Thursday, 11.02.2016, 6-8pm
Wed-Fri 1-5pm, Sat 11am-3pm
Ends 03 March 2016
The young artist Meadhbh Farren, who graduated in 2014 from the Ulster University, shows a multimedia installation about a fictional character Eli. In an intriguing and highly individual way, she constructs stages of Eli's life, a path from birth to early adult hood in animations and objects.
Meadhbh Farren writes about her work:
'This piece is about a character named Eli, and the artwork is an exploration into the mind of Eli. The viewer sees Eli’s memories in the form of an installation. Each installation is a representation of different stages in Eli’s life, birth childhood, adolescence and then young adulthood. Adulthood is presented in the form of an animation. In the animation, the character is dissatisfied with his lifestyle yet refuses to take action. He suddenly finds himself experiencing a series of surreal events and meets a variety of strange characters. Eli contemplates the key stages in his life and considers where his choices are leading him. After his surreal experiences, his future is still vague but he is now willing to change himself in order to go further.
The piece is an elaborate representation of the difficult transition between key stages of Eli’s life. When a baby is born, it is defenseless; literally everything must be done for the infant until childhood. A child has improved motor- and communication skills and can fend for himself to a limited extent. A child has only a limited understanding of the world and this can lead to fear, which can be overwhelming for a child. When the child becomes an adolescent, he gains more knowledge of the world but new fears arise. Teenagers are expected to conform to particular social etiquettes and are also expected to make life-defining decisions. A teenager has a constant sense of judgement during this stage. In adulthood, he can find himself unprepared despite preparing for this moment his entire life. The adult now only finds comfort in nostalgia.
The room will be set up to resemble Eli’s subconscious. Various objects are used to give the piece its surreal style. Shoes of different sizes will be placed throughout the centre of the room, with a series of seemingly random objects and a long piece of artificial ivy. One side of the room has a series of small toys on the floor. The wall will also have a series of child-like drawings, drawn in crayon.
The other side of the room will have several large eyes and a mouth painted on the wall. Then in the back of the room will be a white box placed on a podium. On top of the box will sit a wax model of a brain with a candle which is lit during gallery opening hours. The animation will then be projected onto the box. There will be a solitary seat in front of the box for visitors to view the animation. There will also be a series of cracks painted onto the walls with, acrylic paint in random areas, with painted ants seemingly crawling out of these cracks.'