a city of beautiful nonsense

An exhibition of visual art by Ciara Rodgers/ Studio 12, Backwater Artists Group, Cork City, Ireland. 13th October – 25th November 2022

This exhibition maps a personal psychogeography drawing from the incongruous, contradictory nature of the changing built environment. The exhibition title cites the novel The City of Beautiful Nonsense by E. Temple Thurston, 1909, a surreal and sentimental tale of two cities.

Using building materials and discarded objects as drawing substrate or photographic display mechanisms, Rodgers distorts their usual narrative

Developers quickly alter vistas while the upper echelons of Main Street buildings lie derelict, falling and crumbling to reveal new voids in the skyline. Domestic wastelands cyclically form as old items and rubble make way for each new generation’s vision for the city. Interference in the form of graffiti, rising damp, flora, car accidents and litter inevitably colour and bend the structures surrounding us.

Approaching fluctuations in the built environment under an alternative lens of care, discarded items are photographed in model boxes, on hazy polaroid film or carefully assembled. Drawing with dry materials reflects the urban environment in flux, a repetitive moving of dust, while beetroot anthotype prints naturally fade and disappear in a short amount of time.

About the Artist

Ciara Rodgers is a visual artist based in Cork City, Ireland, a member of Backwater Artists Group with a BA and an MA in Art from MTU Crawford college of Art and Design.

Working in a variety of media including drawing, photography, performance and installation, Ciara often takes site specifical space as her starting point. She deals with themes such as memory, nostalgia, ruins, failure, restrictions, and freedoms with narratives borrowed from philosophical theory or fictional worlds often underpinning her research. Elevating defunct, forgotten or ignored spaces, structures and objects to a higher level of appreciation, fieldwork and walking the city are an integral part of her practice.

Ciara also lectures in Visual Art at SETU Waterford and Life Drawing at MTU CCAD.

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