Tipperary artist Alice Maher blown away by support at launch of new exhibition

Vox Materia is on display at The Source Arts Centre Thurles and will move to Cork in September.

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Over 100 friends, family, members of the national press and fellow artists from around Ireland turned out to support Tipperary artist Alice Maher at the official launch of her latest exhibition, Vox Materia, at The Source Arts Centre in Thurles recently.

The stunning collection of sculpture and prints will remain on display at the gallery until 5th May, before moving to the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, in September.

Vox Materia comprises of a multi-part installation of sculpture and works on paper. Stemming from Maher’s consideration of a 12th Century mermaid carving at nearby Kilcooley Abbey, the exhibition meditates on voice and silence. The mermaid is a hybrid creature that transgresses boundaries between human and animal, and is often associated with traumatic loss of voice. Maher deploys the mermaid not as a motif but as an ambiguous and powerful conceptual tool to explore ideas of language, embodiment, agency and autonomy. The artist begins by adopting and documenting contorted postures, creating strained silhouettes that gesture towards a language of the body in extremis.

Vox Materia exploits the tactile, contingent qualities of wood relief print and watercolour to articulate amoebic, inter-elementary forms while a series of hand-held sculptural forms create new material and corporeal vocabularies.

Maher is one of Ireland’s leading artists, who has produced iconic work in film, drawing, sculpture and installation.

The work in this exhibition has been made possible through funding from Tipperary County Council and the Creative Ireland Programme, and was commissioned by Brendan Maher at the Source Arts Centre. It is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue which includes essays by the curators and by artist and writer Dr. Austin McQuinn.

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