‘Many are the emotions that stir the human heart’
The title for this unique virtual visual art and multi-disciplinary exhibition ‘Emotional landscapes’ was created by artist Noelle McAlinden from a series of creative conversations with writer, theatre and film-maker Mary Moynihan. The conversations continued, to encompass the work of visual artist Hina Khan, violinist and composer Lisa McLoughlin-Gnemmi, writer and choreographer Fiona Bawn Thompson and poet and writer Féilim James, bringing together different artists who, each in their own way, were responding to the changing emotional landscapes of our evolving world.
Noelle McAlinden’s work is part of The Emotional Landscape Series and the recurrent personal theme of ‘the space between us’. Hina Khan’s Influences of Pandemic is an inspiring response to the current global situation we are living in. Mary Moynihan’s In Time is a powerful reflection on the changing landscape of our lived experiences while Fiona Bawn Thompson’s One Foot Forward is an insightful of emotional turmoil and inner resilience.
Two of the artists are from Northern Ireland – Noelle McAlinden and Fiona Bawn Thompson; Hina Khan, originally from Pakistan, is based in Cork, Ireland and artists Mary Moynihan, Féilim James and Lisa McLoughlin-Gnemmi are based in Dublin, Ireland.
The exhibition features a panel discussion – featured below – inspired by a response to the emotional impact of Covid-19, ways to promote positive mental health and well-being and a reflection on the space that exists within and between us in a changing landscape.
GALLERY 1: NOELLE MCALINDEN
EMOTIONAL LANDSCAPES – THE SPACE BETWEEN US
Inspiration for Noelle McAlinden’s work comes from who she is, the physical and emotional waterways and landscapes navigated virtually and metaphorically, the rhythm of poetry and music, the precious cargo carried within and the losses and gains of the fragile human condition. Noelle is a visual artist who has mined deep, with a passionate sense of colour and who has exhibited extensively within and beyond unique gallery settings on and along waterways, throughout Ireland and Europe as well as Oklahoma and India.
GALLERY 2: Hina Kahn
Influences of Pandemic
Hina Khan’s visual art work blends a mixture of traditional and innovative techniques in miniatures. She portrays social issues, immigration, and humanitarian crises like prostitution, gender discrimination, gender restrictions, trauma, childhood abuse and killing in her work. She uses miniature in her work as the intricacy and delicacy of the brush work enables her to capture multiple identities.
‘As an artist I am inspired by Sadequain, Michelangelo, Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Shahzia Sikander and Anselm Kiefer.’
GALLERY 3: MARY MOYNIHAN
In Time is a poem film written and created by artist Mary Moynihan, performed by Carla Ryan and Kwasie Boyce with original music composed and performed by Lisa McLoughlin-Gnemmi. The poem film is co-directed by Mary Moynihan and Mark Quinn and is a personal response to the changing landscape of our world today. Mary is a writer, theatre, film-maker and digital artist and works collaboratively across a range of art disciplines.
For artist Mary Moynihan ‘my influences have been the people I love, nature or the way of being and a sense of mystery. I am drawn in by historical memory, alternative narratives and what is hidden or unseen especially stories that live in liminal spaces and on the edge’.
GALLERY 4: FIONA BAWN THOMPSON
ONE STEP FORWARD
Fiona Bawn Thompson loves to work on devising projects and creating collaborative artistic pieces with the groups she works with. Fiona is an actor, writer, director and choreographer.
‘Most of us will at some stage of our lives, through circumstances or whatever else, encounter mental health hurdles. I love to work with words and metaphors and have used a little of my own experience and a little research to create One Step Forward . . My inspiration is everyone I have learnt fromuntil now and everyone I meet who continues to teach me’.
GALLERY 5: Féilim James
not an art
The poetry of Féilim James, an up-and-coming writer from Dublin, Ireland, explores themes of mental illness, nature, love and human dignity. His poetry and prose, through both English and Irish, have earned a number of awards and publications.
‘My inspirations are many and wide-ranging. To the fore are James Joyce, Sylvia Plath, John Banville, Marilynne Robinson, Ted Hughes, TS Eliot, Seán Ó Ríordáin, and Radiohead’.
Emotional Landscapes Panel Discussion
The exhibition features a panel discussion inspired by a response to the emotional impact of Covid-19, ways to promote positive mental health and well-being and a reflection on the space that exists within and between us in a changing landscape. The moderator for the panel discussion is Dr Stephen Herron., Researcher, Academic, Cultural Anthropologist and Community Relations Facilitator and the guest speakers are Noelle McAlinden, visual artist and mental health advocate; Hina Khan, Visual artist and Eimear Burke, Counselling Psychologist.
Artist Noelle McAlinden speaks about her creative arts practice in relation to the theme of emotional landscapes and her work as a mental health advocate and campaigner, highlighting the power of the arts for the promotion of positive mental health and well-being. Artist Hina Khan speaks about her creative arts practice in relation to the theme influence of pandemic.
The panel discussion ends with Eimear Burke sharing words of wisdom in relation to self-care and ways to look after your health and well-being during this time of pandemic, with a focus on the practical things we can do, having compassion for yourself and practicing gratitude, with ideas for people of all ages.
Support for the Exhibition
Emotional Landscapes is presented as part of the Smashing Times Creative Arts for Health and Well-Being hub, Art4Us and Creative Connections for a Brighter Future project and is supported by Co-operation with Northern Ireland Funding Scheme 2020 at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Community Foundation for Ireland, Erasmus+, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown CountyCouncil Community Age Friendly Grant 2020 and the HSE National Office for Social Inclusion.
Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality