Marie Brett | The Hidden Mountain, the Fort and the Five Trees | Visual Arts | Sirius Arts Centre Cobh

Marie Brett | The Hidden Mountain, the Fort and the Five Trees Marie Brett | The Hidden Mountain, the Fort and the Five Trees

Marie Brett, preparatory study for Ritual of Stone and Water: Pilgrimage to the Ninth Wave Multiverse 2022. Mixed media, dimensions variable. Commissioned by SIRIUS. Photograph: the artist

Marie Brett | The Hidden Mountain, the Fort and the Five Trees

23rd Mar - 15th Oct

Marie Brett, preparatory study for Ritual of Stone and Water: Pilgrimage to the Ninth Wave Multiverse 2022. Mixed media, dimensions variable. Commissioned by SIRIUS. Photograph: the artist

Marie Brett | The Hidden Mountain, the Fort and the Five Trees

23 March – 15 October 2022

The artist Marie Brett’s exhibition The Hidden Mountain, the Fort and the Five Trees features works that consider social, psychological, allegorical, and mystical methods of processing trauma, conflict, and control. The exhibition is Brett’s first survey show, and the most comprehensive presentation of her work to date. It brings together a commissioned, newly made installation; a group of past films alongside the premiere of her latest film; and an eclectic display of objects, texts, photographs, and videos documenting and reimagining other installations produced in recent years. It facilitates a critical review of Brett’s practice, repositioning and furthering her idiosyncratic voice and style within the Irish art scene.

Brett creates installations, films, and performances, often collaborating with communities having particular interests and geographies and welcoming other creative contributions—from music to lighting design and dance—as well as both specialized academic advice and amateur, skill-based knowledge. She undertakes considerable periods of research and active dialogue as a means of forefronting reciprocal intellectual and practical exchanges. She usually presents, or stages, her work in the public realm—in historically significant architecture, spiritual and/or ancestral landscapes, abandoned urban sites, or the digital arena. 

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. More recently she has been delving into questions of cultural lore in which she gestures toward the supernatural, exploring the legacy of paganism as well as present-day otherworldly phenomena. Specifically she does this by delineating the multiple relationships between body and land, according to Irish customs informed by a mix of religion and patriarchal values. 

At the core of the exhibition is Ritual of Stone and Water: Pilgrimage to the Ninth Wave Multiverse, a commission from SIRIUS. The work consists of a scaled-down replica of a grain silo—a structure commonly found across Ireland’s countryside—painted orange, around and inside of which are a variety of elements, including light, haze, sound pieces, flickering images, charcoal, and quartz. In the interior of the structure, a combination of visual, auditory, and tactile effects provokes a visceral affective resonance with the audience. The work engages with agricultural vernacular formations, matter, celestial or ancient territories, and divination to suggest a holy well: it is a portal, possibly projecting into and receiving messages from another world, and it also functions as a terrain of renewal or healing. Yet there is some uncertainty as to whether it is communicating advice or warnings from the future.

Brett situates her practice at the edges of “safe ground” and in “transformative spaces,” whether between life and death or between earth, sky, and the underworld. She draws from traditions, personal and collective memories, folklore, and political contexts to trace forms of courage, protection, and regeneration. While focused on matters of relevance in Ireland, she also addresses wider themes of the human condition through the lens of lived experience, responding and contributing to a sense of belief and resilience in the face of the existential, physical, and emotional crises that define contemporaneity.

Curated by Miguel Amado, director of SIRUS.

Produced by SIRIUS.

 

Marie Brett in conversation with Joanne Laws and Miguel Amado

Launch Event

SIRIUS

9 April, 2-4pm

Free; no booking required

Marie Brett, Joanne Laws and Miguel Amado discuss the artist’s approach to research and collection of material, both physical and intangible; her collaborative process; her intellectual references; the themes of the works on view; and the curatorial approach used to organise this exhibition. This session facilitates a critical review of Brett’s practice, repositioning and furthering her idiosyncratic voice and style within the Irish art scene. 

Joanne Laws is a critic, contributing to magazines such as Art Monthly and Frieze as well as exhibition catalogues, and the editor of the Visual Artists’ News Sheet from Visual Artists Ireland.

Miguel Amado is the director of SIRIUS and the exhibition’s curator.

 

Paranormal investigation with Cobh Supernatural Investigators

SIRIUS

16 April, 9pm-1am

Free with limited capacity; an expression of interest sent to team@siriusartscentre.ie is required

Cobh Supernatural Investigators explore and often encounter paranormal activity on Great Island, County Cork. They prove – or disprove – the existence of unexplained phenomena by locating and recording signs of paranormal activity. They employ a range of techniques and devices – including thermal imaging equipment, electromagnetic meters, temperature meters, ion detectors, and Geiger counters – to look for unusual temperatures, magnetic fields, and radiation, all of which are believed to be signs of paranormal activity.

Cobh Supernatural Investigators conduct a night-time enquiry into our building, which seems to have a history of mysterious, unexplained occurrences. Guests accompany them as they gather information, eventually learning about the former occupants and past experiences within the building.

 

Marie Brett in conversation with Dr Jenny Butler and Miguel Amado

SIRIUS

23 April, 2-4pm

Free; no booking required 

Marie Brett, Dr Jenny Butler and Miguel Amado discuss the themes of the exhibition, and more broadly the artist’s practice, through the lens of cultural lore. Brett’s work has been gesturing towards the supernatural, exploring the legacy of paganism and present-day otherworldly phenomena, while Butler’s research focuses on Western esotericism, folklore and emergent religious traditions.

Dr Jenny Butler is a Lecturer at University College Cork, and Director of Graduate Studies at the Study of Religions Department in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences.

Miguel Amado is the director of SIRIUS and the exhibition’s curator.

 

William Maloney in conversation with Aideen Quirke

SIRIUS

28 May, 2-4pm

Free; no booking required

William Maloney discusses themes and experiences of the otherworld, reflecting on how events or knowledge can inform our understanding of reality. He also engages with narratives around hand analysis, also known as palmistry or chiromancy, which has been practised for thousands of years across the globe in many formats. Specifically, he looks at the origins of hand analysis and its links to astrology and other practices, and gives insight into how and why he interprets lines on the hands as a tool for self-examination and well-being.

William Maloney is a hand analysis practitioner from Cobh and a former staff member at SIRIUS.

Aideen Quirke is Associate Programme Curator at SIRIUS.

  

Lady’s Well field trip with Amanda Clarke

Undisclosed location, Cloyne, County Cork

4 June, 2-4pm

Free with limited capacity; an expression of interest sent to team@siriusartscentre.ie is required

Footwear and clothing suitable for outdoor walking are essential

On St Brigid’s Day 2016, Amanda Clarke set out to discover the state of County Cork’s holy wells and to record her findings. Three years later she has visited around 300 holy wells in the area, detailing her visits in her comprehensive blog. While many of them are no longer active or neglected, or have even disappeared, the remaining are sometimes a site of pilgrimage for people seeking a source of spiritual comfort. All holy wells “have their stories to tell and individually and collectively provide a fascinating glimpse into a way of life and set of beliefs that are steadily disappearing”.

Amanda Clarke, accompanied by Marie Brett, leads a visit to Lady’s Well near Cloyne, sharing her knowledge and experience along the way. While the Lady’s Well is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, its archaeological and pre-Christian use may be of interest to visitors of all religions and none seeking an area of worship and/or quiet contemplation.

Amanda Clarke is a researcher, explorer, and photographer.

Marie Brett in conversation with Ellie O’Byrne

SIRIUS

23 September, 6-7.30 pm

Free; no booking required

Part of Culture Night 2022


Marie Brett and Ellie O’Byrne discuss the artist’s interests and concerns, both in art and beyond, and the production of this exhibition, specifically the themes and practicalities in making new work. This session is the third of a three-part podcast series with Brett produced by Byrne and commissioned by SIRIUS as part of SIRIUS Podcasts.

Ellie O’Byrne is a journalist and co-founding editor of Tripe + Drisheen.


Marie Brett in conversation with Helen Barrett and Sharon O’Driscoll

SIRIUS

23 September, 8-9.30 pm

Free; no booking required

Part of Culture Night 2022

Marie Brett, the White Witch of Cobh Helen Barrett, and Sharon O'Driscoll discuss otherworldly phenomena drawing from folklore and traditions as well as knowledge exchange in Cobh and the wider Great Island.