“It meant everything to her to sit on the bus and to work out what she wanted to say”
(from Come Back in September by Darryl Pinckney)
“words are not a release, but they are a way of coping, of not being encircled.”
(from Come Back In September by Darryl Pinckney)
“My sole concern was to borrow forms, no matter from where, by which my own preoccupations could declare themselves.”
(from An Experiment in Leisure by Marion Milner)
A seed for this exhibition was planted through the completion of another one. Melissa Canbaz and Aleana Egan worked together on the exhibition small field which took place in Künstlerhaus Bremen in 2021. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the related lockdowns and travel-restrictions the works were installed by Melissa Canbaz and Mihaela Chiriac. The sense of collaboration and blending was accentuated by the circumstances and the experience made meaningful for all concerned.
The title for this project, Beads, is borrowed from the educator, artist, writer and psychoanalyst Marion Milner (1900–1998). Milner first uses the term beads and bead memories in her book Eternity’s Sunrise (1987). In Hugh Haughton’s summation of Eternity’s Sunrise, it is, he says; “a home-made, circling and collage like record of a journey of self-exploration.” The beads or bead memories are used to describe a technique of remembering through objects and places. These meditations on lived experience were closer to a poetic language than to a logical one. They also evoked physicality; a continuum and a modular system. Haughton says: “When something becomes a ‘bead’, in other words, it can be fingered and stroked and reflected upon and moved from one place to another, long after the journey it is encountered on is over.”
Milner’s method of activating her bead memories was in the form of answering the feelings evoked from them. The answering activity was a sense of partnership “…of plugging into a presence, an active ‘something' that is both I and not I and which gives me the feeling I am not alone.” (Eternity’s Sunrise) As is typical with Milner she is interested in opening up psychic states rather than pinning them down.
The exchange we had in the past months has grown into a new constellation – what was called a small field in Bremen, has gradually become an extended field. The works by Dorje de Burgh, Samuel Laurence Cunnane, Aleana Egan, Louise Hopkins, Seda Mimaroğlu, and Cecilia Szalkowicz brought together here, evoke their own memories and stories into the field of visual and textual associations woven three years ago in Bremen, expanding it, and sometimes, most surprisingly, reflecting it. The spontaneous movements of intuition are here entwined with the exercise of reminiscence, making way for further fortuitous affiliations and possibilities. Beads is conceived like a passage, encapsulating new dialogues, hoping to travel, collect, and share new bead memories along the way.
Special thanks to all the contributing artists for small field in Bremen – Sofia Duchovny, Hella Gerlach, Manuela Leinhoß, Vera Palme, Kirsten Pieroth, Nora Schultz. We also thank Künstlerhaus Bremen, Konrad Fischer Galerie, Kerlin Gallery, Heike Tosun, Galerie Klemm's, and Foto Kotti.
Text and floor plan
The exhibition is kindly supported by Culture Ireland.
The reception is kindly supported by the Irish Embassy.