Willie Doherty, Loose Ends
Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny
10 July – 24 September 2016
July 10th to September 24 th 2016 as part of the Earagail Arts Festival. Then touring to Kerlin Gallery Dublin and Matt’s Gallery London.
“I use the camera to examine the material evidence of how locations in Moore Street and Gola look today, 100 years after the events.” – Willie Doherty
Loose Ends is a new commission by Willie Doherty exploring how people, events and places associated with the 1916 Easter Rising are remembered and imagined today.
The Easter Rising and the subsequent partition of Ireland have had an obvious influence on Willie Doherty’s life and work.
The political charged terrain of Derry City is a central and recurring theme of his work, as is the landscape of neighboring County Donegal. The work builds on Doherty’s interest in the relationship between landscape and memory. The project explores if a residual response to these events continues to be played out and how the voices and actions of one generation resonate in the unconscious of another.
The project has been commissioned by Donegal County Council, and explores the legacy of the Rising from local and national perspectives. Doherty has produced a new two screen video installation and eight related photographic works presented as four diptychs for this exhibition. The use of a slow and extended zoom brings the viewer closer to the surface of existing architectural structures and the surrounding urban and rural contexts while a voiceover (voiced by renowned Irish actor and Donegal native Sean McGinley) explores the fraught relationship between fiction and reality.
Doherty worked in locations in Donegal and Dublin with connections to the Easter Rising.
Two fishermen from Gola Island, County Donegal, Charles Duggan and Patrick McGinley were crew members of the yacht Asgard, which on the 26 th of July 1914 docked at Howth, County Dublin and offloaded a consignment of guns and ammunition that would subsequently be used in the Rising in 1916.
The final days and hours of the Rising unfolded in and around the Moore Street area of Dublin. Escaping from the GPO, after it caught fire following a bombardment by British artillery, volunteers made their way to Moore Street and tunneled through the terrace. After realising they could not escape without causing further civilian deaths, Pádraig Pearse issued the order to surrender from their final headquarters at 16 Moore Street.
The Derry/Donegal artist, one of the most influential Irish artists of his generation, has had a significant international reputation for over 30 years. He has exhibited in many of the world’s biggest art museums, has been twice nominated for the Turner Prize, and has represented Ireland in major international biennales including Documenta, Manifesta, and Venice.
ART: 2016 Open Call Project
Loose Ends is commissioned by Donegal County Council / Regional Cultural Centre in partnership with Nerve Centre, Earagail Arts Festival, Kerlin Gallery and Matt’s Gallery.
It is one of nine Arts Council ART:2016 Open Call Commissions as part of their Ireland 2016 centenary programme. By supporting Loose Ends, The Arts Council is placing artists and the arts at the centre of how it responds to the Centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.
Shaun Hannigan | RCC Letterkenny | firstname.lastname@example.org | 0749129186