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14 December 2017

Fingal County Council Arts Office and BLOCK T are delighted to announce Laura Skehan's exhibition 'Welcome to the Anthropocene'. This work is the culmination of a one-year Graduate Studio Award in BLOCK T Studios, Dublin 8; part of FUEL, Block T's Visual Arts Programme dedicated to the support and professional development of recent graduates.

Laura Skehan's work explores our dynamic relationship with the physical landscape, focusing on areas of significant geological interest. Engaging with painting, sculpture materials and video projection, her practice combines a language of movement, image and objects. With her research deeply rooted in natural physics, geology, classical philosophy and dance, she explores the body as a conduit of ideas, drawing comparisons with other moving elements from the physical world. Using research methods from environmental anthropology, she dissects our relationship with the political, social and geological histories of these places. She attempts to validate the role of the artist in contemporary culture using visual and aural analogies. Her attention remains on our influence on the physical landscape, emphasizing the importance of kinesthetic, material and environmental awareness. 

Skehan produced the series of works in ‘Welcome to the Anthropocene’ during her yearlong residency at Block T studios, Dublin. Through painting, sculpture and digital media practice, she imagines a dystopian future where our natural materials and finite resources have become completely exhausted. In this complicated future, the only possible way to experience these materials is through works of art. Works that are either made with the material, crudely represent the material or that reference through the absence of the material attempt to realize this concept. Using this methodology, Skehan references the hypocritical behavior of humans and our deteriorating relationship with the earth. Inspired by a number of locations including the large chevron folds and abandoned copper mines at Loughshinny, The Dead Zoo in Dublin and the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, Skehan grapples with the socio-economic dependency on the commoditization of the Earth’s minerals and our distancing relationship to the natural world, relating this to the commoditization of artwork and the art market.

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