Friday 13 October – Friday 27 October 2017
Residue | Friday 13 October – Friday 27 October 2017 | Galway Arts Centre

Curated by Kate Howard & Rob D’Eath, featuring the work of UK-based clay artists Phoebe Cummings & Gail Mahon.

Artist Talk – at the Centre for Creative Arts & Media, Monivea Rd, 11am, Oct 12th. Free event, booking required at

Residue aims to explore ceramic traditions and new creative developments. It will focus on clay-based work of a nonfunctional nature by the acclaimed ceramicist Phoebe Cummings from the UK and recent Royal College of Art MA graduate Gail Mahon from Derry. Taking a variety of forms – from large scale to site-specific sculpture installations, the work in this exhibition underscores artists’ enduring relationship with clay.

Phoebe Cummings creates detailed, temporary sculptures and environments from clay. The work is often built directly on site, and where possible, the same clay is reclaimed and reused at different locations. Over the past twelve years, she has worked without a permanent studio space, often developing work through residencies, or using the gallery space as a temporary workshop. Her intricate sculptures consider time, landscape, nature and the possibilities of clay as raw material. There are strong references to historic ceramics and decorative arts traditions, but these are always explored from the position of the present. The material has an active role in the work, changing as it drips, dries, shrinks and cracks. Cummings’ approach focuses on a momentary experience, rather than the permanence of objects often associated with ceramics. She exploits the potential for clay to be endlessly made and dissolved, occupying a fragile state between the labour of making and its inevitable loss.

Cummings work at Galway Arts Centre takes two positions: one a sculptural work made on site, the other residual material of a work that no longer exists. Both consider points where nature and design meet, referencing formal ornament, decorative interiors as well as botanical study. Her piece made within the gallery is in direct conversation with the plasterwork found on the ceilings throughout the building.

Phoebe Cummings studied Three-Dimensional Crafts at the University of Brighton, before completing an MA in Ceramics & Glass at the Royal College of Art in 2005. She has undertaken a number of artist residencies, in the UK, USA and Greenland, including a three-month Arts/Industry residency at the Kohler Co. factory, Wisconsin (2008) and six months as ceramics artist-in-residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2010). Cummings was the winner of the British Ceramics Biennial Award in 2011 and exhibitions have included a commission for the Museum of Arts & Design, New York and a solo show at the University of Hawaii Art Gallery, Honolulu. Her work is currently showing at Fondation d’entreprise Bernardaud in France. Cummings was awarded the second ceramics fellowship at Camden Arts Centre 2012 and is shortlisted for the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize 2017. She is currently Research Associate at the Ceramics Research Centre UK – University of Westminster.

Gail Mahon is an artist based in Northern Ireland and London. Working predominantly in installation, ceramic sculptures and collaborative projects. Mahon often draws focus from body theory; of bodies becoming and in constant state change – unmaking and remaking, unfolding permutations of the physiochemical, organic and anthropomorphisms wrapped up material culture to make speculations of emerging changes to environments and ourselves. ‘Longdrop opens with a partial domestic scene; a propped ladder, a radiator, chair, a scattering of glass and tin receptacles, water now spilling over the lip and onto the floor.

This sets a scene where the diminishing efforts of the last person to stem the flow, left a few seconds before you enter the space. The mineral traces and objects remaining converse in varying frequencies and intensities, much like a dimmer switch that lights up your attention and dulls as you pass, the objects become carriers to activating the work.

Galway Arts Centre offers the space to unfold Longdrop into a larger environment; drawing attention to the mnemonic capacity of the original concept and placing emphasis upon material language and physical relationships rather than the objectness of any one thing. By intensifying these moments, Gail aims to comment upon our sustained attention to conditions that materials are a constant shift and our efforts in maintenance and craftsmanship in holding these elements together are a felt response as well as visual. Even domestic material relationships, skills in plumbing or the ability to put up a shelf, sees how the dwindling value placed upon craft skill within contemporary society can begin to shuffle these dynamics about and understanding of our own materiality.

All the components that make up the installation furnishes the space with qualities oscillating between surfaces, objects and humanness caught within the gallery context. The space can now act as the site of levelling these exchanges between what is known and what is other, disordering and blurring familiarities over what is art and what is life.

Having previously shown work in Ireland, Italy, U.K and China, Gail has recently completed her Masters at the Royal College of Art in London. She also works collaboratively across various projects as lead artist in CAAKE, collaborative group with other visual artists, makers and performers and develops site specific exhibitions and residencies in Northern Ireland as a collective member in MAK9. Recent shows include Two Hundred Acres, Pumphouse Gallery, London and the British Ceramics Biennial, Stoke-on- Trent and the Lucanio Benetton ‘Imago Mundi’ Collection, Italy.

Kindly supported by Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, Applied Arts Ireland & Applied Arts Northern Ireland, Galway City Council Galway Arts Centre and GMIT (Official)

Friday 13 October – Friday 27 October 2017
Galway Arts Centre
47 Dominick Street
Telephone: + 353 91 565 886
Opening hours / start times:
Monday 10:00 - 17:30
Tuesday 10:00 - 17:30
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:30
Thursday 10:00 - 17:30
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 14:00
Admission / price: Free

Associated sites
Design: iCulture • Privacy and cookies
Follow Dnote on Mastodon! Tweets by dnoting
day before opening reception
day of opening reception
day before open to public
day open to public
day before closing
day of closing

(e-mail addresses are not retained after the reminder is sent)

other sites designed or
assisted by iCulture