The spirit, like the body, can be strengthened and developed by frequent exercise. Just as the body, if neglected, grows weaker and finally impotent, so the spirit perishes if untended. And for this reason it is necessary for the artist to know the starting point for the exercise of his spirit. - Kandinsky
From Ashesfeatures works in many mediums: painting, poetry, writing, video, performance, photography and an audience participation work. Its aim was to expose the development process and exploration of change experienced by the artist, while creating works in mediums which up till now were unexplored. This process has been an interactive one, the work was shared online over the course of its creation spanning at least 2 years. It showcases the steps taken on the journey while also expressing many aspects of the artists inner world. From the development of a narrative oil painting, a 20 minute performance and development of a unique style with watercolours, this exhibition invites the audience right into that internal process of exploration and transmutation.
"When you look at the word change you find that it means "make or become different" actually even as I look at this meaning I realise Aishling always had "change" on her mind. But I feel I have not gone far enough in describing what has happened here in the work... what we see Aishling go through on a regular basis is "A marked change in form, nature or appearance." ....... And that is the definition of Transformation. This is interesting because what we see in the work is very much a strong desire towards change. It's as if Aishling wants to get inside the energy of change itself." "When we look at subject of the works here we see that the they align themselves to the process being used. Aishling has explored the world, she has travelled it. Her subject comes from that experience. She is an enquirer after the nature of life and change itself. I see images here that evoke in me different sources. Most of these non representational sources come to us through the subconscious too. It is no coincidence that Aishling has titled the show "From Ashes". For me that takes us to that image of change we know as The Phoenix. This bird probably refers to an alchemical process that it came to be a symbol for.It is invariably described as red and purple, as we can see from the work there is a lot of red and purple in Aishlings paintings. The Phoenix also has a "nimbus" and we can see that image too appearing in the painting about light and dark, the feminine and the masculine within us that Aishling has photographed going through the various stages of transformation alongside it."
"We are being allowed to witness something more than a marked change now. It is the transmutation of experience into awareness of another reality, an inner world where the spirit can view things and roam free. What the artist has done here is to reveal how we can find within us this intrepid explorer for ourselves. Aishling conveys the experience of finding free expression..." - Sean O Dwyer From Ashes opening speech.
Thanks to Westmeath County Councils Arts Office for providing the venue.