Earth Made Artwork Feature #1

Artist Blog Celtic heritage Exhibition Ireland

For the first Earth Made exhibition artwork feature, we will be taking a look at Quernstone and Earth & Stone, which are hung together in the Gallery and share commonalities in exploring and understanding the ancient landscape.

Quernstone by Patricia Millar was inspired by the stories of archaic finds in the bog and also by the poems of Seamus Heaney referencing the Céide fields in County Mayo. Quern stones from the Bronze Age often turn up when peat cutting, a recognisable artifact of ancient domestic life. But it can also be an enigmatic object, “the cyclops’ eye” watching ancient us in the landscape. As we grapple with climate change and rewet our bogs as carbon sinks, this object bears witness to our present-day efforts. The ceramic wall panel is made from local clays mixed with bog rushes, flax seeds (Mallon Farm) and ice age gravels and willow ash glaze from Strangford Lough. It is a slice through a bogland timeline of events, from first farmers to present day conservationists.

Earth and Stone by Ruth Osborne is a linen panel dyed with windfallen bark from Oak trees, coupled with oak ink mixed with iron water and Ballintoy Ochre, which was ground to make an ink-like paint. It represents a union of both Patricia's and Ruth's materials to pay tribute to the stories of ancient life and lore embedded in the landscape; ochre an ancient pigment while Oak has a long history for ink, tanning and held a revered position in the lore of the woodland. The piece represents stitched roots (legacy) surviving below a layer of oak and iron wash. Above is growth (learning) of softer grasses that are found on both Strangford Lough's shores and the shorelines of Northern Ireland's North Coast, tying together the makers' two locations.

Supported by @artscouncilni

Earth Made, Oriel Gallery at Antrim Castle Gardens, continues until 28th April 2024

Older Post Newer Post