Hamiton Gallery in Sligo invited 17 artists to respond to the WB Yeats poem Lapis Lazuli for an exhibition running during the summer of 2022.

Follow this link to read the poem Lapis Lazuli

Follow this link to see the entire exhibition

This was my response and the resulting work:

The threat of war flows beneath the lines of the poem, leading me to consider the human necessity to find a way to exist within chaos and tumult ; to find a balance and a way to carry on living when faced with change and adversity. I looked for a way to describe these moments of calm amidst turmoil. In extension to this, studying the poem made me contemplate how we may experience degrees of emotions related to trauma, tragedy and despair through art while safely remaining the viewer. These emotional experiences are linked with empathy and may gently prepare us for the challenges life holds. The figures in my work are not actually falling, descending into despair or experiencing discomfort and hardship while trying to rise up again but they perform the fall, dance the descent and act out the struggle to rebuild.

‘Performing The Fall’ , Oil on canvas, 70cm x 70cm, 2022

‘Rebuild’, Oil on canvas, 70cm x 70cm, 2022

‘Dancing The Way Down’, Oil on canvas, 70cm x 70cm, 2022

The visual source material for this work was gathered during research sessions with performing artists Angelique Ross, Emmen Donnelly and Michelle Thoburn. This work was supported by The Arts Council of Ireland Agility Award.