Orla Barry: Breaking Rainbows

Friday 20 October – Saturday 18 November 2017
Orla Barry: Breaking Rainbows | Friday 20 October  – Saturday 18 November 2017 | Wexford Arts Centre

A live performance / installation

Performances: 20 – 21 October at 8pm | Exhibition: 22 October – 18 November 2017​
Exhibition Opening Reception: Saturday 21 October, 9.30pm
All welcome, refreshments and food served.

Wexford Arts Centre in association with Wexford Festival Opera

The genesis of Breaking Rainbows began as a conversation between artist Orla Barry and Wexford Arts Centre curator Catherine Bowe. Initially conceived as a solo exhibition in Wexford Arts Centre, Barry and Bowe’s conversations developed over time into something much more. Two years later, Barry’s ambitious performance/installation Breaking Rainbows began its national and international tour.

First shown at Temple Bar Gallery & Studios and premiered as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival (29 September – 5 November, 2016), Breaking Rainbows, a live performance and installation, continues its tour to Wexford Arts Centre and Wexford Festival Opera.

Exploring the boundaries of art and life, Breaking Rainbows uses the relationship between wo/man and animal, and the cannibalistic, symbiotic tension between [Orla Barry] the artist and [Orla Barry] the shepherd to reflect on the primal and poetic and unpredictable bond we have with the natural world. Presented as a live performance and video installation, Barry’s new work is a fascinating journey into the land of shepherding through the lens of ‘doing’ rather than ‘observing’ the job at hand. The tour began in Temple Bar Gallery & Studios as part of Dublin Theatre Festival last October and continues in Crawford Art Gallery.

Endearing, humorous and challenging, Breaking Rainbows reflects on both our interdependence and disconnection from the natural environment. Made up of a series of vignettes, Barry’s new work brings us into a journey through time, conceptualisations and effects: from the realms of sheep farming traditions, ancient Greek shepherd’s singing competitions, contemporary consumerism and gender roles, to the intimate relationship of caring for a sheep about to give birth.

Interweaving live performance, video, a 300kg pile of wool produced on Barry’s farm in 2015, and an aural landscape which touches many different forms of speech, Breaking Rainbows is congruous with Orla Barry’s multidisciplinary aesthetic. However, as in her most recent work, Mountain, it also marks a new step in her trajectory by introducing chance procedures and a collaborative approach to the development of the texts. This results in the stories being reinvented and reshaped, defying notions of ownership, authorship and authenticity, and thus also reflecting on the nature of oral storytelling as transferred throughout generations. This is played out in an unpredictable dramaturgy in which no performance or experience of the installation is the same.

Orla Barry is both visual artist and shepherd. She lived in Brussels for sixteen years and now runs a flock of pedigree Lleyn sheep in rural Wexford. A leitmotif running through her recent work is the human disconnection from the natural environment. Barry writes, and makes performances, video and sound installations. She has shown work at The Irish Museum of Modern Art, SMAK and Tate Modern, amongst others, as well as taking part in Manifesta 2.

Breaking Rainbows is supported by an Arts Council Touring and Dissemination of Work Award.

Breaking Rainbows was also shown at Performatik 17: The Brussels Biennial of Performance Art and the Argos Centre for Arts and Media, Brussels in March / April 2017, and Crawford Art Gallery as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival from June/August 2017.

Written and directed by Orla Barry; Collaborators Einat Tuchman, Derrick Devine, Marcus Lamb; Performers Einat Tuchman, Dick Walsh; Commissioned and produced by Wexford Arts Centre, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios; Co-production Kaaitheater, ARGOS centre for art and media, Crawford Art Gallery; Funded by Arts Council of Ireland and by Culture Ireland; Supported by Dublin Theatre Festival, Midsummer Festival Cork, Opera Festival Wexford & IMMA’s residency program

Wexford Arts Centre
Friday 20 and Saturday 21 October, 8pm
Booking via Wexford Arts Centre: http://www.wexfordartscentre.ie/

Video installation of work open to public in gallery: Sunday 22 October – Saturday 18 November 2017
Opening Times: 22 October – 4 November
Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm / Sunday 11am-4pm

Opening Times: 6 – 18 November
Monday-Friday 10am – 5pm / Saturday 10am-4pm

Friday 20 October – Saturday 18 November 2017
Wexford Arts Centre
Telephone: +353 53 9123764
Opening hours / start times:
Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 5pm
Admission / price: Free

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