Curated by Shannon Carroll
We find ourselves today at a crucial moment in time, in which the impact of human activity on the natural world can no longer be ignored.
It is of paramount importance for moving forward and building new worlds, to acknowledge responsibility and change our perspectives; but can we imagine new and alternative ways of existing in harmony with those around us?
The LAB Gallery is pleased to present its latest exhibition, Molecular Revolutions, curated by the ARC LAB Curatorial Scholar Shannon Carroll.
Molecular Revolutions is a multi-disciplinary group show presenting work by Bassam Al-Sabah, Mark Clare, Clodagh Emoe, Jennifer Mehigan, Erin Redmond, Rosie O’Reilly and Trevor Woods.
Inspired by the French Philosopher and life-long eco-activist Felix Guattari, and his concept of molecular revolutions, this exhibition aims to draw attention to our relationship with the natural world, one that has for so long been marked by disproportion. It explores how we got to this point and invites us to think about what happens next.
Felix Guattari (1930-1992) saw an answer to the environmental crisis in ‘molecular revolutions’. He believed in the power of small acts of change that have the potential to bring about transformation and provide a counter argument to capitalist culture, which he saw as the root of this crisis. He proposed reexamining everyday life and finding solutions through small acts of revolution. As opposed to the ‘molar revolution’ of a larger political overthrow, molecular revolution can be achieved through art practices, community collaboration and engagement with local issues.
The artists presented in this exhibition are playfully exploring our relationship with the natural world. Their work questions and challenges current structures in society, they softly subvert the status quo and make us stop and think about our place in the world. They highlight themes of responsibility and acknowledge loss and waste, and at the same time focus on shifting perspectives, working to uncover the deeper layers of our relationship to the more-than-human world, paving the way for alternative futures.
These are molecular revolutions.
Shannon Carroll is an emerging curator whose area of research focuses on ecological art practice and artists who prioritise working with reusable and sustainable materials. She was recipient of the 2021 ARC LAB Curatorial Scholarship, working at The LAB Gallery alongside curator Sheena Barrett for 18 months, to develop her research, culminating in the exhibition Molecular Revolutions. Her work aims to explore our connection to our relationship to the natural world, with reading, writing and conversation as key elements informing her practice. The outcomes of her research are project dependent, including curating exhibitions, commissioning artworks, organizing events, lecturing, conducting artist interviews, writing and publishing.
She is the 2023 recipient of the Emerging Curator Development Programme with Kilkenny Arts Office and recently graduated with a distinction from IADT’s MA in Art & Research Collaboration. Recent projects and exhibitions include A Perambulation and Climate Cafe at The LAB Gallery and Tréimhse as part of Earth Rising at IMMA. Shannon also holds an MA from UCD in Art History, Collections & Curation and a BA from Trinity College Dublin in History of Art and Architecture and Philosophy.
Bassam Al-Sabah works across digital animation, painting, sculpture, and textiles creating visions of resistance, transformation and queer possibility. Recent solo exhibitions include; ITS DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE! TAKE THIS, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, I AM ERROR, Gasworks, London (2021), and De La Warr Pavilion, Sussex (2022); Dissolving Beyond the Worm Moon, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan (2019); and Illusions of Love Dyed by Sunset, The LAB, Dublin (2018). Recent group exhibitions include Queer Embodiment and Social Fabric at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2021-2022), The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon (2021) and Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast (2020). Recent screenings include the Barbican, London (2022), Transmediale, Berlin (2021), EX-IS, South Korea (2021) and Jeu de Paume, Paris (2021). He is currently a studio member at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios. Al-Sabah lives and works in Belfast and Dublin.
Mark Clare has had several solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally including most recently, The Politics of Small Things – Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Leitrim, Ireland, The Little Things Matter – Pro Arts, Oakland, California, USA 2019, If Not You – Sirius Arts Centre, Cork 2017, Que sais-je? – Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris 2015, I Believe In You – The Model, Sligo, 2015 and the Craword Art Gallery, Cork 2014. Selected Group Shows have included Earth Rising – Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin 2022, eidolons – West Cork Arts Centre, Cork, Ireland, IMMA OUTDOORS, – Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin 2021, Bank,Blank – Alte Sparkasse, Berlin 2018, I Slept Like A Stone – The LAB, Dublin 2018, The Kaunas Biennial The National Museum of M. K. C, Kaunas, Lithuania 2017, August Destiny – The Pearse Museum, Dublin 2017 & St Carthage Hall Lismore Castle,Waterford, 2016, What If We Got it Wrong? – Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, 2016, Seachange – Tulca Festival, Galway 2015, Phoenix Rising – The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin 2014, Into the Light – A new work commissioned by the Arts Council to celebrate 60 years of the Arts Council Collection. In 2008 he was awarded an Open Award EV+A 2008 by the International Critic and Curator Hou Hanru and has regularly been awarded funding by The Arts Council of Ireland since 2004.
Clodagh Emoe initiates collaborative projects and creates works that explore how meaning is formed through our connection with each other and the natural world. She has imitated and devised collaborative projects with practitioners, researchers and community groups. Her projects have been supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Culture Ireland, European Cultural Union, South Dublin County Council, Dublin City Council, PRTLI (IR) and ARHB, (UK) and her work commissioned both nationally and internationally; Serpentine Gallery, London, Taipei Biennial, Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Nýló, Reykjavik, documenta XIII, Kaisel, Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, Project Arts Centre, IMMA, Dublin, Visual, Centre for Contemporary Art, The Model, Sligo, Grangegorman Development Agency, Maynooth University and the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.
Clodagh’s work is included in the permanent collections of IMMA, The Arts Council of Ireland, The University of the Arts, London and the private collections of Anthony Reynolds and Kilfane Sculpture Garden. Clodagh has received numerous awards and residencies including Banff, Canada, The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Virginia, US, IMMA, Sím, Reykjavik, The National Art Studios and The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea. Clodagh has recently been awarded a three year membership at TBGS and shortlisted for the Golden Fleece Award 2023.
Jennifer Mehigan is an artist and researcher. Initially trained in graphic design, her work spans multiple disciplines, merging 3D modelling, sculpture, filmmaking, painting, scent, text, parties, floristry and flower farming. Mehigan regularly creates work in collaboration with Bassam Al-Sabah. Recent exhibitions include; Nightbloom Chokehold, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Speech Sounds, curated by Iarlaith Ni Fhearois, VISUAL, Carlow (2022); Creamatorium 2, Transmediale, Silent Green, Berlin (2021); Creamatorium, PSSquared, Belfast (2020). She is based between Limerick and Belfast.
Erin Redmond is a visual artist based in Dublin and a member of A4 Sounds Studios. Their practice inhabits a space between art, science and ecology. Their work materializes in the form of large scale sculptural or architectural installations that are a way to spread awareness about environmental issues such as plastic pollution and climate change. They are concerned with the relationship between humans and the natural environment, and how we can limit our negative impact on it.
Their installations have been created using a variety of recycled and biodegradable materials such as newspaper, coffee sacks, plastic wrappers/bottles, seaweed, soil and living plants such as runner beans and wildflowers. Their most recent work Plastikos has been hand stitched using recycled duvets, cushions and fabric swatches from Recreate, Dublin. Erin studied Sculpture at NCAD before joining Science Gallery as a mediator. During the pandemic they facilitated online workshops and tours for Science Gallery, particularly for the Plastic exhibition. They are now studying Earth and Ocean Sciences at NUI Galway to fuel their research process for their artistic practice which lies in the broad context of contemporary art that is concerned with sustainability and developing more environmentally aware ways of creating artworks.
Trevor Woods is a multidisciplinary Dublin-based artist with a Diploma in Art and Design from NCAD. Inspired by the amount of waste products he has witnessed in recent years, he has prioritised a commitment to using recycled, upcycled and found materials in his work, with the aim of raising awareness of environmental issues. He values the role that art has to play in engaging viewers with these issues, and creates sculptures and installations that draw attention to such topics.
His installation Under Pressure was created in order to convey an earth that is bubbling under the pressure of human-induced activities, causing increasing issues such as pollution, greenhouse gases, rising temperatures and a decline of green spaces in urban environments. With a background in science, Trevor sees the value of collaboration between disciplines to urgently address these issues that are deeply affecting our mother earth, and to reduce this increasing pressure that will affect future generations. Trevor’s recent work has featured in exhibitions such as Sculpture in Context at The National Botanic Gardens, All Together Now, KFEST and he was awarded first place last year for his sculpture ‘What’s your Plastic Footprint’ as part of the Upcycle challenge held by My Waste Ireland.
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