reviews

Niamh O’Malley, Bridge, 2009, digital video, black-and-white, silent, 7 minutes 39 seconds, projected onto black poly-cotton screen, dimensions variable. Ballina Arts Centre.

Niamh O’Malley

Various Venues

Niamh O’Malley, Bridge, 2009, digital video, black-and-white, silent, 7 minutes 39 seconds, projected onto black poly-cotton screen, dimensions variable. Ballina Arts Centre.

Staged concurrently at five different venues—separated by significant distances over a sizable countywide area—Niamh O’Malley’s multipart exhibition for the inaugural Mayo Arts Collaborative was a dispersed retrospective, a strategically decentered survey. This project was partially born of straitened funding circumstances in Ireland: an imaginative resource-sharing attempt by several regional arts centers to experiment with a locally untested model of joint presentation. But by programming their exhibition in a manner that encouraged venue-to-venue travel across subtly varying rural terrains, the project organizers also showed considerable imagination in so sensitively siting the work of an artist acutely preoccupied with the representation of present-day landscapes.

O’Malley’s landscape videos are contemplative and melancholy but not romantic. In many cases, her subjects

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