A MOMENT TWICE LIVED
Crawford Art Gallery
March 5th - May 7th 2016
Crawford Art Gallery is delighted to present Martin Healy: A moment twice lived, an exhibition of new and recent work by the Dublin-based artist.
Martin Healy’s film and photographic installations have explored ideological motifs from early 20th century literature endeavouring to mine the synthesis of fact, fiction and manifest mythology embedded in systems of belief. The work featured in A moment twice lived extrapolates concerns about earth and the cosmos, dreams and reality, and investigates states of temporal being, both physical and psychological. Frequently examining the relationship between scientific truth and aesthetic form, the works emphasise fleeting or ethereal moments when these two ideologies coalesce.
The exhibition, displayed over two floors, includes a number of new photographic and sculptural works and a key new single screen installation entitled, A moment twice lived (2016). The film’s circuitous narrative makes reference to JW Dunne’s writing, in particular the book An Experiment with Time (1927), by way of a curiously overlooked painting in the Crawford Gallery’s collection by Nathanial Grogan – a small, late eighteenth century genre-painting which only recently has been re-attributed to the artist . During the course of the film, a narrator periodically refers to dreams and experiences of temporal dislocation, questioning our perception of the passage of time and its relationship to our understanding of the world. The narrator’s text is based on Dunne’s writings as well as notes from the J.B. Priestley Archive at the University of Bradford.
Healy has also adeptly created a number of sculptural installations which explore variant possibilities of concepts of time. These reflections on time and its many facets are explored in The long afternoon of eternity (2016) – which appears at first to be a standard garden bench - the ends of which are in fact made from a fusion of cast iron and an iron meteorite. The artist has physically merged a humble cast iron bench with an artifact from the farthest stretches of the universe; creating a place for contemplation and suggesting the potential for traversing the many dimensions of time.
As a counterpoint, the mesmeric film Harvest (2015) follows a character as he attentively records the sound of plants as they are watered over the course of a morning. Blurring the lines between documentary and fiction, the work is characterised by the use of a real protagonist in a real environment who fastidiously attends to the plants in silence, cultivating a sense of unease through the ambiguity of his actions. The sound recorded from the surface of the plants is progressively integrated into the soundtrack of the piece and becomes the dominant element in the final section, effectively allowing the viewer to listen to the sounds of the environment as the plants 'experience' the sensation of the water.
In these works, Martin Healy adroitly creates a reflective space for the consideration of the histories and destinies of our local and cosmic environments ruminating on our relationship to the rhythms of the natural world and the phenomena that affect our existence.
Dr Francis Halsall (Course Director MA Art in the Contemporary World) and Matt Packer (Director, CCAD, Derry/Londonderry) will participate in a public conversation with the artist at 5:30 pm, Thursday 31 March in the Crawford Art Gallery.
A publication to accompany the exhibition A moment twice lived featuring new texts by Francis Halsall and Matt Packer published by Crawford Art Gallery, Cork (ISBN.978-1-874756-25-5).