The Drawing Project presents Siobhan McDonald; Rhythm
18th – 24th January 2012 The Drawing Project, Dun Laoghaire
Siobhán McDonald’s practice draws on making visible the invisible, by creating a tangible response to forces that are not immediately apparent. An interest in seismology strongly informs this new work, allowing her to map imperceptible movements of the Earth, subtly manifesting links to both physical locations and to particular moments in time. McDonald also looks to Iceland and it’s state of flux and change, as it is constantly erasing and recreating its own history. She negotiates opening a space to take us beyond our immediate surroundings, and to consider the larger context in which the Earth exists. Nietzsche stated “out of chaos comes order”, which is an interesting corollary to the Icelandic situation. Rhythm, is a 10 metre drawing of an embossed glacial imprint on Japanese paper, from Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland. In this piece for the Drawing Project, McDonald recovers an ancient smoking method used by the Jesuits in Ireland to prepare paper for recording earth signals.
McDonald researched material from the School of Cosmic Physics dating back to the 1900’s. In particular, seismographs and numerous log books with precise data relating to shifts in the Earth. All activity was monitored on two axes; North – South and East – West. By measuring the recorded vibrations, and comparing the data on a world map, it was possible to locate the tremor and the approximate time of activity. The constellation of apertures and folds punctuating the dark material in Rhythm are not arbitrary iterations, but are in fact selected from data contained in the log books. McDonald will complete a residency in Göttingen, Germany in 2012, where the traditional process of creating smoked paper will be passed on to her, allowing her to maintain a virtually extinct practice in a contemporary artistic context. McDonald asserts a clarity in her practice that illustrates both analytical and aesthetic responses, provoked by the mercurial natural forces majeure.
Siobhan McDonald has exhibited both nationally and internationally, showing work at The Lab, thisisnotashop, The Joinery, The Royal Hibernian Academy, The Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Cross Gallery, Dublin, Catherine Hammond Gallery, Cork, Clodagh Gallery, New York and The SIM Gallery, Iceland. She has received awards from Culture Ireland and the Arts Council. Her work is in the private collections of Allied Irish Banks, Office of Public Works, Bank of Ireland, University College Dublin and The Ulster Museum. Upcoming solo shows include the Galway Arts Centre and The Dock in 2012.
Seismology developed as a study of the nature of earthquakes but also, as a method to investigate the structure of the interior of the Earth, through the analysis of seismic waves. Since the middle of the 19th century, as many as forty geophysical observatories were created by Jesuits around the world. The Jesuits constructed a seismometer used to detect tremors and earthquakes from across the world, located on site at Rathfarnham Castle.
Text by Rowan Sexton, January 2012. Image: Seismogram, 1929, Jesuits. Image courtesy of the School of Cosmic Physics, Dublin. The Drawing Project 2012
10 metre drawing of an embossed glacial imprint on Japanese paper, from Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland.
Japanese paper, smoke and resin.
The drawing Project, January 2012
The Drawing Project 2012
Master Class at the Drawing Project
Siobhan McDonald. January 2012 Master Class at The Drawing Project 2012
Interior of Dakota DC3 airplane on the site of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano
Installation: Light, sound and paper. August 2011 The Drawing Project 2012