Comfort Ye My People

Comfort Ye My People

Galleri Duerr | Stockholm | 9th November 9th – 16th December 2023

Artlink Fort Dunree | Donegal | 8th September – 8th October 2023

Comfort Ye My People is a meditation on our relationship with nature, a love letter to the land. It is about time and water. In this exhibition the artist explores the intricate relationship between humanity and the natural world. Through a combination of drawings, etchings and kinetic light, she invites audiences into a space which touches on both grief and celebration.
“I had other plans for this exhibition, but I felt an overwhelming compulsion to simply draw the mountains. I think it might be somehow related to our need for comfort and security when living in a state of chaos, such as the climate crisis in which we find ourselves. The process of drawing, then, involves giving a great level of attention to the subject, so that it becomes increasingly familiar. You become more and more sensitised to that which you are drawing, which leads to a greater intimacy with that subject or space, in this case, for me, the inhabited landscape.

My studio overlooks the Derryclare Mountain and my commute to work is through the beautiful Inagh Valley in the heart of Connemara. In this work, which traces visualised tidal rises, I aim to draw our attention away from overwhelming and paralysing climate anxiety to geological time, to a sense that the mountains will be ok. Needless to say, images of the tides rising over our beloved and familiar landscapes raise fears of our homes underwater, but they also nudge us to an awareness of a different pace of time.

I was really moved by Andri Snær Magnason ‘s beautiful book On Time and Water in which he interweaves the micro details of human familial relationships with the grand scope of glacial time. He invites us to imagine the extent of our own love for our own kin in time. What will be the year when your daughter’s granddaughter is 94 years old? What will the world be like then? Do you grieve for that world, or do you celebrate it?

In Over your cities grass will grow, I have drawn traces of human habitation so intertwined with nature that they cannot be taken out or removed. It makes no sense to say, let’s take people out of nature because we are one part of it. The line of a fence on the mountain has altered grazing patterns which has altered vegetation. The collapsed beehive hut is overgrown with grass and wildflowers. It has begun its reintegration with nature. Archaeological remains are scattered across our landscape, and sometimes it is hard to know which stones were put there by people and which by ice or water.”

Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger

With thanks to Culture Ireland, Galway County Arts office and the Arts Council of Ireland