In the In Between – Fionnuala Lismore

In the In between
Image: Fionnuala Lismore, In the In Between (detail), sculpture, 2014

April 17th – 20th, 2014
Opening reception: Thursday April 17th,  7-9 pm
Artist talk: Thursday April 17th, 2pm

Liminal spaces are the in between, they are the transition space from one stage of life to another. This process is continual and yet marked by a beginning and an end. In my life I have found that my transitions haven’t been marked through any visual means and with this exhibit I hope to remedy that. However I struggled to portray my own journey accurately because depicting the process of change is a demanding procedure. In other cultures significant changes are marked through celebration or trial, sometimes by physical markings like scars or even tattoos. My sculptures act as the physical markers of transformation. They seek to remind the viewer of the change that everyone undergoes throughout life. My exhibition is about portraying transitioning phases through static means. This relationship is full of tension because I want to capture movement through still form and in doing so I introduce contradiction. This establishes unease with the viewers because it’s not a natural resting place; it is a causeway from one place to another.

I was motivated by a trip I took to Ireland with my family. On that trip I had the privilege of seeing The Giant’s Causeway for the first time. It is composed of thousands of naturally formed basalt columns of enormous scale. Each one is formed into a perfect hexagon and seeing all these forms together, interacting with the cliff side environment, is striking. I was particularly intrigued by the way the stones reacted in some of the smaller caves that littered the cliff side. In these caves the columns encroached on the space, worming their way into the curvature of the softened stone, creating harsh lines and geometric symmetry in a place that was previously untouched. This relationship between geometric form and natural space stuck with me and I longed to recreate the feelings of transformation it evoked. The name ’causeway’ is about a space that connects two different places. The trip I took to the Giant’s Causeway acted as the catalyst for this body of work.

In my work I attempt to capture transitioning space in physical forms. I use acrylics and Lexan sheets to create my configurations based on the way they conduct light and their adaptable properties. I cut simple shapes and arranged them to make more complex compositions. This process was time consuming and physically demanding, it resulted in many cuts and burns because of the sharp edges and hot glue. These difficulties are physical manifestations of the trial things undergo when going through a metamorphosis and were integral to the art making process.

My sculptures are composed of a few hundred cut pieces, which have been refined into a little over 100 pyramids of varying size. These pieces waver in intricacy and overall form. Some of the facets on the pyramids are made up of more then one layer and depending on their placement reflect light in different ways. When placed on the walls in the rooms they will give off a distinct impression of crystallization. As the crystal forms occupy space in the gallery they also change the environment around them, the triangular configurations of light merge into one another and seem to be evolving in the room changing it into a liminal space.