‘Soundings – Collective memories of the sea’ | Inaugural Exhibition at dlr LexIcon Gallery
“Soundings explores the relationships between Dún Laoghaire, the sea and its people through artworks, talks and workshops. It brings together six artists with connections to Dún Laoghaire who have investigated maritime histories, memories, testimonies and archives. Throughout this exhibition there are themes that ebb and flow between the work of the six artists — the connections between the local, the town and the port.”
Curator Michael McLoughlin
Lovely Water No. 171 21/02/2000
His work embraces various media – Drawing, Photography and, more recently, Spoken Word / Performance.
The act of drawing is at the centre of Merriman’s practice and it reflects an interest the artist has in architecture, in particular the phases of construction and demolition. Merriman is interested in the idea of shadowing an architect’s work, in bringing a building back to the drawing board. This project reflects that interest.
The residency began at the Carlisle Pier in 2006, initially focusing on the exterior of the main building as viewed from the road. The artist began studying its interior, in particular the ‘shed’, where the trains would have terminated. The history of the building was central as she wanted to acknowledge and explore its role in the social dimension of the region. The artist comments:
“From the outset of this residency there was an intention to produce a set of commemorative drawings, drawing in the form of offering. This has developed into a group of works entitled Bringing them.. In 2007 and 2008 my focus shifted towards the sea; I began to observe the Carlisle Pier from the perspective of the boat passenger. This evolved into drawings where the sea became an increasingly important factor, with its shifting motion and its relationship to the Pier building.
The long-term nature of this project has made it possible for my work to digress into other aspects related to the Carlisle Pier. It has given me the flexibility to explore, allowing each drawing to become an open-ended inquiry, backwards and forwards, within my method of drawing. The support I have received; practical, financial and administrative have been invaluable, not just in the development of this work but also in my development as an artist.”
“My practice is centred in the history and meaning of visual marks, in the lexis used to visually describe structure, place, concept and theory. Working from archival material I research histories, and through conversational exchange, explore the conventions of various drawing languages.
My investigations are positioned in the historic and contemporary aspects of areas such as architecture, engineering, science, cartography, and mathematics, and in how drawing works in these contexts as a technology to impart specific information. I am interested in the methodologies and conventions of these various professions, and in how drawing becomes a vital way of making all manner of information visible within these constructs.
The work takes time. It is built line upon line, often fading back but never erased completely, solutions are found for all marks made whether deliberate or indiscriminate. There is a tentative connection between my process and that of photogenic drawing. The images I makes are often reflected through one medium onto another. Process is central to my work which in turn is an open-ended enquiry. I draw through materials such as carbon paper and typewriter ribbon, setting-up an indexical association which supports the conceptual framework.
However the focus of my work is on the production of research, it is sited where there is an unfolding of unexpected information, and my concentration is on the effect these drawings might impart, and in what changes are perceived when the functionality of these visual languages are interrupted, and in the potentials of new readings to emerge.”
Julie Merriman’s beautiful drawings are like incredibly dense architectonic blueprints, suggesting not only physical structures but also the passage of time, as in her rendering of the terminal building marked for demolition on Carlisle Pier.