Townhall Cavan presents
The Lay of the Land
An exhibition by Array Collective (Turner Prize Winners 2021)
Townhall Gallery – Cavan
Tuesday to Saturday: 10am-4pm
Friday 14th April to Saturday 27th May 2023
The Lay of the Land is an exhibition by Array Collective with members Laura O’Connor and Thomas Wells and invited artists Emma Brennan, Marta Dyczkowska, Méabh Meir and Sally O’Dowd.
As is often the way with ancient history and folklore, multiple theories surround the purpose of the Black Pig’s Dyke. Some regard it as an example of Ulster always being divided, others see it as a barricade for enclosing animals, or even as a display of power. In folklore the dyke was torn up by a raging headmaster and piled by a mythological worm. And just like these interchangeable stories of the dyke, borders too interchange and shift in meaning depending on who tells the story.
The Dyke was one of the themes explored in Array Collectives 2021 Turner Prize winning show The Druthaib’s Ball. Utilising a variety of approaches such as protests, rallies, public talks, exhibitions and social media the collective’s work focuses on human rights and identity. The group uses themes from Irish folklore and mythology to reimagine identity, where binaries are eroded leading to fluid and nuanced characters.
The Lay of the Land takes the form of a gallery exhibition at the Townhall Cavan, where six banners hang, a sigil for the Dyke created by each artist. A day of performance art at the Cavan Arts Festival at Con Smith Park on May 20th will present each artist’s response to the folklore surrounding The Black Pig’s Dyke. Drawing on identity politics, queer histories and the body as a border, the artists in The Lay of the Land take multiple approaches to responding to the ancient earthwork.
Townhall Cavan Gallery, Townhall St. Cavan.
Méabh Meir, 2023 – Comforted
Thomas Wells, 2023 – Artefact
Sally O’Dowd, 2023 – Pigs Tits Gold nips
Laura O’Connor, 2023 – The Black Pig’s Dyke
Marta Dyczkowska, 2023 – Time’s Up
Emma Brennan, 2023 – Mag Mell
Array Collective, 2023 – The Lay of the Land (Video)