Artist Talk 7 | Laura Gannon in conversation with Katherine Waugh


Artist Talk 7 | Laura Gannon in conversation with Katherine Waugh

Saturday 10th August 2013 | 5pm
Followed by prosecco reception
Free event open to all

126 Artist Talk 7 | Laura Gannon in conversation with Katherine Waugh
Saturday 10th August 2013 | 5pm

126 presents the seventh in a series of Artists talks that aim to encourage critical conversations about contemporary art practice in Ireland. Artist Laura Gannon will discuss the development of her artistic practice along with a presentation of a selection of her works in film, drawing and performance.

Laura Gannon was born in Galway and grew up in Mayo and is now a London based visual artist working predominantly in 16mm and digital film and drawing. She completed the Artist Associate Programme at Lux, London, 2009 and graduated from Goldsmiths College, London, with an M.A( Fine Art) in 2003. Her 16mm film StopGap was the first moving image work purchased by the Irish Arts Council and has recently been included in the touring Into the Light exhibition, and her film A House in Cap-Martin set in Eileen Gray’s landmark Modernist house E1027 (2006) has shown internationally to much acclaim.

Gannon recently completed a commission to produce a performance piece based on Elizabeth Bowen’s The Heat of the Day as part of the David Roberts Art Foundation’s programme A House of Leaves, which investigated further her preoccupation with the relationship between architecture, literature, non-dominant narratives and the body. Her work will be included in a forthcoming group show Folly: Art after Architecture in the Glucksman Gallery.
She has exhibited widely in numerous group exhibitions in Ireland, the UK, Germany, and the USA, in addition to solo exhibitions in the Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane; Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin, The Context Gallery, Derry, Sketch Gallery London and Whitechapel Projects London. She has received many awards and scholarships, including the Macauley Fellowship from the Irish Arts Council and the Thomas Damann Memorial Fellowship.

Laura Gannon:

My work is an ongoing process of exploring ways to convey fragility, the female body within architecture and non-dominant narratives which emerge in geographical margins. This interest stems from a childhood growing up in the West of Ireland where language was nuanced and loaded with unspoken meaning.  I have an ongoing engagement with literature, which explores architecture, storytelling and memory. I have worked with texts from Elizabeth Bowen, Maeve Brennan and Jean Rhys. Most recently I have used Bowen’s novelThe Heat of the Day’ as a starting point for creating a performance for four actors. By taking sections of text and collaging it to create a new structure, the work explored place as narrative.

I am now adding layers to this ongoing research and exploration incorporating performance and the fantastical coinciding with the domestic containing the voice and actions of older women.The current work-in-development The Cat Jumps (title from an Elizabeth Bowen short story) will allow me explore collaged narrative in film as well as live performance. By including non-actors in their seventies, there is roomin their filmed performance for an intimate space to be created and portray the texture  that is part of old age. The use of a house as location for filming will provide an existing ‘stage set’ for  the action to take place. 

My films question the placement of an individual body in socio-cultural environments, specifically within sites of particular architectural or historical interest. These might be fraught with an uncertain future, troubled by conflict or lie languishing and derelict. I am also concerned with the alignment of power and the effect of recent histories impacting earlier histories.

I explore the appearance of human presence as a form of ritual and staging within both architectural and the natural environments. I am concerned with the notion of performance, staging, existing histories and the slippage between the dominant history and a story that is under the skin of that history.

Voice, storytelling, architectural histories in literature, the edge of the margins: culturally and geographically,glamour, luxury, fragility, creating identities through dress, the inconsistent narrator, the construction ofdomestic environments into a place of performance and ritual. The secrets of old women. (which really means remembering outside the dominant cultural and political narrative). Humour and pleasure in the uncanny and the slippage of life.  Powerful women who occupy my mind include: Grace O’Malley, Eileen Gray, Nora Barnacle, Elizabeth Bowen and Margaret Burke-Sheridan”.