Fiona Kelly: A Demarcation of Time

12 January - 12 February 2023

A Demarcation of Time voices a land, specifically the Split Hills Esker, Co. Westmeath. Eskers are distinct Irish landforms, composed of stratified layers of fine compact sands and gravel deposited by retreating glaciers. Since the 1840s, eskers have been widely extracted and dismantled as they are composed of the perfect aggregate for construction. The Split Hills Esker is an area of unique ecological diversity but also home to a large disused quarry where Gannon Eco, an award-winning waste reconstitution plant, now reside. This site is where Kelly is currently researching material making and unmaking, temporality and land use.

The imagery in this exhibition is fragmented; the industrial spliced with the rural, disarticulating and reconfiguring the familiar to slowly hold images of grasslands, flora and slowscapes of endless waste. A bag of dust sits in space, natural landscapes are depicted in tar and waste remnants are displayed as museological artefacts. 

These arrangements of the world’s materiality narrate a foreboding restlessness, of ceaselessly shifting surfaces, resources and terrains.

Examining humanistic interactions with territory, Kelly incites an inquiry into extractive activities and questions the cumulative effect of centuries of a nonreciprocal relationship with Nature. Her work is to champion the earth, regardless of region or demarcation, a voice resounding that we are only as strong as the dirt beneath us.