Dorothy Hunter, Marie Farrington, Amy Stephens: Strata

Saturday 20 July – Saturday 21 September 2024
Dorothy Hunter, cast, forecast (2023). Digitised film negative, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist. | Dorothy Hunter, Marie Farrington, Amy Stephens: Strata | Saturday 20 July – Saturday 21 September 2024 | CCA | Image: Dorothy Hunter, cast, forecast (2023). Digitised film negative, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist. | in the foreground we see ferns and other fairly lush vegetation, though there are very dark shadows taking up most of the image, as though there were some sort of cross-sectioning of the ground in which the plants are growing; farther away, we can see branches of trees in sunlight; they have little foliage, suggesting winter / early spring

Strata is a new exhibition at CCA Derry~Londonderry by artists Marie Farrington, Dorothy Hunter and Amy Stephens. The artworks in the show explore layers of interconnected themes and lines of enquiry exploring geology, extraction, value and thresholds. The three artists use a range of media including photography, sculpture, film and new site-specific installations and interventions.

Dorothy Hunter’s work concerns the use of time as a political tool and has a long-term interest in chronopolitics (time and its reading as a political force). She is interested in how we relate to land and geology, with recent work exploring mapped and unseen space in Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark, the world’s first transnational geopark that has an extensive subterranean cave network. The new body of work developed for Strata includes friezes inspired by the plaster rococo adornment of palladian stately homes, two architectural principles that married in Ireland in ordered, symmetrical re-presentations of natural splendour on interior walls. Using the architectural overhangs of CCA’s Gallery 2 as a stand-in for both the grand house and the caverns of the geopark, drawing from the plaster decoration of Florence Court (home to the 3rd Earl of Enniskillen who invited this land’s first documented exploration), Dorothy is referencing inherited dominion and representation of land, and its murky anarchy in underground space.

Amy Stephens’ works are underpinned by geology and travel. She uses photography, collage and everyday materials such as tape to generate new perspectives about time and our appreciation of the landscape. She elevates artefacts through their manipulation, juxtaposing materials and textures. For Amy, she writes, “Rocks and minerals have their own story, but the abundance of any object can be a source of invisibility.”[1] Amy’s work features pristine, often polished stones on pedestals or photographed and presented in constructed frames, urging reflection upon the nature of extraction, time and human creation.

Marie Farrington’s practice reflects on the act of making through geological and archaeological lenses. Using casting, carving, and other sculptural processes, she engages with memory through situated encounters with landscape and architecture. Her work makes formal reference to field sampling, built heritage and histories of display. For Strata, Marie has made a series of interactive carved soapstone forms, which she invites the audience to lift and rearrange. They are accompanied in gallery 3 by new works in anthracite clay. Other new works in cold-bent steel, and slumped and cast glass are concentrated around the thresholds of the exhibition spaces.

Thresholds play an important role in the exhibition. The doors to the exhibition feature a vinyl installation by Marie Farrington based on soapstone thin sections, using the light from outside as a natural light box for the viewer when within the space. Dorothy Hunter’s work, cast, forecast (2023) depicts the ‘greenest green’ plantlife takes as a result of the light deprivation over time spent within the cave network. Both Amy Stephens and Marie Farrington are creating responses to the space using lines, threading throughout the gallery spaces at their points of entry and exit. Amy’s fluorescent tape lines create striking interventions in the space, contrasting Marie’s linear steel forms which act as gentle frames for architectural relationships.

[1] ‘Five Minutes With… Amy Stephens, artist and sculptor’, Cultural Comms, 13 October 2023.

Marie Farrington is an Irish visual artist. She has exhibited widely including in The Unseen Eyebeam Crossed, puntWG Amsterdam (solo, 2024); Glossaries for Forwardness, Museum Building, Trinity College Dublin (solo, 2023); Swim in the landscape, walk on the sea, Skerries Art Trail, Dublin (permanent commission, 2023), Hammerheads, Solstice Arts Centre (2023); FAULTS + FOLDS, Oonagh Young Gallery (2022); The Wave, Collecteurs (2022) and A Vague Anxiety, Irish Museum of Modern Art (2019). Forthcoming solo exhibitions include Kunstverein Aughrim; The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon; and Commonage Projects, London. Marie is a Project Studio awardee at Temple Bar Gallery+Studios, Dublin (2024-25) and a 2023-25 CCA Research Associate. Her work is held in the collections of the Arts Council of Ireland, the OPW Irish State Art Collection, and Trinity Centre for the Environment.

Dorothy Hunter was born in Magherafelt and lives and works in Belfast, Bangor and is a studio holder at Flax studios. She graduated from the Dutch Art Institute’s MA Art Praxis programme in 2020 and holds and MA from the Art in the Contemporary World course at NCAD, Dublin (2018). Dorothy was a participant in the PS2 Freelands Artist Programme (2022–23) and is a co-editor of Critical Bastards, an interdisciplinary Irish art publication.

Amy Stephens is an artist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Sculptors based in London. She has worked internationally including solo exhibitions Nature knows only colours, Art Seen Maria Stathi, Nicosia (2021), Land | Ireland [Portland], Upfor Gallery, Portland (2018) and 35/50 and group exhibitions including Frieze Sculpture 2023, Regent’s Park, London (2023) and If Not Now, When? Generations of Women in Sculpture in Britain, 1960–2022, Saatchi Gallery, London; The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield (2023). She graduated with MA Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London (2008) and awards include Henry Moore Foundation Research and Travel Grant (2022), UV estudios Artists’ Residency, Buenos Aires (2016) and the Villa Lena Artists’ Residency, Palaia (2015).

Image: Dorothy Hunter, cast, forecast (2023). Digitised film negative, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist.
Saturday 20 July – Saturday 21 September 2024
5-7 Artillery Street
Telephone: +44 28 7137 3538
Opening hours / start times:
During exhibitions the gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, 12–6pm.
Admission / price: Free

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