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It was important that the artworks quietly altered the frequency of this place, so that the viewers could experience the artistic moment in its totality and not just by the viewing of objects in isolation. When working in such humanised spaces, site specificity comes to the foreground and site can possibly become the artwork itself. Marie Brett and John McHarg’s ‘She Took To The Bed” was located in a bedroom that during old age many of the Hughes' family had lay down to die. Through the interruptions created by the artists, the residual energies dormant within the building were evoked. Site specificity now relates to lived experience and psychologically such connections cannot escape the viewers perceptions.

Deirdre Southey

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A mixed media installation combining salt, charcoal, iron oxide, light, photography, an oak dressing table and written text; ‘She Took To The Bed’ was made by collaborating artists Marie Brett and John McHarg. The piece explores the site’s social history, a disused commercial hotel, and the Matriarch’s self prognosis of “taking to the bed” weary from steering the family unit and managing their commercial hotel business. ‘She Took to the Bed’ was located as a temporary installation inside the dowager’s own bedroom and conceptually explored ideas of how latent memory and energy continue to exist and accumulate in lived spaces, combined with imagined melancholy and otherwordly visions rendered through large alchemical floor and wall drawing. 

‘She Took to the Bed’ is part of Idionumina curated by Deirdre Southey and Maria Tanner, located in Graignamanagh, County Kilkenny, Ireland. 

Project supported by:

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