Immrama: Voyages to Kilstipheen
This new exhibition by Clare-based artist Marie Connole includes new and existing works exploring the influence of culture and human form on the psyche. Immrama describes a literary genre concerning the exploits of individuals seeking the Otherworld in mystical islands off the west coast of Ireland. One of these, Kilstipheen (Cill Stíopháin), is a mythical village in Liscannor Bay, West Clare, is said to become visible for a brief time one day every seven years.
Centred close to the Cliffs of Moher, the tale shares striking parallels with the fabled islands of Atlantis and Hy-Brasil. Immrama examines the effects of the Kilstipheen myth and other indigenous tales, in shaping the artist’s subconscious mind while growing up in Liscannor. Observed through the lens of memory, and by re-working sacred iconography and archetypal symbols, the exhibition forms part of an evolving visual-storytelling legacy.
In tandem, the exhibition traces the influence of human physical form in embodying both an inner psychological landscape, and an external perspective of reality. Body parts are depicted in diverse contexts, highlighting the remarkable within familiar forms. The curious intersection between the external and internal is revealed through works including watercolours, sculpture and animation. This pursuit is most apparent in the animation ‘Odyssey’, and the large watercolour ‘The Floor of My Mind’.
Marie Connole is a visual artist, illustrator and teacher from Co. Clare. Through visual storytelling she explores the influence of personal history and cultural heritage on the subconscious. Connole has exhibited in Ireland and internationally, at Irish Arts Center in New York, the National Gallery of Ireland, EVA International, Aughty Public Art Project, Tulca, and with Ground Up Artists Collective (GUAC). Awards include the Kilkenny Arts Office residency (2008), SIM – the Association of Icelandic Visual Artists (Reykjavík 2008) and the Tyrone Guthrie Residency (2011).