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  •  A solo show of new work by Margaret Corcoran, Emergence will open on Sept 30th at 7.30pm 

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Breda Burns
Breda Burns' Solo exhibition, Between Tides and Peripheries will run from Oct 29th to 
November 12th, open 1-6pm Monday to Friday, and it will continue open by appointment until November 18th.
The following excerpt is taken from an interview by Ciara Moynan and Breda Burns in the Mayo News.

Exploring the Borderlines
An Excerpt from interview with Ciara Moynihan and Breda Burns.

Stepping out the back door of Westport artist Breda Burns’ house is like stepping into an artwork.
Clew Bay opens up around and in front of you, majestic, fluid, muddy, wild. The shallows of low
tide reveal an undulating mass of silt, rock, seaweed and algae. High tide waters, driven by whims
of weather and season, bob, throb, roar. The soundscape laps and crashes; caws, whips and
shrills. It’s a world’s edge.
And it’s this idea of the edge—of boundary and margin—coupled with the ebb and flow of tidal
brine where ‘Europe ends and the Atlantic begins’ that informs Breda’s current exhibition of new
work, ‘Between Tides and Peripheries’. The show was officially opened in Claremorris Gallery on
Saturday night last by fellow artist, Dr Dragana Jurisic, who herself recently exhibited in Mayo as
part of the Westport Arts Festival.
A multimedia exhibition, it contains 21 panoramic photographic works, eight large ink and pigment
drawings, five smaller wire drawings, two acrylics and a video incorporating time-lapse and film
footage.

Shift
Those familiar with Breda’s body of work will instantly notice a shift in the art on display in
Claremorris. For one thing, gone are the written words that so marked much of her previous work.
“In ways the pieces in this exhibition – and it was not my intention – they’re landscapes or
seascapes. They don’t appear with any writing across them, but I hope the messages that I was
writing are still there, and that people can add their own – because that’s the whole point of it.”
Breda worked on the show’s concept for some time before it took shape in her mind, and much of
that work was done within the creative space given to her by two artist residencies.
“I would have put the thought processes into them during the residencies,” she explains. “One
residency was at Noelle Campbell-Sharp’s international artists’ retreat, Cill Rialaig in County Kerry,
the other was at Sheila Flanagan’s self-run ArtFarm near Ballygar in east Galway. I did the
preliminary drawings and stuff there, pulling ideas apart. And that’s half the work of creating.”
The plein air movement, whereby artists work outdoors while rendering the scenes in front of them
to canvas, has also had a strong impact on Breda’s recent work.

Some of the work in the exhibition would have been started in the plein air way, and then brought
home where I continued to work at them—but that energy of the outside work hopefully stays.”
“It was the freshness and the energy I was drawn to, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
And I think I’m maybe getting close to it. That expressive and emotive feeling we all have, to put
that into something and have elements of recognisability. That’s always been my aim. And I keep
working away at that.”

Inside Out

One of the central aspects of ‘Between Tides and Peripheries’ is a short video with shot by Frank
O’Rielly,
. During the piece, a frenetically paced time-lapse video, created using 1,400 stills, gives way to a
slower, black-and-white film section towards the end.
It was shot without break over six hours at ‘the mud flats’ of low tide out behind Breda’s edge-ofthe-world
house. Breda is depicted standing in the bay, painting on three canvases. The tide
comes in, the boundaries between earth and sea alter, and slowly the artist becomes submerged,
while the artworks rise with the water and remain afloat.
“The mudflats here at the quay are constantly changing … I love the way the light just keeps
reflecting on the mud and then reflects on the water. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be lovely just to engage
with that?’. The important bit is the landscape, and I’m a little bit in it.”
The other elements of the exhibition chime in with this exploration of boundary, each bringing their
own moment of peripherality. “All the paintings—one’s a path, one’s a boundary field, one’s the
edge of the ocean—they’re all edges. It’s about us being on edge as people and the constantly
changing borders of the world, internal and external.”
In many ways the landscape that first inspired ‘Between Boundaries and Peripheries’ – the
mudflats of Westport Quay at the mouth of Clew Bay – encapsulate that internal/external
dichotomy for Breda in a very personal way, allowing her to ‘look in, in order to look out’.
For her, that landscape is at once intimately familiar and vastly unknowable. It is a world she grew
up beside and now lies within touching distance of her home, but it is also the gateway to another
world, a massive expanse of ocean separating the landmasses of two continents. And the energy
created by the sway and interplay of all of those borders has proved very fertile ground.
 

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