30th March - 26th April 2023
An exhibition of new work by Rachel Doolin
Opening 6pm on Thursday 30th March 2023
LHQ Gallery, County Library
Cork County Hall, Carrigrohane Road, Cork City.
With opening words by Ellie O’Byrne
Heirloom is an installation of new works created by artist Rachel Doolin. The work manifests from a culmination of experiential research undertaken during an arctic-based residency programme and subsequently informed by a creative partnership with Irish Seed Savers Association.
In 2017, Doolin embarked on a research residency to Longyearbyen, Svalbard, an industrial frontier town located on a remote arctic archipelago midway between continental Norway and the geographical North-Pole; here, beneath the mountain permafrost, lies a backup collection of the world’s agricultural biodiversity, cryogenically preserved within the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimates that we have lost 75% of genetic diversity in crops since the 20th century. As risks from the climate crisis and global conflict escalate, seed banks have become increasingly considered precious resources that could one day prevent a worldwide food crisis.
Through a series of visual and digital-based installations, Heirloom considers the cultural significance of seed, from the political to the poetic, by exploring the human thread that articulates the connection between our past, present and future and places the humble seed as a profound nexus in the nature-culture relationship.
Rachel Doolin is a visual artist and project facilitator based in Cork. Doolin’s multidisciplinary practice merges art, experimentation and ecology. Doolin creates work inextricably linked to material research and driven by a desire to test the parameters of materiality, media and the criticality of issue-based practice. Doolin frequently collaborates with artists, NGOs, and community and professional organisations to create meaningful artworks that intersect current social and environmental practices. In recent years Doolin’s work has evolved to incorporate participatory ‘conscious acts’. Doolin invites collective and creative collaboration through physical or symbolic acts that further inform and shape her work. Over the past two years, Doolin has been an artist in residence with Irish Seed Savers Association. Her most recent body of work, manifests from a culmination of experiential research undertaken during an arctic-based residency programme and considers the cultural significance of seed, from the political to the poetic, by exploring the human thread that articulates the connection between our past, present and future and places the humble seed as a profound nexus in the nature-culture relationship.
Heirloom has been generously supported by an Arts Council of Ireland Visual Arts Project Award.