Ann Ensor’s Holdfast, curated by Sharon Murphy at Draíocht’s Visual Arts gallery, is part of an annual project, Amharc Fhine Gall (Fingal Gaze), which is supported by Fingal County Council’s Arts Office. The pieces installed in the ground floor are based on the artist’s research of kelp seaweed, and much of the work is delicately sculpted using the seaweed as material. Many of the pieces are curved into spirals, which gives the space a natural and organic flow. The work is very engaging, a kelp canopy is hanging from the ceiling, set up for us to shelter under it and listen to the gentle sound art of coastal environment. Listening to the audio and looking through the kelp out to the street feels like the artist is narrating what we might be missing in the near future as the climate crisis escalates. The first floor gallery is set up as the Children’s Project Space, designed by Orla Goodwin and dedicated to mediating the artwork and the environmental research to the younger audience. It is great to see public agencies and institutions support artwork that responds to urgent political issues such as climate change as creatively as Ensor’s project. An important way to end 2019.
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