumpy Art History 2000 / 2001,Sarah experimented with materials, context and titles to interrogate the idea of painting itself and questioned the nature of art through questioning its history.

In Top Half of the Hero and Upside-down Mountains, 2002 / 2003 Sarah moved from making paintings to making murals, video-work, photography and neon works. She also sought to explore our relationship with the world through appropriating different modes of presentation. In the case of The Hunting Box Party 2003 – 2008 she used the mechanism of the political process as a means for exploring ideas of communication, looking at notions of identity, engagement and access.

These themes and approaches find their way through to this installation. Sarah looks again at the nature of reality, at fragmentation and constructivism, at how we strive for a connection with the landscape and at our separation from it.

I would like to thank the artist for her enthusiasm, hard work and commitment to this exhibition and for the opportunity to show this work at West Cork Arts Centre.

Ann Davoren
West Cork Arts Centre

‘I thought I dreamed of you’ an installation of mixed media by Sarah Iremonger

How do we understand our reality? Can we be sure it even exists? Is it just a dream or a thought? ‘I thought I dreamed of you’ explores the idea of fragmented realities presenting a sort of post-modern possibility. 

The title of the exhibition is a give-away ‘I thought I dreamed of you’ explores the idea of ‘I’ as a thought, while ‘dreamed’ questions the nature of reality suggesting it as imagined and constantly in the past. While ‘you’ is experienced in terms of the existential quandary of the ‘other’, questioning how we understand ourselves through others and the world around us.

To add to the complication, you could also say that the words ‘thought’ and ‘dreamed’ position the work in a possible past reality which is also present. This asks the viewer to reconsider their position in relation to a perceived reality, which is constantly under review as a social construct. For example, in the work Vista & Access this social construct takes the form of a sort of oscillation between a desired view of the landscape at Mizen Head and the means by which you have to obtain that view from the centre of bridge suspended in mid air, exposing the desire for an emersion and engagement with our surroundings in this case as a fallacy.

A different form of engagement with landscape is explored in the work Ode to Courbet. Using found video footage, the romantic notion of the desire to be immersed in landscape is turned on its head when faced with the reality of how young people engage with their surroundings using cars in a sport called ‘doughnutting’.

The idea of fragmented realities is explored further in the central work of the installation which consists of 5,000 badges, each of an individual photograph, bagged and labeled, evoking the idea of a personal keepsake but with mass production undertones. The badges have been placed together in a case so that most of the images are not visible and they are inaccessible. The digital photographs are taken from the artist’s own collection, unedited and dating from 2001 onwards. Each photograph represents a captured moment, which has already passed. This ephemeral reality is highlighted by the multitude of photographs and by the use of badges as the frame or support for the photographs, since badges are, by their nature, ephemeral objects. Here, perception of time is sentimental, in the sense that an attempt is being made to capture and hold onto something, as all photographs do, which has already disappeared.

Neon Waterfall is reflective of the sublime in painting, intensifying and elevating the experience of the subject to the point of the extraordinary. This is achieved through the reduction of the waterfall to a single neon strip. This is the third work in neon made by Sarah Iremonger to date and continues her concerns with using contemporary media to examine traditional landscape themes.

Other video works include Habitation a short video piece which further explores the immersion or engagement process which occurs when we are confronted with the desire to co-exist with our surroundings. Here the scene is Ballyannon Wood in Midleton and the video shows the remains of an attempt to create a habitation in the woods.

While the compilation work Rushbrooke Links focuses on the suburbanisation of Ireland, in this housing estate on the edge of Cobh, the trees represent a last stand by nature against an ever-encroaching suburbia. All movement has been edited out of the scenes and some of them have been repeated to exaggerate an atmosphere of strangeness. Inspired by German romantic painting, the video and photograph show that nature has become a landscape in which we both live, and are separate from.     

Sarah Iremonger 2009