Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Irish Diaspora

While I was at the National Gallery just over a week ago, I also had a good look at the current exhibition The Pathos of Distance. The sculptural installation by Sarah Pierce was commissioned by the ESB Centre for the Study of Irish Art (NGI) and created as a response to international archive collections of images relating to the Irish Diaspora up to 1915. I wanted to see the exhibition myself as it is relevant to some of my own current research. 


The exhibition consisted of three rooms with central displays of configurations of furniture acting as platforms for the display of 1:1 reproductions of relevant images from the international researched archives. 


 The walls are lined with didactics, very readable in their note-like and/or quotation form.


All the images are pre-1915 and I was not totally sure of the significance of the post-1970 furniture, though I thought it may refer to the fact that the idea of Irish Diaspora is not static - emigration - "the brain drain" continues in waves, at the whim of the up and down economy of this island.


A reading-resource area was set up as a "lobby" outside the exhibition rooms.


The exhibition included a free brochure with an essay by Donal Magure, the exhibition curator, for further information on the Irish Diaspora and research project itself.