Wednesday 11 July 2018

Artists in Conversation: Julie Merriman & Jessica Foley

At the end of June, I went to The Lexicon gallery (in DLR Co Co library) to see the latest work of Julie Merriman in her exhibition of drawings, Carriage Return. The exhibition consists of large works in the main area and smaller works in the smaller back room

.Merriman's drawing methods and materials are meticulous and unique: she utilises "found" things like pre-used typewriter ribbons, carbon paper, and outdated printing machines (she is the first Irish person I have met who knows what a Gestetner Machine is!).

The drawing above references the wind cowls that are part of the air venting structure that are synonymous with the architecture of The Lexicon complex. As well as seeing the exhibition, I was also attending the artist talk - Julie Merriman was in conversation with writer Jessica Foley, who had written a response to Merriman's work. The conversation offered great insight into the work of both artists, both of whom I have had the occasion to encounter before.

In 2016, I was taking a post-graduate course and Jessica Foley gave an experimental writing workshop one morning, and that afternoon gave a tour of Trinity College's CONNECT building where she is located as writer in residence. That same spring, Julie Merriman had an exhibition of drawings made while in residence at Dublin City Council. I also attended a talk that Merriman made at the time to discuss the residency and the work in the show, entitled Revisions.

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