Most artists find key inspiration in the past and in the events that formed their experience of the world. For four artists whose works go on display on Friday night, their roots formed the seeds of thought for the pop-up exhibition. Ronan Judge spoke to artists artists Ciara Normoyle, Laura Fleming, Bernadette Ballarin and Anne Stewart about their work.

FOUR artists went back to their roots for the inspiration behind a pop up exhibition of diverse art works that go on display in Ennis on Friday.

‘Rooted’ – a collective collaboration between artists Ciara Normoyle, Laura Fleming, Bernadette Ballarin and Anne Stewart – will go on display in Zest on Culture Night (9pm).

As is evident from the title, the work featured in Rooted reflects the artists’ family histories.

The colours and shapes of Clare also feature heavily in an exhibition that includes, ceramics, painting, photography and graphic design.

Rooted will be opened by Deputy Mayor of Ennis, Cllr Mary Howard at 9pm. The event runs to 10.30pm.

Each of the artists dug deep into their family histories to unearth the inspiration for many of the pieces featured in ‘Rooted.’

“I have been inspired by walking the twelve O Clock Hills on the outskirts of the village where there once was a community that has long disappeared, with only a few ruins remaining, a pier and one shoe belonging to Maryanne McInerney. While walking I become intensely aware of my surroundings,  embarrassing the site, sound, smells and the feeling both physical and psychological which has had a profound influence on my work.  I have also  created sketches, taken photographs and recorded interviews of the people that were brought up on those hills. This also helped me to create pieces that reflect those surroundings through this work.”

“My roots as a maker are textures and lines observed in nature,” explained Ciara Normoyle, “I have spent my life, where ever I’ve lived, traveling to the west of County Clare to visit friends and family. I have been spoiled by stunning views gifted in the landscape and sea-scape as well as the organic features embedded in County Clare. These visual memories accumulated over the years have always featured in the beginning stages of my process of design. My family’s roots are mirrored in the roots of my making. My pieces are one off, unique and individual,” she said.

For Bernadette Ballarin, immigration and it’s connection to her family’s story provided the creative spark.

Bernadette said; “When my mother immigrated from Kilkishen, County Clare to America in 1951, she left in the hope of a creating a new beginning, one filled with dreams, adventure, optimism, aspirations and self worth. Her progression as a strong minded, independent woman has greatly influenced me throughout my life and my artistic endeavours projects her journey.”

She continued; “My photographic work to date is the transgression from one life to another, transporting one by any means or mode to a new destination. Creating our own destinies by travel but at some stage while embarrassing that new life, we escape from the Urban rawness of our being and seek something more important, the safety blanket of what we left behind in the first place. The whole comparison to modern day change and influences is represented in my work for this exhibition.”

Sketches, audio recordings and photographs form the core elements of Anne Stewart’s contribution to ‘Rooted’. “My first roots were in county Antrim, but during the troubles my parents decided to move to County Clare and have since put down new roots in Kilkishen,” she explained,

“I have been inspired by walking the twelve O Clock Hills on the outskirts of the village where there once was a community that has long disappeared, with only a few ruins remaining, a pier and one shoe belonging to Maryanne McInerney. While walking I become intensely aware of my surroundings,  embarrassing the site, sound, smells and the feeling both physical and psychological which has had a profound influence on my work.  I have also  created sketches, taken photographs and recorded interviews of the people that were brought up on those hills. This also helped me to create pieces that reflect those surroundings through this work.”

Taking her cue from visionary film directors such as David Lynch and Werner Herzog, Laura Fleming explores the atmosphere created by the colours of rural Ireland.

She explained; “My roots are rural Ireland. I appreciate the beauty of forgotten spaces. I enjoy the stillness and the unique harrowing atmosphere that these places can possess. I am captivated by the natural textures provided by the elements. I am also interested in the social change of rural ireland and its status in society today. I draw inspiration from books and films. I am heavily influenced by Italian neo-realism , the great George Orwell , I admire the oddness of David Lynch’s metaphorical scenes, Werner Herzog and his inspirational lessons of darkness. I admire their approach and how they invoke the fear of the unknown.”

Rooted a pop up art exhibition takes place at Zest on Culture Night, (9pm)

 

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