Aoife Ward | Sorcha McNamara
Platform Arts, Belfast
13th- 28th October 2023
curated by Freida Wao & Aaron Rammasch
‘Where everything aligns so perfectly’
- Shaina Hurley, Love is Blind, Season 2
Acid Reflux began as a collective exasperation over artistic burnout. A reaction, or reckoning, against the constant juggling and multi-tasking that’s expected – heck, even admired and encouraged – among young artists attempting to forge their own paths in their creative pursuits. But, perhaps ironically – due to Aoife and Sorcha’s various other work commitments over the past 18 months – representing this joint exasperation in exhibition form never fully took on its own shape. Sure, its ideas were there: how to make work that exuded a self-aware sense of laziness, slouchiness, or aversion to effort; a sly middle finger in the face of hyperproductivity. Yet the actual creation of this work proved a little trickier to bear fruit.
Instead, what has emerged is the story of an unlikely friendship; a curious, intriguing duet, crossing over the four provinces of this island (Aoife lives and works in Dublin, Sorcha is based in Mayo, while much of the ‘work’ for the exhibition was developed on residency in Kerry) culminating in a co-mingling of material, an interweaving of contrasting energies, and a collection of shared experiences, finally taking place in the Belfast gallery space.
Both Ward and McNamara have a penchant for the discarded object – an urge to manipulate, transform, subvert and ‘make better’ what was once loved, in some small, molecular way. What does this say about them? Who knows. And does it even matter? It does.
Acid Reflux truly began as a blind date, with Platform Arts acting as a mutual friend, or chaperone. What were originally two separate proposals have been brought together as one, with both artists adopting the other’s words, re-moulding their individual subjectivity and questioning their respective ways of working, thinking and being, resulting in something far greater than the two of them.
This is serious playfulness.
Are you serious?
C’mon, lighten up.
This project was jointly supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Fingal Arts Office and Mayo County Council Arts Service.