independent

Saturday 30 August 2014

Abigail's 'At Bread' rises to the occasion

Alison Comyn

Published 18/09/2013 | 17:16

  • Share

ONE OF Drogheda's most famous companies is sponsoring a major exhibition in the Highlanes Gallery, which was launched on Friday and will run until November 16.

  • Share
  • Go To

ONE OF Drogheda's most famous companies is sponsoring a major exhibition in the Highlanes Gallery, which was launched on Friday and will run until November 16.

McCloskey's Traditional and Artisan Bakery have joined forces with the gallery to sponsor the solo exhibition by artist Abigail O'Brien 'With Bread', an exhibition of photographs, sculpture and video.

The exhibition was officially opened by journalist and writer Susan McKay on Friday and members of the McCloskey family were on hand to see the launch. 'McCloskey's Bakery, Drogheda's local bakers for over 70 years, are delighted to sponsor Abigail O'Brien's exhibition With Bread as bread is a subject that we are very passionate about,' commented Managing Director Patrick McCloskey.

Highlanes Gallery Curator and Director Aoife Ruane said that in a highly competitive market, they are grateful for McCloskey's Bakery's belief in the project.

'Their sponsorship has enabled the large format exhibition concept, national tour, catalogue, and accompanying public programme, which will see hundreds of children engage with the exhibition through our annual autumn Primary School Programme,' she added.

Artist Abigail O'Brien's interest in bread, its elemental properties, the magical process that takes place in its making, its centrality in human daily life across race and culture and religion, its familial, social and cultural importance, and its rich symbolism, spans some twenty years.

With Bread has three key elements.

The first is a series of large framed photographs taken in four bakeries in Ireland: McCloskey's Bakery, Drogheda; Barron's Bakery, Waterford; the Bretzel Bakery, and Il Valentino Bakery, both in Dublin.

To the viewer, the images cannot be obviously linked with any particular bakery.

Each is named after a female artist, because, O'Brien says, 'the image suggests something to me about their work'.

The second element is the bread sculptures - ethnic breads that have been put through a process of firing and silvering, their nourishing and life-giving properties now suspended forever.

Their titles refer to monetary currency - Peso, Euro, and Pound - and, as objects of beauty, O'Brien believes, "they still have 'currency' ... and may even have 'value' in their metal substance".

The third and final element is a video projection, titled Grande Dame, a three minute piece capturing in slow motion a levain or sourdough starter at the moment of rising. For O'Brien, this represents fecundity and fertility.

As well as ongoing funding from Drogheda Borough Council and the Arts Council, the project was awarded an Arts Council Touring Grant in early 2013.

Drogheda Independent

Read More

GrabOne Deals

News