The Museum of Mythological Waterbeasts
April - October 2018 Ormston House, Limerick
Curated by Mary Conlon & Niamh Brown
This exhibition dealt specifically with the River Shannon and its effects on the people of Limerick. Many local people ascribe stories and folk histories to different parts and characteristics of the river and I sought to re-present some of these in the gallery. Two artworks were built in separate corners of the gallery, one (Depth, 2018) consisted of a set of steps leading to the seemingly flooded basement. Comprising of 1200 litres of water straight from the Shannon that had been ‘misplaced’ algae and all into the sculptural cast built for it. The depths of the water and the gloom brought an air of mystery and dealt a blow to the seeming unshakable structural foundations of the gallery space, suggesting the building could be floating. The other side of the room held a scaffolding (Height, 2018) made from galvanised steel and plywood. This scaffolding was deliberately placed in a corner of the gallery where past architectural changes and interventions are visible in the misshapen and idiosyncratic contours and shapes emerging from the wall. Four platforms lead the viewer up to a completely new vantage point rarely seen by the public. From here it is possible to see the ‘flora’ of the building as the scaffold allows you contact to the acanthus leaves decorating the capital of the columns. While there might be no visual link between the old building’s columns and the slender steel scaffold, there is a strong sense of the make-shift scaffold coming into contact with the permanent structure of the building and a chance for viewers to see the decorated capitals that celebrate the structural load bearing capacity of the columns.