Askeaton Contemporary Arts
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Sam Keogh’s ceramic smartphones, made by working closely with his father Brian, were prepared during a series of improvised Raku and pit kiln firings. Making a distinct comment on the malleability of form between the handheld and handmade, these phones don’t ring or function, rather they appear as fossilised versions of familiar Samsung or Apple products.
In Deirdre O’Mahony’s Public Works, the artist establishes an office in an empty shop in the town’s East Square. During opening hours, visitors can consult the artist and a compilation of documents tracing the hopes and residues of mainly unimplemented infrastructural and industrial development policies of the area. Ecovillage settlements, road development, rail networks and factories funded by speculative foreign investment all feature, accompanied by a videowork tracing the history of Shannon Development, a now defunct regional quango that continues to haunt the managerial and bureaucratic regimes of the MidWest.
Maya Schweizer’s video installation acts, by the admission of the artist, as a kind of ‘construction site’, a montage of moving images and narrative throughout Askeaton and West Limerick. In a carefully constructed mise-en-scène, a saddled horse with an invisible ghostrider wanders through Askeaton’s historical ruins.
Quim Packard infiltrated and followed a local hunt around the Askeaton hinterland. Franticly running along riverbanks and over ditches to keep up with packs of dogs, minks and cunning otters who all escape to safety, Packard’s experience acted as a very literal form of fieldwork! A new artwork is presented through text, sculpture and sound at the Civic Trust and as an audio piece emanating from underneath a whitethorn bush.
Its central character, told through a rambling narrative, is a seemingly isolated figure who desires a meaningful relationship with the objects and rituals surrounding him.
Susan MacWilliam was commissioned to present Askeaton Contemporary Arts’ entry in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. For many years, MacWilliam has explored cases of paranormal and perceptual phenomena through her video works and installations. Her project, IC ITE OID, develops from her recent residency in Askeaton and interweaves elements of Aldous Huxley’s seminal 1954 novel The Doors of Perception with accounts of the Limerick Meteorite Fall.
“Yesterday morning about nine o’clock, there was most dreadful thunder heard in the direction from Patrick’s Well, towards Adare and Rathkeale, in this County; the peals were very violent and continued for a considerable time, and were accompanied with some awful appearances –large fragments of atmospheric stones, and other circumstances, which indicated some very serious concussion to have taken place.” - The Limerick Chronicle, Saturday September 11, 1813