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SEAN LYNCH & LAURA NÍ FHLAIBHÍN

The Depot

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THE COMPLEX PRESENTS AN EXHIBITION OF NEWLY COMMISSIONED ARTWORKS

BY SEAN LYNCH & LAURA NÍ FHLAIBHÍN




Method:

This is the first time The Complex will present an exhibition in The Depot, a large, irregular warehouse space with multiple entry points. The first set of thoughts around this exhibition can be traced to our initial walk-throughs where I gave the artists historical information about the nooks and crannies of the building and its odd features. The energy of these walk-throughs was slightly different than the usual ones in that it seemed important that Laura and Sean got the full scope of the building’s history in as far as I knew it. We passed by The Gallery and worked our way around through the artist studios. Beyond these two compartments, there is not a great deal of natural light inside and there are a lot of doors leading to interconnecting corridors which are dark and imposing. It begins to get hard to pinpoint where you are in the building in relation to the outside environment. It is disorientating. While the artists tried to get their bearings, I continued to saturate them with information about the site, its historical uses and anecdotes I have gleaned since working here, hoping that the cocktail of facts and fiction, infused with fruit ripening chambers, religious settlements, and ancient burial sites would stimulate them.



I hoped that something would stick, a word, a name, or a story. And it did: bananas. Before our occupancy, The Complex building operated as a banana wholesale market under the Smyths family and for both artists, this became the foundation for their exhibition. They peeled off in their own directions, but their initial shared curiosities kept them aligned in their research, whilst they investigated worms in hotel minibar fridges, and the discovery of one of the largest medieval tile collections found in Dublin to date.



Ingredients:

Research regarding ethylene gas in the banana ripening process, terracotta sculptures on the facade of Dublin City Fruit and Vegetable Market, St Mary’s Abbey founded 1139, over five hundred skeletal remains found nearby, banana DNA, a tour of Dublinia Viking Museum, the floor and subterranean levels of Lidl on Aungier Street, bananas cast in bronze, hacked minibar fridges turned into a live wormery (aka worm hotels containing ultraviolet screens, gravel, coconut husks, hessian, cardboard, fallen leaves from oak and sycamore and beech trees, banana skins, coffee grounds, strawberries, apples and carrots), the European Nightcrawler, the Red Wiggler, Solas na Glasraí by Rachel Joynt, Riverdance, numerous attempted visits to see the Van Gogh Experience, a N. Smyth & Co. Business Card presenting their motto – “BIG ENOUGH TO COPE, SMALL ENOUGH TO CARE”, clay sculpture, Elizabeth S. Eames’ & Thomas Fanning’s 1988 publication Irish medieval tiles, stone with decorative patterns, Leinster House, piping with ventilation and drainage systems, vaporisers, lighting design by Gearoid, stage decks, buckets of earth extracted from an archaeological dig, embroidered hotel bath towels and slippers.


We have consulted Collie Ennis, Department of Zoology Trinity College, in the welfare of these worms and their ongoing care throughout the exhibition and beyond. Nutrition is kindly provided by Freshpoint of Mary’s Abbey. An expansive piping system enables the worm's comfortable mobility and circulation throughout the installation.


Special thanks to Edmond O'Donovan, Courtney Deery Heritage Consultancy and Burcu Akkloyunlu, UCD School of Chemical Engineering, Johnny Mitchell of Brian Cooley & Co.



– Statement by Mark O’Gorman, Producer/Curator, Visual Arts @ The Complex



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Laura Ní Fhlaibhín lives and works in Wexford and London. Solo exhibitions include Britta Rettberg Gallery, Munich (2023), Green On Red, Dublin (2022), Pallas Projects Dublin, (2021) Palfrey London (2020), The Lab Dublin (2015). Group exhibitions include Belmacz London (2023, 2021), Solstice Arts Centre (2023), Britta Rettberg Gallery, Munich (2021), Tulca, Galway (2021, 2018), Conditions London (2021), On Curating Space, Zurich (2021), Enclave Projects, London (2019).



Sean Lynch lives in Askeaton, Limerick. Solo exhibitions include Melbourne City Hall (2023), Edinburgh Art Festival (2021), Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (2019), Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2017), Venice Biennale (2015) and Modern Art Oxford (2014). Group exhibitions include TEA Tenerife (2020), Centro Centro, Madrid (2019), CAPC Bordeaux (2015) and Camden Arts Centre (2010).


Photo credits: Kate Bowe O'Brien. 



The Complex visual art programme is proudly supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Dublin City Council.


Opening reception refreshments sponsored by Guinness






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