Art and the Anthropocene: Being in and Apart from Nature

Friday 3 March – Saturday 6 May 2023
Art and the Anthropocene: Being in and Apart from Nature | Friday 3 March – Saturday 6 May 2023 | Garter Lane Arts Centre | Image: on a metal or maybe twig frame sticking out from the wall, we see what looks like a hillside made of discoloured cloth or paper; bare black tree trunks are mostly clustered towards the top of the hill; there is a square metal frame behind the hill

An exhibition of sculptures by Aileen MacKeogh (1952 – 2005)

Aileen MacKeogh (1952 – 2005) was one of a new generation of women artists who challenged traditional issues and methods in the visual arts. Aileen explored the ways we see, relate and respond to nature, to trees, woods and the landscape. We move between reverence and exploitation. From caring about nature, to seeing it as a means to an end.

These works date from the early 1980s. She grew up in the south side of Dublin beside an overgrown wood. It was a place of awe, mystery and enchantment. She wanted to capture its beauty and challenge us to look at our relationship with nature. In the beginning she worked with bronze. But she soon realised that it was a very restricting. She wanted to move away from permanence to pieces that were made from natural materials, wood, sticks and paper, that were fragile and would over time wilt and decay.

It her landscape pieces, she wanted to move away from a romantic perspective that glorified the spectacular. She wanted to show the relationship between humans and the environment. How they have recreated the terrain of mountains and valleys into fields and left an indelible imprint. Humans have put nature into frameworks which suits their needs and interests.

Aileen studied at the National College of Art. She then went to Southern Illinois University to do a Masters in Fine Art, specialising in bronze. She became a lecturer in NCAD and then Director of Arthouse in Temple Bar. She went on to become Head of School of Art, Design & Media in the IADT in DunLaoghaire.

This exhibition is part of a project that has involved the digtalisation and cataloguing of Aileen’s work and the creation of a website. Visit

Special Thanks to The Arts Council Collection, IMMA Collection, Clare Scott & Sandra Kelly.

Friday 3 March – Saturday 6 May 2023
Garter Lane Arts Centre
O'Connell Street
Telephone: +353 51 855038
Opening hours / start times:
Tuesday 11:00 - 17:30
Wednesday 11:00 - 17:30
Thursday 11:00 - 17:30
Friday 11:00 - 17:30
Saturday 11:00 - 17:30
Admission / price: Free

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