Aisling O’Beirn, Dougal McKenzie
Online only project
22 March – 10 April 2021
Let’s start with hashtags: #lockdowndrawingchallenge, #lockdownstargazing.
I know, who wants to hear the dreaded word ’Lockd…’ or be sent to look at social media again?
As our project space is still closed, this project with drawings, work on paper and one object is only accessible online, (though Aisling O’Beirn and Dougal McKenzie fully installed it).
But what a shame if you don’t print out a zine with texts and images of the work or listen to a sound collage or watch a fast-paced, shaky video documentation.
Shaky, does this describe the mood during Lockdown? Or is unstable a better word? Or better still: Terra Infirma?
The artists have chosen the title to indicate this instability as the backdrop and essence of their work. Drawings which started as a weeklong Instagram takeover during the first Lockdown in May 2020 or more precise, as a social media correspondence in images of drawings.
Dougal McKenzie began making drawings of the same particular gap in a hedgerow using WhatsApp on his twice daily walks up Kiln Lane in Banbridge. He later used these digital records for works on paper with brushes and paint. Aisling O’Beirn continued her interest in astronomy by drawing spatial constellations through a web of contour lines with pencil or charcoal on small format paper, seismic translation of geological terrain.
Instagram takeovers have been a widespread tool by arts organisations and artists during the pandemic: as a platform to profile artists and creatives and to keep the connection with an audience and gain new interest.
What makes Aisling O’Beirn’s and Dougal McKenzie’s takeover special, is their curiosity to react and bounce off each other’s online posts and listen to each other.
Or, as the text in the zine they produced says, their resulting work created ’a nice link between fieldgazing and skywatching’.
Quite a creative cosmology, with feet on the ground and eyes to the stars.
Opening hours: online project
Documentation and updates are online and will continue to be shared via social media over the period of the exhibition.
PS² is supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.