Sep 7, 2010

// Am I Heading Into Eternity? //

As part of this years Culture Night I was invited to participate in the show Art In Context hosted by Signal Arts Centre, Bray Co. Wicklow. Each Culture Night sees the number of galleries and organized off-site events grow in number and this year is no exception. This is the first year that Culture Night is being fully embraced by Bray Town and a great number of art related events have been scheduled throughout the day. It also happens to coincide with Signal Arts Centre's 20th Anniversary and so they are especially involved in a number of events and activities, including the show Art In Context, curated by Noel Cleary. 19 emerging artists were invited to create one-off works in response to the physical, social and historical context of Bray, with each artist creating a site specific work in various locations around Bray Town.

Whenever I think of Bray I remember fondly the family day-trips I would take as a child, riding on the bumper cars, playing the arcades and relaxing on the beach. Bray Town has relied heavily on itself as a 'postcard' town throughout the years and still does. But in these uncertain times it struggles just like anywhere. As you walk along the main street many of the shopfronts lie vacant. An all too familiar site echoed around the country.

For the purpose of the Art In Context exhibition I have chosen to make a series of postcard stands made from wood and thus becoming sculptures in themselves. They will be placed in three different locations around Bray Town : The Mermaid Arts Centre, TownHall Bookshop and Coffee & Treats Cafe. Being as Bray has a long history as a 'postcard' Town, I wanted to play around with the idea of the postcard, which is usually a bright, colourful, idealized image of somewhere to send to family and friends. In doing so I chose a piece of text from James Joyce's Ulysses, one of Bray's famous inhabitants, all be it for a short spell. In Episode 3/ Proteus, Stephen Dedalus wanders blindly across Sandymount shore and asks himself 'Am I heading into eternity on Sandymount shore?' The ominous sensation of wandering blindly through the dark, unsure of ones surroundings and the approaching tide, echoes the country's current feelings of the unknown in the aftermath of the economy's collapse. The postcards are random images of historical figures, celebrities, pop-culture, train-wrecks, biblical figures, criminals, soldiers, riots, etc.. and are all sourced from google images after the the piece of text 'Am I Heading Into Eternity?' was entered into the search engine. In doing so helping to create a narrative out of the random juxtaposition of images.

Am I Heading Into Eternity? Edition of 100 postcards sourced from google images, 2010

Locations where the postcard stands could be found:

- Mermaid Arts Centre, Main St, Bray, Co. Wicklow.

- TownHall Bookshop, 23 Florence Road, Bray, Co. Wicklow

- Coffee & Treats Cafe, Goldsmith Terrace, Bray, Co. Wicklow

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