Michele Horrigan: Where Does The Law Stand With Leprechauns?
The exhibition’s origins date from 1938, when the artist’s aunts, then young children growing up on the foothills of Knockfierna in Limerick, were mistaken one day for fairy folk. Soon, buses of sightseers arrived in the local town, all on the hunt for supernatural phenomena in ditches, behind trees and up on the slopes of the nearby hill. The story persisted and crowds continued to arrive.
Considering such a subject, typically kitschified beyond any reasonable level of critical cultural commentary in Ireland, Horrigan’s exhibition attempts to reclaim a common ground between our own humanity and that of fairies and leprechauns, suggesting the presence of a hidden, yet mutually dependent relationship, stretching across time, continents, and prevailing attitudes. Working with a diverse group of collaborators, Horrigan’s exhibition is as much an experiment probing unexplained and mysterious thoughts than any definitive viewpoint.
Amongst a series of artworks on the ground floor spaces of The LAB, a narrative video voiced by Manchán Magan finds comparisons with the real-life location of the Twilight movie series in North Eastern United States. Seanie Barron’s wooden sculptures, ceramics by Joanie Carrig, photography by Liz Ryan and a music video realised by Steve Maher all intertwine. Jazz records, b-movie material, and merchandise from Carroll’s tourist shops ethnographically point to the ways in which fairy ethos are seen in wider culture.
Michele Horrigan is an artist and curator based in Brussels. Recent exhibitions of her artworks have occurred at Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen, Flat Time House, London and Lismore Castle Arts. She is curator and founder of Askeaton Contemporary Arts, commissioning, producing and exhibiting contemporary art in the locale of a small town in west Limerick since 2006. She is also co-founder and co-editor of ACA Public, an independent publishing initiative.