LCGA Exhibitions

Songs and the Soil, Mark Garry

24th September - 28th November 2021
Limerick City Gallery of Art, Pery Square, Limerick



The  exhibition at LCGA comprises of a series of installations and individual works under the combined title Songs and the Soil.


These works explore interrelated research areas and material interests that are reflective of Mark Garry’s multidimensional approach to a subject and exhibition-making.  Songs and the Soil engages with the related subjects of landscape and music/sound, looking at each element from historical, social and cultural perspectives and points to where these elements combine or intersect.


This is the second iteration of Songs and the Soil, the project was initially commissioned by Hugh Mulholland for the MAC in Belfast.  There are a number of new works that have been developed specifically for this LCGA iteration of Songs and the Soil Mark Garry is driven by a fundamental interest in observing how we navigate the world and the subjectivity inherent in these navigations.  His work is characterised by delicate site-specific installations which are meticulously constructed, combining physical, visual, sensory and empathetic relationships that intersect the gallery and form connections between a specific space and each other.


installation view LCGA of Meadow, (photo credit Justin Gawke, (c) Artist & LCGA)

The exhibition contains an expansive and immersive installation made up of a series of inter-reliant sonic, sculptural and pictorial elements.  LCGA will be transformed into an indoor meadow where hundreds of dried flowers (Gypsophila) are held within small porcelain vessels accompanied by an ambitious six-hour musical composition made up of birdsong, using field recordings from a variety of locations close to where the artist lives.


instllation view of  An Lucht Siúil (The Walking People), (photo credit Justin Gawke, (c) Artist & LCGA)

Songs and the Soil also includes a new film work entitled An Lucht Siúil (The Walking People).  The film explores the relationship between Irish travellers and Modernism, specifically the relationship between Irish Travelers and the Irish state as it is played out between the traveller and settled communities in the middle part of the last century.  The film's narration in five sections adopts the theatrical structure of a Greek Tragedy performed partly in English and partly in Shelta (de Gamon /Cant), the language of the Irish traveller.  These songs, written by the artist, act as a poetic response to Ireland's complex relationship to land and land ownership, and the relationship between the peoples who share this land.


While located in research Garry’s intention is that one’s encounter with the works prioritises the poetic over the didactic, where research elements are subtly embedded, and where the works combine to enable an encounter that merges modesty and complexity.



installation view 'AFter Mary Swanzy, (photo credit Justin Gawke (c) Artist & LCGA)

A commission special thread installation by Garry titled 'After Mary Swanzy' is a site specific intervention in the atrium space  between the lobby and first floor galleries taking inspiration from Mary Swanzy's painting 'Conflagration' from LCGA's Permanent Collection. 



detail of installation, Resonant Earth, 2020, stainless steel and dried moth, (photo credit Justin Gawke (c) Artist & LCGA)


Mark Gary has held exhibitions at museums and art venues in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia and represented Ireland at the 2005 Venice Biennale. Most recently Mark has held solo exhibitions at The MAC Belfast,(2020), Chanwon Sculpture Biennale,(South Korea) (2020) Roscommon art Centre.(2020), The Irish Museum of Modern Art. IMMA. Dada Post, Berlin. Towner, Eastbourne, The Model, Sligo, Lafayette projects Marseille. Sommer & Kohl, Berlin, City gallery, Charleston South Carolina. Cave, Detroit, Michigan, Stephen Freidman Gallery, London, Galleria Civica di Modena, Modena, Italy, Gallery Vartai, Vilnius, Lithuania, The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh PA, The Lewis Glucksman gallery, Cork, The Serpentine Gallery, London, Kerlin gallery, RHA, The Hugh lane Gallery, The Douglas Hyde Gallery and Temple bar Galleries ,Dublin.  His work is represented in the collections of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Arts Council of Ireland, the Foundation to-life Arthur and Carol Kaufman Goldberg collection New York.


LCGA Information for Mark Garry    LCGA Mark Garry information sheet (381 Kb)    


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