Issue 04 of Bloomers is titled ‘Out of Body’. The issue contains a collection of essays and written creative responses to work by emerging female artists based in Ireland. Out of Body is our fourth issue and our best yet. It is an A4, 48 page, saddle stitched, full colour journal. And, it features a new design by Diane Dear. The cover features a still from the film titled ‘Through the Silence’ by Elaine Howley and Mary Kelleher.
Time and Absence
Emerging female artists explore these ideas in unique and poignant ways. Firstly, Bodily perception is ongoing thematic interest. Time and absence are also at the fore. For instance, corporeal presence is shown through absence in Niamh Murphys pinhole photography. The long exposure times used to create her work means that human figures passing through the space are unable to be captured. And, the absence of the human body is also apparent in Dervla Baker’s work. Moreover, Baker captures the anthropomorphic qualities of discarded objects left in a building committed for demolition. Similarly, Aoife Claffey’s installation commemorates the ‘non-place’ of an abandoned airport terminal.
Secondly, one of the unifying themes of Out of Body is the idea of space. And, a variety of types of spaces are explored. The domestic space is a preoccupation of Ciara Callinan, Mary Sullivan and Jess McKinney. Ciara’s series focuses on the intimate sphere of the bedroom while Jess McKinney’s 1994 comments on the female body within a domestic space. In addition, Mary Sullivan draws upon her everyday surrounds to correlate the regiment of domestic chores to life in the military.
The link between the human body and architectural structures has been prevalent throughout history. Dee Walsh connects with urban space. This is through a direct exploration of psychogeography. She adopts Debord’s ‘dérive’ to reconnect with her surrounds. Walsh’s paintings are devoid of human bodies. Yet, they are full to the brim with human experience and movement. There is an acute awareness of how the spaces of a city influence our movements. Anna Blair’s essay is framed around how the architecture of swimming pools influences our movements. Tara McGinn’s aptly named article on Elaine Grainger, ‘Nothing is Made, Nothing is Finished’, explores how the exhibition space impacts on the presentation of her work. And, it also brings up interesting ideas about how we encounter and experience sculpture.