On Steady Ground/Unsteady Ground

Cora Cummins in her studio, and Saoirse Higgins’ Survival Tools of the Anthropocene; courtesy of Ciara King, Arts Office, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co. Council

Located at the Municipal Gallery, dlr Lexicon, Dún Laoghaire and running until March 13, On Steady Ground/Unsteady Ground is a collaborative exhibition by artists Cora Cummins and Saoirse Higgins – awardees of a Visual Art Commission from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council – and is curated by Marysia Wieckiewicz-Carroll.
Working across multiple media (etching, video, photography and sculpture) the exhibition connects the artists’ parallel research interests in environment and landscape change and reflections on losing what seemed permanent. Dún Laoghaire residents themselves, Cummins and Higgins have drawn their research from the surrounding landscape and history, and by looking globally towards Everest and the remote island of Papa Westray, one of the most northerly islands in the Orkney Islands Archipelago. With On Steady Ground/Unsteady Ground, they have set out to create a dialogue between the various stages and levels of experiencing both environmental change and loss, and personal change and loss.
Speaking at the exhibition’s launch, Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Lettie McCarthy said: “we’re pleased to present this exhibition of new work by Cora and Saoirse. It is a fascinating body of work dealing with timely and pertinent issues which connect to all of us.”
Born in Carlow, Cora Cummins works mainly through printmaking. She is interested in not only exploring the idea of change connected to the actual landscape, but also the wider psychological impact of loss and how grief connects with the geographical. For this exhibition, Cummins has made a large-scale mountain (‘Monument’) through the etching technique. It’s an eye-catching piece, to say the least, and remains a personal highlight of mine.
Based between Dún Laoghaire and Papa Westray, Saoirse Higgins’ work is process-driven and she often collaborates with local experts and island communities. Higgins has been marking and recording physical changes in the environment on the small island of Papa Westray. The exhibition includes two of her films made in the Orkney Islands (‘Survival Tools of the Anthropocene’ and ‘The Sea: be-lapse’); photographs of the Sólhiemjökull glacier in Iceland, marking changes from 1976 to 2021; an image of the stone benchmark symbol on the oldest house on Papa Westray which is used to measure rising sea levels; and a star spectra map which meditates on our changing position in the greater universal picture.
Admission to On Steady
Ground / Unsteady Ground is free, no booking required.
The majority of works on display are available for purchase. The price list, which can be seen at the exhibition’s front desk, runs from €300 – €10,000.
For further information, please go to http://www.dlrcoco.ie/arts