Periodical Review X

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Niamh Brown has selected Ursula Burke for Periodical Review X. For the milestone 10th iteration of this long-running curatorial project, Pallas Projects invited twenty selectors from around the country to choose a work each from the last decade that holds a particular resonance with them. Together these provide a multi-subjective survey of a 10-year period that covers a financial crash, a property bust-to-boom cycle, epoch-defining social transformation in Ireland in areas of same-sex marriage and abortion rights, set against a seismic attitudinal shift in our relationship to social media and our personal information, the planetary Climate Crisis, the rise of populism around the globe, and now, a global pandemic that has fundamentally altered almost every aspect of our daily lives.

“I first encountered Ursula Burke’s series of embroideries during her solo exhibition Vestiges at Ormston House in 2016. It was the beginning of an ongoing series originally made to coincide with the centenary of the Easter Rebellion. Like her Parian porcelain busts, Burke’s embroideries combine classical techniques with contemporary themes; in this case, Baroque tapestries and internet-sourced documentary images.

These meticulously hand-constructed friezes depict scenes of politicians engaged in physical fights in parliaments around the world. Thrown punches, reaching arms and dishevelled suits are re-created with minimal use of colour and decisive thread work that combine to depict the tension in each moment. During a year with much political and social uncertainty and anxiety, both at home and overseas, these embroideries feel even more surreal given our current physically-distant reality.”

You can view the exhibition until 31 January 2021 at Pallas Projects in Dublin or online here.

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