For three weeks, every year since 2014, 'Homeland' takes place in Damer House Gallery, Roscrea in collaboration with the Loop Festival Barcelona and Safia Art Contemporani-Barcelona, Catalunja, Spain.
The Homeland Video selection in Damer House is dedicated exclusively to video art and film.
The selection for Homeland 2017, ‘Blackbird singing in the dead of night’ Paul McCartney/ Released: June 1968, features short films and videos from Irish and international artists.
The selected films/videos are non-narrative pieces, and all confront the viewer with questions, which may or may not be answered. The works in the Irish section shows pieces by the artists David Ian Bickley, Kiera O’Toole, Owen Boss, Pat Wallis, Simon Brown, and David Quinn.
Each artist has chosen a different theme to explore, which while having no overt connection to each other, nevertheless form a unifying and thought provoking whole, connected as they are by our perception of place and space (internal and external), and what we see and/or hear.
In ‘Gothic’, David Ian Bickley, continues his exploration of black and white cinematic studies of Irish folklore/mythology set within dark, brooding landscapes.
Kiera O' Toole’s piece is entitled ‘Drawing from the Non-Place'. She says her “practice considers drawing as a means to explore the felt and lived experiences of place and non-place”.
In her piece, we are looking at something which is at once ordinary and extraordinary and we are forced to consider what it is we are looking at.
‘These Rooms’ was selected for the Arts Council’s commemoration programme ART:2016 and was an event which brought the audience face to face with the traumatic events of one hundred years ago, exploring the 1916 rebellion through the eyes of civilians at the moment when the Rising invaded their homes.
‘Falling Out of Standing’ by Owen Boss is the artist’s individual response to that collaborative work and calls into question if we can ever truly commemorate or represent a real traumatic historical event.
In ‘Ambivalence’ Pat Wallis explores the interior of the human body which is both familiar and strange, a silent world, a different landscape which can be mysterious and frightening. Medical imagery instils a feeling of uncertainty, perhaps even fear, reminding us not just of our vulnerability as humans, but also perhaps of our own mortality.
Simon Brown’s ‘Know not how to proceed, how to return, but I am calm, fearless and confident’ is a mesmerising film, where the viewer drifts over a beautiful glaciated landscape with corries and lakes. For anyone working in any aspect of creative endeavour, intellectual copyright is an important issue. David Quinn explores some copyright ownership issues in artistic production, juxta positioning it with a blackbird singing its beautiful song freely for the world to hear. The North Tower of Damer house is the perfect setting for the internationally acclaimed Spanish artist Esther Ferrer’s work, Extrañeza, desprecio, dolor y un largo etc. Ferrer sometimes terms her minimalist work "rigorous absurdity". The exhibition, which was opened by Gary Hoctor, Director of Offline Film Festival Birr continues in Damer House Gallery and is free to attend. The Gallery is open to the public from mid-day 12pm to 17pm from Wednesday to Sunday, Monday and Tuesday the gallery is closed.