Museums are usually boxes bounded by walls on which to hang works of art. Each work is a window into another space, emotion, sensation, story transcending boundaries in spite of being confined to a stark wall.
One of our goals in working on the design of this Museum was permeability: views inside from the street, views out to the street from the galleries, expansive views of infinite land, sea and space from the top floor.
Bringing natural light into the galleries where the works are hung increases a sense of the infinite in spite of being surrounded by walls: Without Boundaries indeed.’
- Margo Dolan, Co-founder, Ballinglen Arts Foundation
Born of the generosity of spirit imbued in the love of people and place, Margo Dolan and Peter Maxwell founded The Ballinglen Arts Foundation in 1992 to bring professional, established artists and younger artists of recognized ability, from Ireland and from abroad, to live and work in North Mayo so as to benefit both the artists and the community.
Opening a conversation about the theme of Boundaries for the Architecture at the Edge Festival 2020 with its Managing Director, Úna Forde at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation last month provided for a rich dialogue on aspects of place and the boundaries we encounter, seen and unseen. The Ballinglen Permanent Collection holds an extensive repository which embodies the Ballinglen Fellows' depictions of place during their Fellowships and returning residencies. Our selection from the collection reflects some of the themes of our conversations and will inform future collaborations between Architecture at the Edge and The Ballinglen Arts Foundation.
Exquisitely executed Lynne Clibanoff’s View of Downpatrick Head addresses the nature of architectural interiors and the intangible. The scale and framed nature of this artwork so minutely juxtaposed against the magnitude that is Downpatrick Head engages with ideas of the interior and perspective. Interior, St. John's Church of Ireland, Ballycastle, County Mayo (3/50) by David Gibson captures the interior of a sacred space devoid of ceremony and ritual. The photograph allows the ordered geometry and craftsmanship to prevail while the void remains a silent witness.
Untitled l by David Caras lures us outside to an ecclesiastical enclosure at Rosserk Abbey, containing much of its own collection of artworks, including a miniature medieval high-relief carving of Killala Round Tower. Harnessing nature to facilitate habitation by the judicious positioning of many of the abbeys along this coastline recall a former way of life. Ruins in this romantic landscape will always remain, from the religious to the domestic as portrayed in Antonio Julio Lopez Castro’s Empty House #4, empty of life but not devoid of traces and memories.
Rural electrification provides another layer to the land as embodied in Alex Boyd’s Entering the Gaeltacht. Field boundaries and enclosures echo the ancient traditions at Céide Fields, imposing order and control over dominion, while their attendant functional structures reveal their domestic, agricultural and maritime associations in John Early's Field by Randall L Exon, Free Travel by Martin Gale and Ballycastle by Anton Hurtado.
Returning to nocturnal Ballycastle, the boundaries imposed by dusk fall, a retreat to an inner world of illumination as depicted by Kathleen Kolb in Wet Pavement, Waxing Moon. Daylight hours reveal the tapestry of fields as the vanishing point to the street enclosure Untitled, sketched by Edward O’Brien, where Without Boundaries - Eleven at The Archive Room at The Ballinglen Museum of Art await …… concluding with Untitled, by Anton Hurtado, enclosure and light.
In collaboration with Mayo County Council & Galway County Council to celebrate Architecture at the Edge 2020.