Siobhan McGibbon, Ciara Healy & Karl Musson

participants in 126 gallery’s 2013 ARTFarm Residency

23 February – 09 March 2014

Preview: Saturday | 22 February | 7pm

126 are delighted to present an exhibition of new work by Siobhan McGibbon (Ireland) and the collaborative duo Ciara Healy and Karl Musson (Wales). This exhibition will show work that has been produced since their time at the ARTFarm in July & August 2013. The exhibition will run from 23 February – 09 March 2014, with preview on Saturday 22 February at 7pm. Siobhan McGibbon’s practice is predominantly sculpture based with a distinct medical slant. Her work derives from a fascination with extraordinary medical conditions that essentially force the host to exist on the edge of anatomy. The artist explores the notion of “normal” and examines the boundaries of anatomy through a series of investigations. This installation investigates the notion of misconception and the cultivation of a fallacy of an illness or medical condition. Fictitious organs and vessels that flourish within these enormous medical apparatuses, an imagined inner bodily landscape created from a collective of misinterpretations. The work is influenced by the evolution of clinical teratology. This is the historical study of abnormalities both real and imagined. Wondrous accounts of illnesses that often stemmed from the misconception or creative interpretation of actual occurring phenomenon’s. Semi human creatures created from the act of bestially. Double headed monsters where the example of god’s wrath. and abnormal limbs where the result of the mothers unnatural thoughts during pregnancy. Central to this enquiry is the modern scientific study of teratogenesis, from the Greek meaning monster making. This is the study of abnormal growths in the foetus. The artist finds it amusing that terminology created from such an absurd misconceptions is still used in science today. The artist is influenced by the medical visualisations of these congenital malformations and the narratives that are created from these other worldly x-rays and cellular imagery. Through this research the artist questions whether the misconceptions of the uncanny body have assisted in the formation of socially accepted notions of “normal” anatomy. Break On Through is the name for the collaborative duo Ciara Healy and Karl Musson. Formed in 2012, they are focused on researching, developing and implementing bold new projects and bodies of work which are concerned with notions of periphery, cultural identity, spirituality, story, power and place from a local and global perspective. How we are linked to other cultures across time and space is a central part of their research interest and is examined in an inter-related and inter-dependent manner. “In her analysis of Ovid’s epic poem Metamorphosis, Marina Werner suggests that literature concerned with shape shifting, with Otherworlds and with the transmigration of souls, usually gains popularity during moments of crisis. More specifically, when one intellectual hegemony seeks to dominate another. Fairy tales, myths and legends were first transcribed around the edge of the Mediterranean, travelling from Egypt to the bustling ports of Venice and Naples, they followed trade routes far and wide and became a means of supporting us over liminal thresholds in our turbulent journey through life.They helped us to imagine, to think about the nature of reality, to live deliberately. Today, traces in the archaeological record of places we once imagined or believed to possess some kind of magical or sacred presence can still be found. They have been memorialized through ritual, marked with symbolic drawings or specific alignments of stones. They are found in great numbers in peripheral coastal regions. Such breaks in the homogeneity of space once indicated the point at which the veil between this world and a possible Otherworld might be Thin. A Thin Place was a marginal realm, beyond everyday human experience and perception where mortals could pass into the Otherworld more readily, or make contact with those in the Otherworld more willingly. Encountering a Thin Place engendered a state of alertness, an awakening to a ‘primal affection,’to ‘the gasp of home. The work for this exhibition at 126following our ARTFarm residency explores points of confluence, the transience of human endeavour, and questions what remains possible in the aftermath, in the afterlife.” – Ciara Healy & Karl Musson


Ciara Healy is a book artist, writer, curator and Lecturer in Visual Culture. She is also one of the 2011 recipients of the Wales Arts International and Axis Critical Writing Award. She has written for Art Review, Circa and This is Tomorrow and has contributed catalogue essays for Miranda Whall (Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Art, Bath) Bella Kerr (Mission Gallery), IwanBala (Oriel Myrddin), Brendan Earley (Temple Bar Galleries), Gavin Murphy (FOUR) among others. She is currently studying for a PhD at the University of the West of England, Bristol with Dr. Iain Biggs and Sarah Bodman. Healy has exhibited her bookworks internationally and they are housed in prestigious collections including TATE Britain Artists’ Book Collection; The V&A National Art Library; London College of Communication; New Art Gallery, Walsall; British Library; Winchester School of Art; Book Art Museum, Lodz, Poland; Rikhardinkatu Library, Helsinki; Urawa Art Museum, Japan; Government Office of Public Works, Ireland; Galway County Council; Centre for Fine Print Research, Bristol; Dublin Institute of Technology and National College of Art and Design, Ireland as well as private collections in Ireland the UK and the USA. Karl Musson is a UK-based artist working across a variety of media, in particular sculpture and lens-based practices. On-going thematic concerns centre around the nature of light and perception. His current research interest is concerned with the advent of landscape depictions in European art. Previous teaching posts include Art History Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University,
Art History Lecturer for Kent Adult Education, Sculpture Tutor for Kent Adult Education, and Sculpture Tutor at Creek Creative (CIC), Faversham. He has been awarded the Ray Finnis Award and the Kunstfoederung Award in Berlin. He has exhibited work at Lichtaffen Gallery and Sutton House; London, the Berlin International Film Festival and Espace 36, St Omer; France. He has undertaken a number of curatorial projects at Strange Cargo, Folkstone, and The Horsebridge Centre in Whitstable. Previous writing commissions include ‘Cutting Edge’ journal, available at the Tate bookshop, and on-going freelance writing commissions with This Is Tomorrow. His work is in private collections in London, Kent, Berlin and the Channel Islands. Siobhan McGibbon is an Irish artist based in Roscommon; she graduated from GMIT in Galway in 2009. Since then she has exhibited nationally and internationally. Most recently her work has been exhibited in “death drive” in the Galway Arts Centre and in the 2013 RHA annual, for which she received the RHA ConorFalon Sculpture award. Other recent shows include “future perfect”, Rubicon Brussels project , “Tulca” 2012, New Living Artist III and Dublin contemporary 2011. She has exhibited in groups and performed as part of a socially interactive collective throughout Ireland. Previous galleries include IMOCA, Dublin, Occupy space, Limerick, Block T, Dublin, Basement project space, Cork, 126, Galway and Tapire, Berlin. McGibbon has undertaken artist residencies in the 126 ArtFarm, The Royal Hibernian Academy and in Takt Berlin. She has also been board member of 126, artist led space, Tulca Season of Visual Art, Engage studios, Adapt Galway and a founding member of Knee-jerk art collective. This exhibition will travel, in part, to Wales to be exhibited later in 2014. Following the exhibition at 126, Siobhan McGibbon will have a solo exhibition opening in the Talbot Gallery on 6th March, and running until 29th March.


The ARTFarm Residency is an exciting collaboration between 126 and Sheila Flanagan (owner of The ARTFarm). The 126 board and Sheila have been in conversation since early 2012 to create this new opportunity, and in 2013 we were delighted to offer three artists the opportunity to spend two weeks at the cottage and studio/work space in rural County Galway. Over the next few weeks we will cumulate the first ARTFarm residency project with this exhibition of new work by Siobhan, Ciara and Karl . During the show, the artists will give public talks about their art practices and current work. More information about the ARTFarm residency 2013 can be found here and here. We are currently planning for the 2014 ARTFarm residency, and look forward to offering new opportunities to our members over the coming months. Membership is open to anyone over the age of 18 that supports our aims. Membership details can be found here.