“The artists whose work we see around us have done their job with great skill, vision and imagination. Such inner exploration helps us to talk to ourselves and each other at a deeper level. It carries news of where we live and who we are and what we think is important. It undermines and reinforces. It sings a local, native song that is also international.”
Address by poet Kerrie Hardie at the opening of the 2011 Nine Stones exhibition at Borris House, Co. Carlow
The Possibilities of Place is the title of The 9 Stones Artists exhibition taking place at Visual Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow in July. New works by Rachel Joynt RHA, Anthony Lyttle, Remco de Fouw ARHA, Michelle Byrne, Annabel Konig, Gwen Wilkinson, Martin Lyttle, Jules Michael and Cathy Fitzgerald will be on display.
In conjunction with this exhibition the group is launching an anniversary publication. The work of each member is generously presented and a specially commissioned essay by Cliodhna Schaffrey also features.
Exhibition runs from the 9nd July to the 9th of October, 2016, Visual Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow.
2015: Exhibition Gate Lodge, Carlow College, Carlow
2014: Exhibition in house on Main St, Borris, County Carlow.
2012: Exhibition invitation card for The Nine Stones exhibition at Deighton Hall, Carlow.
VENUE: Deighton Hall, Dublin Street, Carlow
DATES: Saturday 9th – Sunday 17th June
2011 The Nine Stones exhibition at Borris House, Borris, Co. Carlow.
Opening address by poet and writer Kerrie Hardie
Everyone who is alive and conscious moves constantly between what Seamus Heaney has called ‘their inwardness’ — the inner reality of feelings, emotions, thoughts — and its opposite: the outer life of the ‘real’ physical world that lies all around us. Everyone has experienced this movement.
One moment you are, for example, sitting in a bus station so lost in your own thoughts you are hardly even aware of your surroundings, and the next you’re fishing around in your purse, looking for change for the man you hadn’t even noticed was sitting beside you.
The moment of being ‘lost in your own thoughts’ is a moment of inwardness; of immersion in an invisible world which has no ‘reality’ yet carries the DNA of all our emotional and creative life.
The moment of looking in your purse to find change for the man who wants to feed a machine which will make him a cup of hot coffee is one of ‘outwardness’—of engagement with a world that is visible and audible and can be straghtforwardly measured, proven and assessed. Either you have the change or you haven’t. Either the machine makes and delivers the coffee or else it is broken and fails to fulfill its function.
The inner world does not deal in such clarity or measurable-ness. Its skies are changeable and can blow from sunshine to rain in seconds. Or they can be overtaken with storm clouds, flooded with the tsunami-like emotions of anger, love, fear, unrequited love, or of grief so overwhelming that everything is transformed.
Although the outer world appears to be the most powerful and seems to set the conditions on which the inner world depends for its very existence, the inner world is the one on which our psychic survival depends. When ‘reality’ appears to collapse we revisit our deeper resources. Such is our national situation at all times, but it is painfully obvious at the moment. This is true for us all.
Artists are not some strange breed who live only in communication with the interior, they have to eat, wash [well, hopefully] and shit the same as everyone else. But the nature of their occupation means that they move between the inner and the outer, they are ‘carriers of the news’ between the two worlds, and sometimes they even show us things we would not otherwise have seen.
I have used the phrase ‘reality appears to collapse’ advisedly. Reality hasn’t collapsed, it is prosperity that has collapsed, we’re still stuck with reality, still stuck with ourselves. Some journalists and commentators and the tourist board seem to think that art is going to save our society. Personally I don’t think it is the task of art to save society, but rather to enrich, inform and undermine it, just as our inner lives constantly enrich, inform and undermine our outer ones.
The artists whose work we see around us have done their job with great skill, vision and imagination. Such inner exploration helps us to talk to ourselves and each other at a deeper level. It carries news of where we live and who we are and what we think is important. It undermines and reinforces. It sings a local, native song that is also international.
2009: Exhibition invitation card for The Nine Stones exhibition at The Norman Gallery, Rathnure, Co. Wexford.