Cork County Council Arts Office cordially invites you to the lunchtime opening event of an exhibition by visual artist Ciara Rodgers at 1 pm, Thursday 19th September at LHQ Gallery, Cork County Hall. Opening remarks for Monuments of Abandoned Futures will be given by Dr. Fergal Gaynor, Editor of The Enclave Review, contemporary arts magazine. The exhibition continues until Thursday 10th October 2019.
There are ten weeks to go to my first solo exhibition after years of study and various group shows. I’m writing these excerpts as an exercise to quickly map my progress (and setbacks) to make sense of my ideas for myself along with a traditional sketchbook.
I’ve reached that stage in my research for this new body of work where it is time to tackle the large white page for a complete drawing. Going from my sketchbook to this scale in the beginning is the most difficult part of my process. After deciding on a subject to draw, I wrestle with its placement on the page. Collage on a smaller scale helps me to decide on placement but once i scale up the composition, I almost always change my mind. This is an important step for me as I normally keep my backgrounds quite minimal – the empty space is as important as the subject itself.
The majority of my research over the last year has involved visiting and documenting sites of brutalist and Modernist architecture around Cork County and City. This part of the research includes archival architectural documents, on- site polaroid photography during fieldwork and discussions with owners, locals and workers of the immediate area.
During this research, I feel that I experience a particular moment in time. A time of mid 20th Century space age optimism, as though I stand looking at a dystopian version of the Jetsons. There are many physical features which connect my visited sites with this 1960s family cartoon, in particular, their utopian designs and cantilevered legs. The Jetsons is imagined to take place 100 years from its airing in 1962. Will we be living in the stratosphere in 2062?
Why did the Jetsons live in the upper atmosphere?!
I have four large walls to play with for this exhibition and plan to have plenty of work to choose from when I curate the space. My exhibition is to include a talk, workshop and event during Culture Night on 20th September 2019.
Research for the creation of new work or development of existing works can be a tricky but exciting part of my artistic practice. The images on the wall are selected from photographs I take daily. I also find it valuable to collect literature and poetry and make plaster molds of interesting structures that I encounter.