Prologue, epilogues i

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

Images from Prologue, a two week residency in collaboration with Flora Wellesley Wesley, curated by PanicLab

Brown paper dance action, salt, water, copper pigment, salt drawing. 

The Monument is a telescope

The Monument is a telescope

The Monument is a telescope

The Monument is a telescope

The Monument is a telescope

The Monument is a telescope

The Monument is a telescope

The Monument is a telescope

The Monument is a telescope

 The Monument is a telescope – It was designed by Robert Hooke who fashioned its height to be the distance from its base to the origin of the great fire of London.

 The Monument is a telescope – Hooke arranged lenses at the base and summit to create a telescope with which to survey the night sky.

 The Monument is a telescope – The Monument is a microscope.

 The Monument is a telescope – Hooke, Surveyor of the City of London after the Great Fire, peered and scryed across scales. He put his microscopic attentiveness to the world that tips beyond sight.

 The Monument is a telescope – 50x

 The Monument is a telescope – He named ‘cells’ so because they appeared to his 17th century mind to be like the small discreet spaces in honey combs.

 The Monument is a telescope – Hooke was an architect, an organiser of space across the visible and invisible, he recorded the microscopic in the Micrographia

 The Monument is a telescope – She says that if you fuck her family she will come and fuck you. She will discipline and punish you in your own back yard.

 The Monument is a telescope – 1,259,712,000 cells in a cubic inch he reckoned.

 The Monument is a telescope – I will break your arm and put it on my mantle piece.

 The Monument is a telescope – Extended ocular sensing.

 The Monument is a telescope – There is an unexploded V2 bomb in Bermondsey.

 The Monument is a telescope – Time reveals glass as liquid, in old cathedrals one sees that the bottom of panes of glass are thicker where the glassy matter has gradually flowed downwards over centuries.

 The Monument is a telescope – Unhinged.

 The Monument is a telescope – Estimates of the viscosity of glass at room temperature run as high as 10 to the power of 20.

The Monument is a telescope – You can convert your smart phone camera into a microscope by positioning a homemade PDMS bubble on it.

 The Monument is a telescope – Lead glass bubbles capture air and create tiny lenses, surface tensions trap spheres in glass.

 The Monument is a telescope – Hooke with an iPhone 6 and a microscope app.

 The Monument is a telescope – Friday 20th March 2015, London, partial solar eclipse between 8.25 am and 10.41 am Greenwich Mean Time.

 The Monument is a telescope – Where raindrops the first lenses?

 The Monument is a telescope – Viscosity is measured in units of poises.

 The Monument is a telescope – ‘Oh, [she] will break her arm.’

 The Monument is a telescope – 50,000,000 poises is the viscosity glass requires to trap bubbles.

 The Monument is a telescope – A Plantagenet funeral processes through empty roads carrying a simple coffin.

 The Monument is a telescope – ‘Mark Antony do you see a whole universe in this one, single drop of water?’

 The Monument is a telescope – ‘I can say that right now. I'll tell you two things: [she] will break her arm, and [she] will not go up in weight.’

 The Monument is a telescope – It would take a plate of glass close to some ten billion years to flow so that the bottom would thicken by 10 angstrom units.

 The Monument is a telescope – ‘I cannot hear what you say for the thunder of what you are.’

 The Monument is a telescope – One angstrom unit is one ten-billionth of a meter.

The Monument is a telescope – ‘I love [her], she's a great person, she has many, many wonderful qualities, but one thing about her is she holds a grudge, and she will break [her] arm.’

 The Monument is a telescope – Please do not move the piano.

Tidemill spiders nest

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

I grew to know the spiders that lived around the door frame of the entrance to our current studio building, watching them in the evenings backlight by the entrance lighting. They left some fat, fuzzy spider nests in the crevices of the door frame, this is one or perhaps two, and a desicated spider body cacooned above it.

spider nest_2269.jpg

Kim Fielding Award

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

The Inaugural Kim Fielding Award nears it's deadline for applications, 23.59 GMT 13th March 2015, in the true spirit of Kim it is open to any artist or artist group anywhere.

Kim Fielding was a glamorous, pervasive, irreverent and profoundly relevant presence during and after my time in Cardiff at UWIC between 1995 and 1998. Whilst I was an art student on the undergraduate course he was completing the masters programme, testing, extending and fondling the limits of the photo visual programme with his practice that straddled performance and photography.

My first time working with him included lavish elements of kimonos, platforms, complete darkness punctured by staccato flash bulbs firing to illuminate micro seconds of whatever the action was, it's faded from my memory now but I do recall the lessons learnt from the wholehearted frisson of chaos and needing to be entirely in the moment.

The entire palaver was orchestrated with Kim's mirthful mischief manifested as an adroit ability to wield marvellous  collisions and collusions of people, time and place in events and occasions, all wrapped by his extensive linguistic extravagances. He was a canny word smith, he could speal a performance concept, photographic back story, an exhibition raison d'être with casual exuberance.

As well as producing prolifically his own photographic work Kim co-created tactileBOSCH, artist led studios and gallery where he organised numerous events and where I had the privilege of presenting my own work.  

For a while I taught at UWIC on Mondays and Tuesdays, commuting from Birmingham and staying the night at Kim's flat in Riverside. Towards the end of my work day one or other of us would text the other about dinner and shopping, I would pick up a few food items and return to Kim's where I would sit at his kitchen table and be cooked for. Cooking would be accompanied by copious chat, discussion and banter. One tender river of conversation was about our mothers and our respective concerns for them as they were both vulnerable with health issues.

Another was education and the frustrations and limits of being somewhat self identified renegade artists, our relationships with art institutions and bigger responsibility to student artist be they ones who had found a reflectively straightforward passage through the modules art degree system or ones who it didn't suit one iota. Kim had an open door policy with all these creatives, there was not one hint of academic gatekeeping nor judgmental deliberating. He simply put them to work, art school drop out? Great, come and help out at tactileBOSCH, he'd feed them (he could cook up a storm) and give whomever tasks, responsibilities and revel in their success.

After eating too much the ritual was  to watch Spooks, then I'd bed down in his home office/archive where I would have the sweetest and cosiest sleeps, surrounded bay stacks of prints, boxes of film, vast gregariousness of his clicking camera.

The next morning I'd get woken up by David Bowie, generally Young Americans blasting from the kitchen and I'd be given a breakfast of eggs with chilli and lots of coffee thick and strong before seting off to teach, Kim biking off to conjure something or other at tactileBOSCH.

Learning of his passing was a shock, via Facebook. Damn it was horrid. I remember seeing something or other that set off the dawning of the realisation then a cold panic inside me in an effort to find out if the worst had happened, and it had.

I continually learn from Kim. I still do. I learn things like how important it is to be open to younger artists, to really see the limits of our institutions and to think about how to step in when they fail, be it the student or the institution. I found him absurdly generous and generative and fabulously stylish.

Others have really being doing the hard work of carrying Kim's legacy forward, they've worked so very tirelessly and have been really diligent and tireless to create a vision that can keep doing Kim's work. They've been so smart and thoughtful in they're ability to imbue this legacy with the humour, verve, open border polity and hilarious lustre that Kim would of approved of. I take my hat off to these terrific people, the guardians of the Kim Fielding Award.

Much more can, should, will and must be said about Kim, some of that has begun and you can read more about him via the links here.

With Kim in 2008 at our friends Amelia and Andy's wedding. Kim was the wedding photographer.



The Intelligence of Flowers

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

We could truly say that ideas come to flowers in the same way they come to us. Flowers grope in the same darkness, encounter the same obstacles and the same ill will, in the same unknown. They know the same laws, same disappointments, same slow and difficult triumphs. It seems they have our patience, our perseverance, our self-love; the same finely tuned and diversified intelligence, almost the same hopes and the same ideals. Like ourselves, they struggle against a vast indifferent force that ends by helping them. The Intelligence of Flowerstranslated by Philip Mosely

Artist and performance maker Francoise Belanger mentioned this book on botany to me in relation to my recent The Romance of Flowers posting, The Intelligence of Flowers (1907) by Maurice Maeterlinck (1962 - 1949).

There are two translations available online, the first by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos here on the endlessly valuable Internet Archive. 

The second by Philip Mosely, there is a review here.

Land Acts

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

Another of the intriguing bound documents I eased out of it's tightly held position on a full wooden shelf was a copy of the 1881 Irish Land Law Act, disarmingly slender for the import of such legislation and peppered with tiny flowers and leaves pressed between it's pages as if the act of land as being set upon an altogether logic with these pressings of delicate, fleeting plant lives. 

A conceit to get 'beyond our human ideas of time' in The Romance of Plants

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

This is one among many of the marvellous natural history books I found myself revisiting in my mothers home in a book lined room known as The Study in the house where I did much of my growing up. I delved into it as Ecoeye was on RTE (Irish telly) exploring the current effects of climate change on Irelands coast and speculating about the escalation of it's impending impact. I was fascinated by the conceit in the first chapter of The Romance of Plant Life (published in 1907) in which the author imagines 'A Tourist From Neptune' who, the author supposes would have quite an alternative experience of chronology to an Earthling and a greater capacity to observer changes we barely sense. This idea of enhanced sensing or awareness of time and durations other than human is intriguing and our means of identifying indexical linkings into alterities of human temporal scales. How might we understand vaster and tinier durations and where might crumples of convergences and divergences provide these reckonings.

The Romance of Plant Life is viewable and downloadable online here and here.

Kerry Trees pt 2

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

Birch, lichen, moss

Kerry Trees pt I

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

Many of the trees I grew up with in north Co. Kerry have fallen victim to storms of recent years, these show new growth and lives developing in their stymied stumps.