A surrealist approach to the destruction of nature

Credit: THE BROCK PRESS/Brittany Brooks

Credit: THE BROCK PRESS/Brittany Brooks

Irene Loughlin is a multidisciplinary artist who instructs classes at Brock University in Interdisciplinary Practice, Intermedia and Foundation Studio in the Visual Arts Department. She currently has two exhibitions located on campus that students should check out if given a spare moment.

One of the exhibitions is called “Clare Projects” and the other is “Rituals at/for the End of the World”. There are portraits and drawings currently placed in the entrance to the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre as well as a video being played on the Learning Commons Digital Wall.

Loughlin is a performance artist and featured in the learning commons video called Dowsing. The piece features Loughlin immersed in a forest setting in British Columbia that will no longer exist in the future. The portraits featured in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre depict Loughlin in areas like the west coast of Ireland and Guatemala City where she appears to be performing ritualistic acts as if to infer the end of the world.

Both “Rituals at/for the End of the World” and “Clare Projects” place an emphasis on natural elements in attempt to bring awareness to the ongoing destruction of our world. “Clare Projects” was created in County Clare, during Loughlin’ stay at a residency at Burren College of Art in Ireland during the summer of 2014. The drawings were created and inspired by frameworks of historical reference, feminism, spiritism and magic. The drawings are all done with black ink and were inspired by “The Book of Kells”, a series of line drawings created in Dublin, Ireland, that contain the four gospels of the New Testament. Given that Loughlin’s drawings were also done during her stay in Ireland, her pieces are authentically Gaelic and clearly allude to the inspiration behind the work.

Credit: THE BROCK PRESS/Brittany Brooks

Credit: THE BROCK PRESS/Brittany Brooks

The exhibition also pertains to the genre of surrealism in which Loughlin has taken everyday objects such as rock and trees and turned them into something mysterious and almost magical. The black lines on the paper create understandable pictures but in illogical and unsettling ways, again bringing to light issues surrounding changes and destruction to nature.

Loughlin will also be adding sculptures to her exhibition when she receives the funding to do so. The sculptures will feature various animals made from styrofoam and plaster that will hang from the ceilings, contributing to the natural yet surreal elements her exhibition currently maintains.

Dowsing will be featured in the learning commons until Nov. 30 as will Clare Projects and Rituals at/for the End of the World in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre.

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