Artist Statement

Statement from recent exhibition at the Linenhall Arts Centre:

The title for this exhibition The Narrow Limitations of Common Sensecomes from Lady Sperenza Wilde’s book ‘Ancient Legends Mystic Charms and Superstitions of Ireland’, first published in 1919, and is at length: ‘…the very tendency to superstition, so marked in Irish nature, arises from an instinctive dislike to the narrow limitations of common sense.’ I consider this while perhaps a glib observation is arguably still as apt in contemporary Ireland.

I make work in a variety of media and tend to explore ideas relating to “fairy-faith” and folklore. While these ideas are very central to my work I consider them a starting rather than an end-point. My work also relates directly to my own upbringing on a farm in Mayo.

Repeatedly in the work I tear or cut the paper, or gouge and attack the wood allowing the materials to somewhat dictate the eventual outcome of the piece. I hope that the use of materials as well as the subject matter suggest an underlining tension or sinister element. These works are informed by a sense of the uncanny and explore ideas relating to identity, landscape and cultural history.

Mary Noonan 2011