Runs in glór gallery until Saturday 30th March
To view details of Christine’s associated workshop Exploring Lumen Print Processes with Plants taking place on Saturday March 16th, click HERE
An Artist’s Tour of the exhibition will take place with Christine at 10.30am on Saturday March 16th. Free of charge and all welcome.
glór is proud to present an exhibition of new work by Christine Mackey.
ACTS OF CARE (in-process) is an evolving ecological-based practice developed in response to the specific conditions of land or marine-based environments under stress. The work for glór expands from the archival video work Acts of Care: Surface Dressing, which explores the legacy of seaweed as both a soil improver and in terms of ‘making’ soil with sand and other botanical materials.
These small acts can manifest in many forms, such as Mackey’s ongoing seed collection or the collection of plastic from coastal sites around the country – visual ‘evidence’ cast in circular bioplastic forms that the artist made from agar. While in-situ these forms will continue to contract as the material responds to the conditions of the gallery. Visual processes retrace localized phenomena presented beyond their original coordinates. For example, an individual kelp frond (sample) can become witness to an entire population enmeshed with industrial economies. It speaks from and through a complex network of relations that scatter between locations, states, patterns and communities.
Embedded in Mackey’s practice is an interest in working through a range of analogue and scientific processes combining drawing, print and improvised sculptural forms that have the capacity to change and be changed. The imprint of non-human entities utilizes the phenol capacity of local plant material (seaweed in this context) to draw out an invisible landscape that attempts to capture the atmospheric stresses of land, sea and watery species. This method of working directly with material sources avoids a non-representational view of the site and all its active players. These assemblages combine the natural with the synthetic, which opens a dialogue between different and competing materials, the research, the site and human effects. Materials acquire power because their networks are complex. They can scatter, be invisible and transitory and trade like stacks of dried Kelp. They can circulate and embody different kinds of references and resonances with non-human species. These material entanglements create a holding space to think about the vulnerability of watery organisms and the complex habitats that circumnavigate coastlines
Christine Mackey is an independent research-based visual artist attending to complex environmental issues, iterated through a range of site-specific and socially engaged contexts. Conceptually and physically pursued through the subject of the seed and the agency of plant matter. Here seeds are defined not as a thing, but as a set of social relations that must be continually nourished to survive, grow, adapt and evolve. She digs, draws, plants, collects, extracts, narrates and ‘care’ for ‘other’ beings in ‘other’ spaces in response to current planetary times. These variable and multimodal processes parallel the labouring activities of the ‘gardener’.
Through this eclectic and microscopic lens, the entangled narratives and often antagonistic relationship between human and non-human species are made manifest across multiple forms. The evolving projects, public engagements, publications and exhibitions are meticulously researched, which pursue a narrative structure based on an assemblage of key research material, sites of interest and social integration.
Featured Image: Seaweed Drawing (Detail)