Ailbhe Ní Bhriain: Interval One (Dream Pool)

16.06.23 – 31.08.23

Ailbhe Ní Bhriain 'Interval One (Dream Pool)' installation photography by Andy Keate

(image: Ailbhe Ní Bhriain 'Interval One (Dream Pool)' installation photography by Andy Keate, see pdf for list of works)

Domo Baal is delighted to present Interval One (Dream Pool), Ailbhe Ní Bhriain's fifth solo exhibition at the gallery. This is an exhibition of richly material works, with a multi–layered meditation on time running throughout. In the main gallery a monumental tapestry fuses early photographic portraiture with imagery of underground caves and extinct animals; a large floor–based sculpture forms a mysterious, reflective tableau; positioned throughout the building, a series of abstract prints and objects evoke the world of the archive and the museum.

Ní Bhriain creates visual worlds that are at once precise and enigmatic, exact and elusive, drawing the familiar into a register of interruption and disorientation. At the core of her work is an exploration of dislocation, with historical displacement considered against the spectre of loss that haunts the contemporary imagination.

This exhibition forms the beginning of a new and evolving body of work, in which the artist connects ninteenth century legacies with narratives of the underworld and contemporary climate anxiety. It is defined by the deeply associative approach familiar from Ní Bhriain's film works, in which disparate elements come together to capture a dreamlike theatricality and an unsettled sense of past and future.

The exhibition's title is a reference to 'The Dream Pool Essays', a text by the Chinese polymath Shen Kuo in 1088. Included in this book's vast array of subjects are geological recordings that are considered to be the earliest observations of climate change.

Selected presentations of Ní Bhriain's work in 2022–2023 include: Art Basel (with Kerlin Gallery); The Kitchen, New York; Gagosian Deitch (during Art Basel Miami Beach); Lismore Castle Arts; Nottingham Contemporary and The Glucksman, Cork (with Hayward Touring); the 16th Lyon Biennial; IMMA, Dublin; Solas Nua, Washington DC; PhotoIreland Festival, Dublin; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris and CCA Glasgow.

Works by Ní Bhriain are held in the collections of Musée d'art contemporain (MAC Lyon) France, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland, The Arts Council of Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, and OPW (Office of Public Works) Ireland. Domo Baal is delighted to work alongside Kerlin Gallery, Dublin who will present her first solo show at Kerlin in November 2023.

Ailbhe Ní Bhriain and Domo Baal would like to thank Culture Ireland/Cultúr Éireann for their support of this exhibition.