We are lucky enough to be hosting local Cork artist, Mary Cooke’s, beautiful and mesmerising new exhibition The Landscape of Saved Memories for the month of June. Below is a recent press release that offers great insight into the new work. Landscape of Saved Memories runs until June 30th in our Mezzanine Gallery.
Inside every cell of our bodies, we carry DNA that is only passed on down the female line. The Landscape of Saved Memories series is new work on paper resulting from Mary’s research of human mitochondrial DNA which is inherited solely from the mother. Mitochondrial DNA enables researchers to trace maternal lineage far back in time.
The drawings are executed in ink: her brushstrokes initially seem haphazard: automatic, meandering, free flowing and drifting rather than structured. However, a certain order has been imposed on this seeming chaos. Each piece is made by layering the ink, and then leaving it in the rain, bringing it in to dry and repeating the process. Due to a dry spell in the weather, Mary was forced to experiment with other water sources; fluoride water and water from her family well in Kildare, a very lime rich water. Noting the varying results from the different waters in Cooke’s work is indicative of her practice.
Believing materials have their own narratives, Cooke’s, work evolves and develops through the interaction with materials and unfold over time. Like us, they are affected by their environments, and these pieces are no different being affected by the quality of the water. As an artist, Cooke’s’ works relate to memory, (genetic memory, an idea that the memories are passed on through our DNA), and female identity.