Made up of 160 parts arranged organically, the configuration depending on the location. This installation brings the elements of contemporary engineering together with prehistory in the use of carbon and charred bone. Crystalline', is a series of artworks relating to the dying glaciers. The artwork is created to mark the launch of the Solar Orbiter by ESA into Space in 2020
Highlanes Gallery, Installation shot, November 2018
Crystalline (2017), composed of foam substrates coated with a pigment that contains carbon and charred bone. Inspired by the materials used by cave painters, “SolarWhite” will bond with the titanium heat shield of ESA’s Solar Orbiter, to be launched into space into 2018. In Crystalline, the cracks of the white tiles reference the melting glaciers of the Anthropocene.
‘The idea of ritual plays a major part in her process. This new body of work includes film footage of ritual fires, performative pieces and temporary land art McDonald has made on and around the area of the Black Pig’s Dyke. The show will include new paintings, on 24-carat gold plated copper plates, which she also sometimes burns, using a blow torch. They look abstract, distressed, a word she uses when talking about other images she has made. It’s a word that speaks to the fragility and the anxiety inherent in the work. Despite it all, she is optimistic. Her art is not deeply negative, although it is urgent, pensive, and full of thought-provoking beauty.’ 2019 RTE, ‘Artist: Siobhán McDonald on geology, time and the Anthropocene’ by Cristín Leach
2019 Irish Times, The five best art exhibitions to visit this week, Feb 9th. by Aidan Dunne
Volcano, Mount Etna, Sicily
Expedition to Mount Etna, June 2018
Shot by Siobhan McDonald on Mount Etna, 2018
‘On the expedition to Mount Etna, her intention was again to examine natural processes and forces, as well as the minutiae of the rocks and the history of exploration in the territory. She notes, “For this trip, I was primarily looking at the consequences of our treatment of nature and exploring the notion of breath.’
“Aware of the sensitivity of Mount Etna as a site, McDonald considered the terrain as a barometer for our own vulnerability, and a reminder of how indelibly we are conjoined with nature and its workings. As such, she focused on such details as “the inexorable growth of the tiny plant roots found growing on the walls of the caves” and how this slow, subtle growth runs concurrent with “the headlong pace of human time”.
2019 Irish Times, ‘Ash to art: Can Mount Etna’s eruptions tackle carbon emissions?’ by Sue Rainsford
Smoked paper with inscribed earth signals. Siobhan McDonald
I have chosen to site this project on Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe, as a microcosm to represent the larger global system at a time when we enter this phase of human induced climate change. Since 2010, I have visited this highly eruptive part of Iceland many times to film the tension and perceived underground silence before an explosion to suggest the imminent collapse of a system.
Lungs, inhale + exhale: The trees are murmuring to one another. Oregon Maple trees, Trinity College Dublin Image: Siobhan McDonald 2018
“Future Breath is a multi-part slide installation that weaves together narratives of studies in human breath, medicine and plant remedies from Trinity’s archives, and the idea of coexistence in a world moved by invisible networks. The installation also comprises a series of paintings that seeks to capture the innate environment-sensing capacity of plants. The paintings represent an alternative archive of new knowledge made by the toxic pollutants that permeate our city.”
2019 Sunday Business Post, https://www.businesspost.ie/magazine/breathe-the-pressure-432158 by Cathy Dillon
Ephemeral event in a place that was completely unpredictable. Wire and rocks Iceland, 2013. Our mission was to place an array of seismometers along the flanks of Grimsvotn, an active volcano that sits at the edge of the glacier, and record the tremors deep below the glacial ice. The idea is that by listening closely to the “heartbeat” of Grimsvotn, I might understand the inner workings of the volcano. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/volcanic-art-iceland-is-like-a-blank-canvas-1.1508369