S o m e   b a c k   a n d   f o r t h   o f   m a t t e r   ( b e t w e e n   t h e   w o o d s   a n d   t h e   g a l l e r y )

altered handrails, Coolatin oak from fallen tree (left)   |   Fallen Coolatin oak tree from the Tomnafinnogue Woods (right)

590 x 6 cm   |   222 x 6 cm

The wood is still wet. You can smell it. It is damp to touch.

Though sanded, it is still coarse, unvarnished; not softened or disguised. Plain, Coolatin oak. An oak internationally famed for its very high quality and previously used in the construction of King’s College, Cambridge, Westminster Abbey, and Trinity College Dublin.

The banister climbs the stairs and wraps itself round this foyer like exhibition space, seamlessly guiding you through and around the building. Only a portion - fragment - of the great winding handrail has been altered though and is displaying a new shade, grain and texture of wood. It ascends. Descends.

Most only come to discover it by touching it.

The replaced banister is straight from a fallen tree, south of here. It has been reconstructed using oak from the Tomnafinnogue Woods just outside Tinahely, the last surviving fragment of Ireland’s natural oak woodlands. I was an artist in residence there for several weeks. Like these woodlands, this handrail is but a fragment of a much larger whole. It is also itself a fragment of greater fragmentation.

It also subsists as a passage.

Link to Press Release

Link to Mermaid Arts Centre

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