23/01/2015

´The Lost and Found Office´ - Seamus Dunbar

From October 2012 to February 2013, Dunbar walked the dismantled Sligo, Leitrim & Northern Counties Railway from Enniskillen to Ballysadare, covering approximately 50 miles (80 km) in 13 stages. The railway line offers a predetermined route through a rural landscape. As a 19th century venture capitalist enterprise, it raises questions that trouble contemporary anthropology, issues of how we exist in relation to landscape, whether as colonial ‘occupiers’ or indigenous ‘inhabitants’. Now effectively a ruin, it juxtaposes wildness with cultivation and management.

Shadowing the physical journey is a socio-cultural one, that cuts an exploratory trench through layers of history, from the contemporary threat of hydraulic fracturing, through Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’, back through the history of colonisation to the early Christian era, and deeper still into the iron, bronze and stone ages. As a strategy for walking, Dunbar developed the persona of the ‘milesman’- employees of the Railway Company whose job it was to inspect and repair designated sections of the railway. The project reflects his interest in the phenomenological nature of creating and experiencing artworks, and in walking practice as a primary tool in research and art making. The current work invites viewers to undertake their own journeys by drawing on personal memories and experiences while physically interacting with evidences from the artists own walk.

Bio
In tandem with the Visual Arts, Dunbar has pursued an interest in movement and performance since the early 1980s, collaborating with dance companies, notably Fluxusdance in 2007-2008. In 2006 he became interested in the “Body Weather” system with Frank van de Ven, and has co-ordinated 4 workshops in Ireland, including Rathlin Island in 2012.

Dunbar is based in Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim, where he co-founded along with fellow artists the Leitrim Sculpture Centre. With a background in sculpture, Dunbar has worked in a range of media including stone, wood and bronze, creating a number of publicly commissioned artworks as well as numerous smaller works. He has participated in sculpture symposia in Ireland and internationally, and has received a number of awards and bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland, the Artists’ Association of Ireland, and Wexford and Leitrim Co. Councils. He taught sculpture techniques at the Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Dublin (1993-95) and Leitrim Sculpture Centre (1995-03) and completed an MFA Art in Public at the University of Ulster in Belfast, integrating his studies with his on-going practice.


Light refreshments will be served, everyone welcome.

Exhibition runs until Sat 14th February.
Gallery opening times - 11am-4pm.
Thursday to Saturday - Doors open at front of house.
Tuesday and Wednesday - Go first to central reception at the side of the building.
Exhibition supported by the Leitrim Sculpture Centre and the Arts Council.

Link for more information: http://www.whatsoninleitrim.ie/content/exhibition-launch-lost-and-found-office-seamus-dunbar