Artist Marie Brett has a major survey exhibition across the whole of Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, County Cork, featuring some of her iconic works that consider social, psychological, allegorical, and mystical methods of processing trauma, conflict, and control. The Hidden Mountain, the Fort and the Five Trees is Brett’s first survey show, and the most comprehensive presentation of her work to date.
The exhibition opens on 23 March and runs until 15 October 2022 in different iterations. It features a commissioned, newly made installation; a group of films alongside the premiere of Brett’s latest film; and an eclectic display of objects, texts, photographs, and videos documenting and reimagining other installations produced in recent years.
Brett creates installations, films, and performances, often collaborating with communities having particular interests and geographies, including health as a central feature, and welcoming other creative contributions – from music to lighting design and dance – as well as both specialized academic advice and DIY skill-based knowledge. She undertakes considerable periods of research and active dialogue as a means of forefronting reciprocal intellectual and practical exchanges.
Brett exposes what is hidden or suppressed within society but has a significant impact on everyday life. Her subject matter ranges from cases of loss to the predicaments in which state infrastructures and legal dispositions are fabricated or designed. She might speak to parents dealing with a child’s death; interact with patients, caregivers, and parents at maternity hospitals as a means of making suffering visible; or examine hoping/coping mechanisms within the framework of a pandemic.
First exhibition opening
The first exhibition opening is a series of film works running from 23 March – 23 April. The artist’s filmic output centres on three major themes: human loss and suffering, the politics of care, and the otherworldly figures and traditions embedded within the Irish psyche. Four films, made between 2008 and 2018, are presented in the West Gallery: 2 Roads, Last Breath, E.gress and Loan Bush Red Flags: You’ll Not Cut Me.
Ritual of Stone and Water: Pilgrimage to the Ninth Wave Multiverse
Brett has made a new, large-scale work, commissioned by SIRIUS and presented in the Centre Gallery from 2 April. Ritual of Stone and Water consists of a scaled-down replica of a grain silo – a structure commonly found across Ireland’s countryside – around and inside of which are a variety of elements, including light, haze, sound pieces, flickering images, charcoal, and quartz. The work is based on the idea of a holy well: it is a portal, possibly projecting into and receiving messages from another world, and it also functions as a place of renewal or healing.
Launch and artist talk
An opening discussion event is taking place on Saturday 9 April at 2pm as part of the official launch with critic Joanna Laws, artist Marie Brett, and Sirius Director and exhibition curator Miguel Amado. This is a live event in the gallery, with free entry and no booking required.
Further details about the exhibition, including opening times, can be found on the Sirius website.
Updated 7 April