You are cordially invited to the exhibition launch of Glas Journal 2016 by Silvia Loeffler.
Reading by Robert Nicholson.Date: Friday 9 September 2016, 6-8pm
Venue: Maritime Museum of Ireland
Glas Journal: A Deep Mapping of Dún Laoghaire Harbour (2014-2016)
In Old Irish, the word glas is reserved for the indefinite shades of green, blue and silver that are present in the sea. This chromatic generosity is used as a marker for this alternative mapping project that crosses art with geography and is called Glas Journal.
Glas Journal 2015 was based on 14 hand-size and hand-made artist books representing sequential harbour locations bordering the sea between the West and the East Pier of Dún Laoghaire Harbour. The books were made in the artist’s studio in the old Coast Guard Station, one of the spaces that shape this particular stretch of coastline. Each book slowly became layered with prints of old maps, historic photographs, quotes by maritime historian John de Courcy Ireland and other liquid mappings stained in ink and, often, becoming abstract paintings. To reflect the meanings of the harbour as a sanctuary and space of protection, a scenographic representation of the two harbour arms was set up in the former Mariners’ Church that now houses the Maritime Museum of Ireland. The installation also evoked the atmosphere of a place by the sea that has been shaped by loss, separation and nostalgia, and is trying to find new passages to cross the unknown. The journals were homed in this haven as if they were reference points on a maritime map.
For Glas Journal 2016, 14 handmade books have been made through collaborations with people who live, work and feel associated with different locations in Dún Laoghaire Harbour. Participants included: former and current residents of the old Coast Guard Station; individuals who work or have worked with the Commissioners of Irish Lights; RNLI Life Boats volunteers and staff; personnel of the Ferry Terminal; the Quay Fish Shop; MGM Boats and the Marina; individuals associated with St. Michael’s Rowing Club and the harbour’s four yacht clubs, Dún Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club; Royal Irish Yacht Club; Royal St. George Yacht Club; National Irish Yacht Club; and individuals employed by the Irish National Sailing School and the Dún Laoghaire Power Boat School. A personalised ‘Glas Journal’ was made for each location and the books record what their harbour space means to these individuals. More than 30 participants agreed to take part in the documentation of ‘their’ place in the harbour.
Glas Journal 2016 Exhibition
For the final project exhibition, both series of artist books will be displayed in the Maritime Museum within an installation of projected harbour arms, forming a ‘place ballet’ of familiarity and attachment. The 28 books are a testimony to the careful as well as caring mapping of shoreline buildings and maritime activities, and of places that make up the fabric of our daily lives — the ones we call ‘home’, ‘haven’ or ‘harbour’.
Accompanying Project Publication
Loeffler, Silvia (2015). ‘Glas Journal: Deep Mappings of a Harbour or the Charting of Fragments, Traces and Possibilities’ in Humanities 2015, 4, 457–475.
Available online at: http://www.mdpi.com/2076-0787/4/3/457/html
Dr. Silvia Loeffler is an artist, researcher and educator in Visual Culture. Visual material and critical writing are her guides to establish a narrative of public intimacy. She is currently an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at Maynooth University in the Department of Geography, and lectures on the deep-mapping of spaces at the National College of Art and Design. Glas Journal was the first project in the context of artist-led participatory research practice that the Irish Research Council funded on a postdoctoral level for a period of two years, and it was mentored by Dr. Karen Till from the Geography Department at Maynooth University.