A moment before lockdown
Backwater Artists Network Exhibition 2020
Anna Barden, Cara Brophy, Andrew Carroll, Gillian Cussen, Ita Freeney, Oonagh Hurley, Éadaoin Glynn, Stephen Hobbs, Susanne Leutenegger, Rose McGowan, Constance McKenna, Paul McKenna, Natasha Pike, Eamonn B. Shanahan, Fran Woolf • Curated by Brian Mac Domhnaill, Backwater Artists Group
‘A moment before lockdown’ is the inaugural exhibition of the Backwater Artists Network. The exhibition was installed and documented on 22 October, 2020 in the hours preceding the second national lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic The exhibition is now available to view online here.
The exhibition features artworks by Anna Barden, Cara Brophy, Andrew Carroll, Gillian Cussen, Ita Freeney, Oonagh Hurley, Éadaoin Glynn, Stephen Hobbs, Susanne Leutenegger, Rose McGowan, Constance McKenna, Paul McKenna, Natasha Pike, Eamonn B. Shanahan and Fran Woolf. Curated by Brian Mac Domhnaill, Backwater Artists Group.
Images and details of each artwork and the artists are being presented on Backwater’s website and social media channels during the course of the exhibition (30 October – 27 November). Installation views of the exhibition in the form of video and photographic documentation are also being shared.
The Backwater Artists Network (BAN) is an initiative by Backwater Artists Group that offers a shared city centre focal point and opportunities to connect for professional artists working in isolation from studios in their own homes or in single privately rented studios. Launched in 2019 the network currently has a membership of 20 artists. Artworks by fifteen of the network’s members are featured in the online exhibition.
The COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed many programmed network events and gatherings. However fortnightly Zoom meetings facilitated by Backwater are on-going with one network member giving an artist talk to the group on each occasion. The meetings are providing much needed connectivity for our members in the absence of planned on-site events.
“When setting up the Backwater Artists Network we were aware of the challenges associated with meeting the needs of what would potentially be a diverse range of artists. Outside of the scenario of shared studio facilities, which can organically foster interaction across disciplines and practices, artists can find their own tribe through commonalties of interests, aesthetic and approach in addition to various mechanisms of curation, group membership, affiliation and representation. In doing so they may find they are preaching to the converted when sharing their work with an already appreciative audience of peers, professionals and the gallery-going public. The same systems can also help artists to identify their competition! By staying safely within the influence and feedback of one’s own peer group an artist can miss out on the challenge of presenting their work to new and more diverse groupings of people. What is proving most remarkable about the network is the unusually neutral, non-hierarchical and relaxed conversational space it creates. Although there are related circumstances that draw the artists together these circumstances do not relate to the aforementioned tribal affiliations or lack thereof. This makes for broad and unexpected feedback and discussion within the group. The exhibition ‘A moment before lockdown’ has provided an opportunity to look at relationships and contrasts in the artwork of our first cohort of members. The resulting display physically reflects some of the connections being made between people and art practices. By all accounts the network has been a universally positive experience for all involved. We look forward to welcoming new artists to the network and pursuing our shared goals for the initiative.”
– Brian Mac Domhnaill, administrator of the Backwater Artists Network and curator of ‘A moment before lockdown’.
Wandesford Quay, Cork
During exhibitions: Tuesday to Friday 10am – 1pm, 2pm – 5pm