Open Ground

August 2021

Solo exhibition by Millie Moore

Artist Statement

'This exhibition seeks to investigate, through the drawn line, the soft planted surface of the bog resting above its dark, watery depths that conceal buried secrets.  The use of line may be traced in the work through a variety of mediums including graphite, charcoal, wire and stitch.

 

The impetus for Opened Ground came from an unforgettable experience of digging turf in a north Mayo bog.  Words of Seamus Heaney on found bog bodies resonated and informed my thinking.  It has been said that perception of bogs is presented by Heaney as a bottomless cache of artefacts, revealing ancient origins, magically preserved through the mysteries of physical and chemical interactions.  

 

With these thoughts to the fore I began a series of abstract graphite drawings, the mark making purely intuitive.  Peat ash was added to graphite and held with a thin acrylic wash.  The paper was torn then reassembled recalling a shift in the earth, searching both the horizontal and the vertical. Larger, more detailed charcoal drawings inquire into the bog's soft surface embroidered by a myriad of flora and sliced through by the turf digger's spade. The drawn line continues as it meanders its way across a textile landscape marked by rust print and flax stitching.

 

Together this body of work portrays that sense of wonder revealed through a close encounter with an ancient place.'

 

Millie Moore is a visual artist living and working in Banbridge, Co Down. Since graduating in 2013 from Ulster University with a first class honours degree in Fine Art she has continued to develop her practice informed by an experience of and respect for the natural environment.

Solitary walking in the rural landscape offers quiet space for observation, to marvel at the cycle of the seasons, to question the history of place.  Back in the studio recalled memories with nuances of light, intricacies of pattern and wonder of colour mingle fiction with reality in charcoal drawings and oil paintings which border on abstraction. 

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Ulster University and many public and private clients hold Millie's work in their collections.