Carol Anne Connolly

Pattern Landscape

Exhibition Pt 2: 23 - 31 October 2021

02 Jan 2019 - 31 Oct 2021

02 Jan 2019 - 31 Oct 2021

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Every Spring Lismore Castle Arts runs A Space for Lismore, which seeks to invite an artist to work with the local community in Lismore.

For A Space for Lismore, Carol Anne Connolly conceived Pattern Landscape, working with members of the local community to create a series of ‘patterns’ based on each individuals lived experience of their locality. The project examines the socio-historical relationship between nature and design by researching its manifestation in the locality of Lismore, focusing on the concept of ‘contemporary landscape interpretations’.

In 2021 we invited Carol-Anne back to Lismore to develop another aspect of this original project, with just one participant - celebrated travel writer and Lismore resident Dervla Murphy.

The exhibition took place in the Studio at Lismore Castle Arts from 23 - 31st October. A printed brochure will be produced in November 2021.

Carol Anne Connolly
Install view at Lismore Castle Arts

About the artist

Carol Anne Connolly’s visual art practice is primarily concerned with the cultural, civic and social ideas that relate to ‘place’ in contemporary society. She draws from a variety of media, strategies and techniques to create work that is often driven by site-specific, historic and community intervention. In considering landscape as a reflection of our relationship and attitude towards nature, Connolly, through an artistic lens seeks to investigate, represent or re-imagine contemporary ideas that relate to our environs.

Participants & artworks

Helen Hardway | St. Carthages Gate

“I have always found the symbol on St. Carthage’s Cathedral gate so interesting. Behind the symbol of the keys and the mitre so much of the history of Lismore is contained. For me, any time I return from being away I take a walk through the town and always stop at the church and when I look at the symbol it reminds me of many stories and superstitions that go with it, I don’t know if they were true or not but it was interesting to hear them.”

Peggyann McCann | Ice House

“The Ice House has been incorporated into the park in Lismore. I love it because it looks ancient but is not very old, it looks mythical but had a very real function, it looks like a dwelling but is for preserving fish. I love the rounded shape which reminds me of Slemish Mountain where I am from but also of a hut my father and uncle built for me from the branches of a tree one hot summer.”

Carthage Power | Winter Heliotrope Silent Spring Ramblings with Petasites Fragrans

“On a spring Sunday evening ramble, benediction time, on Lady Louise's Walk, walls on both sides, imprisoned by concepts, perceptions and prejudices, my own and those inherited from others, trapped by my own language. Seeking?. What?. Asylum/. Refuge?.

A "border" of Winter Heliotrope, Petasites Fragrans, softens the walls to either side. What is this plant? Heart shaped leaves, pink lilac flowers, scent of almond, vanilla. "An invasive, alien species", a weed. What is a weed?

"A weed is a flower growing in the wrong place", answers George Washington Carver, the slave who became a scientist and devoted his life to improving agriculture.

"A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered", answers Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Nicholas Culpeper, botanist, physician, herbalist, astronomer, knew this plant's virtue, as did many who were grateful in times of plague.

In this, our time of plague, our winter of discontent, our time of malcontent towards nature and all creation, we strive to "eradicate" this plant, somehow, by removing this part of the earth's skin' this part of the earth's face.

Solvitur Ambulando. It is solved by walking. Walking on, striving to find purpose, seeking a natural state of being, through nature, as the Winter Heliotrope has found, walking, questioning, seeking to belong here, as the Winter Heliotrope belongs. Striving to escape the walls of my captivity, as the Winter Heliotrope has escaped. Trying to become present. Seeking. Sensing, presencing, truth, through nature. True nature. Finding unexpected treasure among the briars on the wall, in the eye of a blackbird, sitting precariously on her "U" nest, protecting her eggs through a wintery spring. Can we become aware of and understand the natural landscape and it's natural environment and their essence, diversification, without understanding and respecting this love?

Monday morning, silence broken by the blackbird's melodic wake up call, announcing a new day. Beautiful sound through the restful silence. Alive, calming, reassuring, yet repeatedly calling, coaxing, urging, imploring, pleading our attention. Hoping, that today, as the precious rays of spring sun touch the earth and her nest, precious rays of knowledge and wisdom come to inform our actions, to touch the soul of our awareness, opened through the eye of the blackbird, gifted to us among the briars and the Winter Heliotrope. Perhaps belonging is where we cultivate our capacity for such awareness. - "Carthage Power". “

Mattie Murray| The Bench

“I chose the bench because it's a lovely place to sit down, meet people and have a chat. I like the old stone wall behind with the ivy on top, and the greenery to the side... grass etc. It's a good place to look down on the Main Street and see what's going on. It's nice and peaceful there.”

Carol Anne Connolly | Hand in Nature

“In the lower garden of Lismore Castle, in a shaded amphitheatre-like area a population of tree ferns grow. Wrapped in layers of straw and fleece they appear statuesque with their fronds arched over to one side. When considering landscape as a reflection of our relationship and attitude towards nature I am drawn to gardens and plants. They contain as much history of human activity as the buildings they accompany. Tree ferns are the most ancient of plants, existing on the planet for 400 million years. Due to human intervention some species face extinction in the wild through loss of habitat while others are preserved through the art of horticulture for their aesthetic appeal.“

Helen Leddy | Horses of the Stoney Mountain

“As a child I was told why this stone house was on the mountain. It was a place where the horses on the Stagecoach could be changed for fresh horses, having pulled the coach up and over The Vee at Bay Lough. Now, all these years later, as an avid animal activist and a regular walker on these mountains, I have never passed this place without thinking of the strength and endurance of those horses as they pulled their heavy loads. I always like to think that the people inside, while admiring the beautiful views, also thought of the amazing animals that allowed them to travel. It is a very special place, holding an incredible story.“

Paul and Kathryn Draper | Meditation on Burne-Jones Green

“Burne-Jones Green is the undercurrent and connecting pulse of Saint Carthage’s Cathedral. When the sun shines through the Humility and Justice windows (by Edward Burne-Jones) some late afternoons the font goes green and can be seen glowing from the end of The Mall. This colour continues around the Cathedral linking ornate bossing to Chapter plaques to recent publications. The colour so resonant with the beauty of nature all around, is both peaceful and meditative.”

Eugene O'Brien | St. Carthage’s Church Window

“I admire the beautiful craftsmanship in the big round Church window. It's like a big wheel with spokes, and the four ornaments or icons in the corners are of the evangelists, with a lovely golden background. I haven't seen the like of it in any other church or cathedral anywhere. I can see it everyday through my front-window, as the church is directly across from me.”

Ken Madden | Knockmealdown Mountains

“Though 'out of town' the mountainous landscape perhaps defines our connection with nature in so many ways. Its curved linear shape constantly changes in mood, tone and colour and may be the only 'piece of nature' visual for almost every inhabitant of the town itself. It is abundant in flora and fauna, spectacular streams and waterways. It welcomes all on foot, wheels and from the air to engage in its splendour. It challenges too. Its shapes our weather and from a distance tells us the weather. It provides industry in the form of farming, forestry and tourism - and an important history where pilgrims and many others have set out to & from and crossed. So for me the might of the Knockmealdown Mountains offers perhaps the greatest connect between town and nature.”

Jim Cosgrove | Ecoese

“Regarding nature's varied complexions I'm always fascinated with the interplay between flux and entropy i.e the relentless cyclical flow of growth/death/renewal versus the attendant tension between innate order/random disorder which perennially pertains.Thus, repeated patterns, templates and formats vie with inherent idiosyncratic tendencies towards evolutionary survival and flexible adaptation. Time is a constant presence en-route, dutifully recorded in nature's own time-piece, the noble tree's growth-rings. From early childhood, I've had a fascination with deciduous trees, considering them wise, experienced and worthy of utmost respect, given the expansive witness they have borne through the ages. Ferns have always warmly impressed me with their generous, open-hearted splaying of fronds, proudly 'stanced', somewhat fragile-looking, yet robust and resilient. Lady Louisa's offers a rich capture on all of this, as the river of time flows endlessly by.

"Let 'concentricity' and 'eccentricity' thrive" -- nature's core mantra ?”

Two soundpieces accompany Jim’s work, they can be listened to while taking Lady Louisa’s Walk.

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Lismore Castle Arts
Open Daily
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10:30am – 5:30pm (last entry 4:30pm)
15 March – 27 October

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