TOMBOLO is a powerful, imaginative and considered project that take artists to a profound level of engagement with the landscape of Brow Head. The project supported artists who primarily focus on landscape, whose themes of environment, community, heritage and collaboration are intrinsic to, and reflected in their work.
Please read below to find out more about Tombolo, to learn about the artists and the exhibition weekend.
Artists Sofia Arredondo, Antonia Beard, Millie Egan, Katrin Hanusch, Brenda Kearney and Melanie King spent two weeks in residency on the headland. The residency gave the artists the chance to create in an environment free from traditional expectations, unlocking the potential for new work to emerge. Inherent in the work was a kind of surrender to geographical context which opened up whole unexplored regions of expression and creativity. Supported by the Arts Council and Cork County Council, the residency culminated in a four-day exhibition and was open to the public from 16th-19th of May, 2019.
Outside of the studio, the artists worked in a manner and on a scale that the landscape dictated. Coupled with the immersive and collaborative aspect of the process, this provided a greater openness and freeness of experimentation, which ultimately produced innovative and informed sculptural works of art.
TOMBOLO encourages exploration of the wild landscapes of isolated regions within Ireland through the unique lens of a site-responsive art exhibition. The informed artworks gives the audience an insight into the history, heritage and geography of the region while simultaneously imbuing a sense of value and appreciation for the arts.
The exhibition tours led by former lighthouse keeper Ger Butler and the artists created further opportunities for the audience to delve into the history, concepts and artistic processes behind each work.
THE WORKSHOP SERIES
A number of additional activities were programmed into the weekend. The activities offered the audience a chance to soak in the atmosphere and landscape that has so strongly shaped the TOMBOLO project. The artists, crew, volunteers and organisers were on site all weekend to explain the project further.
An exhibition tour took place daily, lead by the participating artists.
Lay of the Land hosted a series of landscape inspired creative workshops where audience members tried their hand at printmaking with Clare Henderson, and frame loom weaving with Lay of the Land, all while learning about sustainable art practices.
LOTL partnered with Cre8 Sustainability’s Emily Robyn Archer & An Tasice’s Clean Coasts Initiative to run a beach clean & collaborative sand mural.
An "Insight into the history & heritage of the surrounding hinterland” talk was lead by former lighthouse keeper Gerard Butler.
A Telescopic Moon Gazing & Dusk Tour took place on the eve of the full moon.
The audience warmed up by the fire pit post invigorating sea swim on Saturday evening.
The Cowshed was transformed into a venue with music by Clare Sands & SON programmed for the Saturday night. Revel Coffee and The Market Kitchen were on site serving up delicious locally sourced food & coffee all weekend!
SUN DIAL CYANOTYPE
This piece was designed to show the power of the Sun. The sundial points towards true North, and on sunny days you will see the triangular shadow oscillate around the structure. Uniquely, the blue colour of the sundial comes from the cyanotype process, which uses ultraviolet light from the sun to achieve the strong blue colour. The cyanotype is a nineteenth century photographic technique invented by John Herschel, a polymath inventor and astronomer. To create this piece the artist used strong direct sunlight at Mizen Head, and washed the wooden structure in the sea.
30cm x 45cm
OSB, steel, bolts.
A large photograph directly printed onto grass. Using corrugated sheeting, the light from the sun was blocked from the grass over a period of 8 days. The length of the line corresponds to the depth of the old mines at Crookhaven. The audience were encouraged to walk the line to imagine the depths that the miners would have descended each day.
1.56m x 1.2m
Corrugated sheeting, rocks, breeze blocks, silo wrap.
On the 4th of May, the artist worked from sunrise to sunset for 15 hrs, collecting rocks and placing them in a line. Each time she placed a rock she held it to the sun, allowing the spin of the earth to dictate where the rock should lie. The piece is not only a measure of the sun lighting the earth but also a measure of the time it took to collect the rocks and her energy as a human. The curve changed depending on how long it took her to collect and place the rocks. The rocks were selected carefully, only by what could be carried and moved on the land without disruption to any particular place. Dotted around the landscape the audience could see traces where the rocks where removed. The process of the work follows the labour of our ancient ancestors who have always collected and placed rocks as shelters and boundaries.
1.45m x 1.63m
Rocks sourced on the headland.
Inspired by the beautiful landscape of Brow Head, these flags frame the land, sea and sky. Due to the movement of the fabric, different elements of the view are revealed and concealed. The circular shape is a theme running throughout the artworks, with reference to the sun, moon and stars. The audience were invited to spend time with the flags, observing them at different points throughout the day and in different types of weather.
3m x 7m
Cotton fabric, thread, tying wire, galvanised steel, rope, rocks.
THROUGH THE LOOKING WALL
Fourteen old tractor windows created a glass wall that merges with the landscape allowing the visitor to see beyond the glass, but also observe its own reflection as part of the environment. Following landscape lines from the sea and grass, the different shapes and sizes of the glass sheets determine the position and rotation of the wall.
This piece creates a space for contemplation that speaks about the agricultural heritage of this area and invites the audience to reflect upon the way we perceive our environment.
4m X 40cm
Copper was mined on Brow Head from 1859 - 1906, the land is rich with copper contained in the Quartz. The discovery of copper and our harnessing of it is just one example of how material discoveries have changed how we interact with and inhabit the world. The weighted element of the raw quartz holds us to the earth as the processed copper moves with the wind, symbolising our turbulent relationship to the natural forces as we move in rhythm with the universe.
2m x 90cm
Copper sheeting, iron and steel rods, rebar.
Shōka is a Japanese philosophy dedicated to the inner beauty of plants; it begins with the idea that the natural landscapes before us are the harmony of all things. Plants simply grow where they should grow, when water, light, soil, etc are in balance. Here, Shōka gently emphasises natural points of abundance in the landscape, to encourage attention and sensitivity within our surroundings. The ceramic objects in Shōka were hand-built and pit-fired with seaweeds, driftwood and copper extracted from stones gathered from Galley Cove and Brow Head.
Various sizes, 5cm - 30cm
Clay, copper filings, driftwood, cow dung, seaweed.
Inspired by the beautiful landscape of Brow Head, these flags frame the land, sea and sky. Due to the movement of the fabric, different elements of the view are revealed and concealed. The circular shape is a theme running throughout the artworks, with reference to the sun, moon and stars. We invite you to spend time with the flags, observing them at different points throughout the day and in different types of weather.
3m x 7m
Cotton fabric, thread, tying wire, steel bars, rope, rocks.
LAST STANDING DOOR
“Last standing door” was a memorial installation that commemorates the extinct forests of Ireland. The piece references the symbolism behind the Celtic Tree of Life, with its branches reaching skyward and roots reflected into the world below, believed to be the link between this world and the other.
2m x 5m
Bracken branch, steel base, rope.
Brow Head’s lichens have speciated and magnified onto the walls of the Miners’ Cottage, reclaiming the stone and contrasting the flaking remnants of human past with the slow, steady progression of nature. They are breakers of rocks and creators of ecosystems; whittling away at the headland, belching minerals in vibrant hues. They crept in near the beginning and will be here still, long after we’ve left. Growing on a geological time frame, turning chemicals and stone to oxygen and soil, their impact plays out over aeons. Let the giant human ego be dwarfed and minimised in their presence.
3m x 3m
Corrugated sheeting, tying wire, paint.
Once the material that covered that area was removed, the shape filled with water. A situation makes space for another situation; absence, memory and moving on. The artist marked this process with a circle in the landscape that reflects the sun, the moon, the clouds and the sky.
Through built, foraged and handmade elements, Brothy invited individuals to sit and imbibe the landscapes of Tombolo. A meal of broth and crackers, a zen window, a seat for one: Brothy allows our senses to engage fully with the surrounding bounty of sights, sounds and tastes. The edible offerings have been made with seaweeds and seawater from nearby shores - you can sit in the landscape and the landscape can sit in your belly.
Brenda Kearney, Millie Egan
2m x 2m
Wood, sea water, seaweed, flour, metal sheeting, paint.
- Of Stars & Stones - Whilst at Mizen Head, the artist captured ancient light from distant stars onto photosensitive film. This light has been travelling for thousands, if not millions, of years. To think in planetary, cosmic and geological time, allows us to think of the depths of our past and our future. Human life has existed for a tiny fragment of the Earth’s history, and within the past 200 years we have already caused considerable damage to the Earth’s ecosystems, By thinking outside of our own experience of time, we can imagine future civilisations who may have to deal with the Earth we leave behind.
- Tools - A photographic study of the tools and materials created and collected by the artists and crew. The tools allowed new ways of seeing and interacting with the land over the course of the residency. They have been shaped for specific purposes between resourcefulness and invention to produce the works. Tools stand at the threshold of our abilities allowing us to transform material and shape the world around us.
- Evolving Field - A series of mixed media compositions that integrate images, colours and textures from the local landscape. The images developed with photographic techniques, are left without a fixative allowing them to evolve as they are exposed to natural light.
Melanie King, Antonia Beard, Sofia Arredando
Plywood, sash window, paint, photographic paper, minerals, seaweed, clay, rocks, branches, yarn, ocean rubbish discarded on the beach.
Minerals are mined with tools, processed from ore to alloy before they enter the circle of manufacturing. The artist melted small amounts of metal in an improvised set up releasing them from their serving state to just be. This gesture is made visible by filling cavities in the quartz and pouring little pools of aluminium and bronze between the rocks.
1m x 50cm
aluminium, bronze, copper, propane.
This photographic cyanotype print was created by the light of the Sun, using sea spaghetti and other objects to block the light and create shadows. By hanging the cyanotype on the cliff edge, the blue length of fabric connects the depths of the sea to the dome of the sky. As the exhibition weekend progressed the piece evolved and changed colour with the moving tides.
13m x 150cm
cotton fabric, thread, cyanotype liquid recipe, rope. .
Behind the scenes photos of how the project came together and the dozens of hands that worked tirelessly to make it all happen.
Follow the audience as they ramble over the headland and down onto the cliffs, experiencing the thought provoking artworks.
From the craggy cliffs of Brow Head to the lapping shoreline at Galley Cove, the Tombolo site offers a diverse range of breathtaking landscapes.
A very special thanks to everyone who documented and photographed the project.
Lily Smith - www.lilyajsmith.com
Fellipe Lopes - www.fellipelopes.com
Sofia Arredondo - www.sofiaarredondo.com
Kari Cahill - www.karicahill.com
Antonia Beard - www.antoniabeard.com
Millie Egan - www.millieegan.com
Hazel Mc Cague
TOMBOLO was supported by the Arts Council, Cork County Council, Creative Ireland Cork County Grant Scheme and by the generous donations by supporters of the arts. Producing and exhibiting art in the wild presents many logistical as well as elemental challenges. This support enables us to develop new projects, support artists and present unique and innovative outdoor exhibitions.
We are extremely grateful to everybody that donated to TOMBOLO 19. We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everybody who came down and helped, cooked, laughed, ate, trekked the headland, took photos, basked in the May sunlight, and braved the torrential downpours during setup.
There were a couple of folk whose generosity really made an impact to what we were able to achieve and we would like to extend a special thank you to…
The TOMBOLO Crew & Volunteers
John & Jackie Walsh
Gavin Mc Carthy
Fingal & Ciara Fergusson
Sofia’s artistic practice has circled around a wide range of creative fields, driven mainly by an exploration of space and its relationship with the surrounding environment, both as an artist and a designer.
With a BA in industrial design studies, her professional experience in Mexico -her home country- included designing spaces for theatre, interior, music performances, festivals and film.
After completing an MPS program in architectural lighting in NYC, she joined a design firm where among other trades she worked in landscape lighting, which showed her a new way to interact with nature while experimenting with materials and technologies.
In 2017 a 10-month journey through Asia became a turning point that shifted the focus of her practice into the intersection of art, culture, and environment.
Through the experimentation of different media that includes drawing, screen printing, collage and installations, her work aims to find new forms of representation and interaction that transform our ambitions, values and behaviour to build a sustainable future.
Antonia is a London based artist with a background in textile design. Her textiles background has had a huge impact on her philosophy towards art making.
She spent time in Cambodia studying ancient textile techniques at the IKTT - the Institute of Khmer Traditional Textiles. Learning from Kikuo Morimoto and the artisans of the forest village, she understood how traditional textiles embody the landscape of a place, in a process that is deeply linked to the natural habit and cultural interaction. This perspective has fused with her passion for the sweaty, urban dance-floors of London and her upbringing in agricultural Berkshire, to create work that is rooted in the process of experience and material narratives.
2018 has resulted in a series of site-specific projects lead by this philosophy, listening carefully to what can be discovered through each scenario, studying the connections that underpin our material and metaphysical existence. The process is used as a way of seeing, preparing the mind to a state of consciousness that directs the work.
Millie Egan isn’t really a specialist in anything but gets by just fine. She draws, paints, designs, mends, and makes sculptures out of discarded metal and stone found in dirty barns and suburban roadsides. She grew up in Dublin where her favourite hobbies were ‘going making’ and looking after crows who’d flown into the conservatory windows. Childhood summers were spent on her grandparents’ farm in Kerry, following Granny across the fields with the big cow-herding stick, and examining flowers and mosses in the bog. She is an adult now and not much has changed.
Living in Dublin and working in Ireland, Scotland and California, Millie Egan is a multi- disciplinary artist and wanderer. She works in theatre, film and festivals and has recently focused on her own sculpture and painting practice. She travels whenever possible, often working on farms and taking care of horses, cows and llamas. She makes folk art from found objects- metal flown off cars on motorways, paint left over after renovation jobs up the street, and animal bones unearthed in the woods.
Katrin grew up in the German countryside working on camps in the forest, standing in mud holes or catching tadpoles by hand. She is convinced that foraging berries and mushrooms is the best way to happiness.
Since both her grandparents worked partly in farming, her parents became extensive gardeners too. As a child Katrin used to have her own garden bed, growing Marigold, carrots and onions. While these early gardening experiences involved care and observation, she also learned useful DIY skills from her dad.
Now, as an intuitive maker, Katrin has a deep, ongoing conversation with materials and processes, coming together in a series of investigations and artworks around the idea of ‘touch’ and the absence/presence of objects, 'the shadow without object'. She is driven by a genuine curiosity in the human condition with motifs taken from the everyday. Distorted by humour and spirituality these motifs oscillate between a broad variety of tools, techniques, materials, historic and cutting-edge. Sculptures, installations, prints and drawings form her experimental, hands-on practice.
Studies of graphic design, fine art print making in Germany and a MA in sculpture at the RCA in London, a six months working stay in Vietnam, co-managing an art space and delivering national and international shows, give her a broad experience to draw from.
Brenda Kearney is a Dublin-based visual and socially-engaged artist whose current practice centres around hospitality, education and the valuing of skills, culture and knowledge. Drawing on previous experience as a fishmonger, cook and student of anthropology, she creates projects where food, craft and other domestic processes act as prompts for collaborative curiosity, conversations and exchanges of ideas.
Brenda is a founding member of Fairland Collective, a socially-engaged art collective based between Ireland, the UK and France; recent commissions and residencies includes John, Is This Your Cup of Tea (Age & Opportunity Artist in a Care Setting, Dublin, 2019), ONE POT (Sefton Council Libraries and Arts Council of England, Liverpool, 2017 - ongoing) and Sponge School, (Culture Connects, Dublin, 2018). She is also a commissioned artist on various Grizedale Arts projects, including A Fair Land (IMMA, 2016) and The Dream Of Kiwanasoto (Japan, 2017 - ongoing).
Melanie King is an artist and curator with a specific focus on astronomy. She craves wild experiences; tumultuous seas, dark skies, mountain crags.
Melanie’s relationship to the land has become closer over the years. She enjoys quiet exploration, meaningful connections with local communities, a gentle use of materials from the lands she visits.Being a recent inhabitant of Margate in Kent, she enjoys the vibrant large skies, blustery seaside weather and learning about the geology of the coast.
Melanie is interested in the relationship between starlight, photography and materiality and considers how light travels thousands, if not millions of years, before reaching photosensitive film or a digital sensor. She main body of work comprises of a series of analogue photographic negatives and prints of star-scapes, as well as a series of images created using telescopes and observatories around the world. Alongside this body of work, she has produced 16mm films of the Moon and photographic etchings created using meteorite-imbued ink.
Hollie Massey is an Australian film and television commercial producer. Over the last 20 years Holli has worked with a multitude of production companies and advertising agencies and has also produced screen content for large events across Australia. Her experience in this fast paced, high production field makes her the perfect Production Manager for TOMBOLO.
Her work has also taken her to the UK, Asia, Africa and more recently Ireland where she works alongside her husband as a write/producer team. They have a number of film projects in development, on the scheduled to shoot in California later this year. Hollie currently resides in the wonderful West Cork with her husband Jeremy, and their kids Lughnasa, Finnegan and Coco.
After studying performance art and film in Wales, Felix returned to the land he grew up on in Co. Kerry, Ireland to live on a patch of willow, moss and brambles. Managing this land and experimenting with sustainable building led to creating installations for festivals and events such as Electric Picnic, Latitude and Body&Soul.
Having been a participating artist in 2017, Felix will return to he headland as our Workshop Manager & Lead Technician, a role which is intrinsic to the success of the project.
Jonah is an acrobat, aerialist, producer and director, rigger and set designer and builder. Based in Dublin he forms one half of Loosysmokes, an award winning contemporary circus company that specializes in creating site specific works in challenging locations, deep in the woods at night and and inside abandoned industrial sites. He'll bring his years of creative construction, rigging and organizing skills to help make Tombolo a roaring success this year.
Lily is a multidisciplinary object maker/designer and builder from the Pacific Northwest. She received her BA from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, where she studied furniture design and photography. Her current pursuits are focused on construction as well as clothing design and production.
Lily built her own bothy, and hand makes swimsuits, as well as a variety of other functional pieces. It’s this mixture of practical design with artistic vision that sparked our interest to have Lily involved in the project. As our artist technician Lily will support the construction of the installations.
Build Tech & Event Manager
Rory first came to Ireland from Australia in 2016 and became swiftly enamoured with the land and curious folk adorning it. Combing qualifications and experience in science, landscape construction, events and hospitality in both hemispheres, give him a unique approach and passion for solving problems and producing events
Fellipe has documented over 15 countries, from the depths of the Amazon, to the intense urban landscapes of Sao Paulo, New York and London. After creating the documentary for SILVA, he knows the ins and outs of working on-site with the LOTL crew. Fellipe will be the man behind filming TOMBOLO and we're excited to see what all the work looks like through his lens!
Photographer & Decor
Al Cahill spent her childhood exploring rockpools in West Cork, and knows the area like the back of her hand. With a thirst for adventure and a natural talent for all things creative she will be capturing the project on her camera as well as leading the Decor team to whip the Cowshed & Galley Cove into shape for the exhibition weekend.
Bean an Tí
Having grown up in Connemara, Hannah has a big love for the West Coast and when in Ireland she likes to spend as much time there by the sea as possible.
She is all about community, creativity and bringing people together, often with the help of a lovely meal. She has fed people around the world at retreats and festivals as well as working with various community, art and permaculture projects near and far.
TOMBOLO 19 took place at various sites of the tombolo headland at Brow Head, Mizen Peninsula, West Cork.
Fastest Route via Dunmanway - https://goo.gl/maps/w3v18B1W4gn
Scenic Route via Coast Road - https://goo.gl/maps/JnKEJ67EqBp
Co-ordinates: 51°27'24.1"N 9°45'23.6"W