Exhibitions | 07-02-2023

Sift exhibition explores connections between Wales and Ireland

‘Sift’ is an exhibition of work by six artists, each of whom created work in response to the ancient connections between Wales and Ireland. It opens in Wales on 24 February 2023, before moving to Ireland on 14 April.

The show includes glass work by Linda Norris, photography and cast glass by John Sunderland, mixed media pieces by Sylvia Cullen, and work by Seán Vicary, David Begley and Tracy Breathnach.

Linda Norris’ piece ‘Fragment Dresser’ (Dresel Ddernynnau in Welsh) centres on the domestic dresser – a familiar, iconic piece of furniture, which has pride of place in many homes in both Wales and Ireland. Her ‘virtual dresser’ is created using glass, light and shadow.

Starting from the simple sense of delight afforded by stumbling upon a jewel-like fragment of porcelain in a muddy field, or on a windswept shore, this work explores the sense of connection that is evoked by these small, broken, and often overlooked, fragments of domestic objects.

As part of the development of this work, Linda ran a series of poetry workshops with poet, Emma Baines, during which people in Pembrokeshire and Ireland were encouraged to write poems inspired by sherds they had found. Handwritten fragments of these poems, in Welsh, Irish and English, along with a poem by Welsh poet Menna Elfyn, can be seen in the shadows cast in the work.

Linda explains, “’Fragment Dresser’ explores what is there, and what that reveals of what is no longer there. In essence, the work imaginatively investigates powerful human connections across time and landscapes. These tiny shards provide a portal into other lives and places and journeying there inspires us to reflect on our own.”

‘Fragment Dresser’ was commissioned by Ancient Connections, an EU-funded, cross-border arts, heritage and sustainable tourism project.

‘Sift’ opens in Wales at Oriel y Parc, St David’s SA62 6NW on 24 February and is on until 29 March at this venue (9.30am-5.00pm daily). It then moves to Wexford Council Offices in Ireland (14 April-20 May).

Find out more about ‘Fragment Dresser’ and watch videos of poetry readings from the sherds poetry workshops via this link.

Image: Detail of ‘Fragment Dresser’, appearing in the ‘Sift’ exhibition.

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