Temple Bar Gallery + Studios
October 7 – November 5 2016
Exploring the boundaries of art and life, Breaking Rainbows uses the relationship between wo/man and animal, and the cannibalistic, symbiotic tension between [Orla Barry] the artist and [Orla Barry] the shepherd to reflect on the primal, poetic and unpredictable bond we have with the natural world. Presented as a live performance and video installation, Barry’s new work is a fascinating journey into the land of shepherding through the lens of ‘doing’ rather than ‘observing’ the job at hand. The tour will begin in Temple Bar Gallery + Studios as part of Dublin Theatre Festival, running from September 29th to November 5th 2016.
Endearing, humorous and challenging, Breaking Rainbows reflects on both our interdependence and disconnection from the natural environment. Made up of a series of vignettes, Barry’s new work brings us into a journey through time, conceptualisations and effects: from the realms of sheep farming traditions, ancient Greek shepherd’s singing competitions, contemporary consumerism and gender roles, to the intimate relationship of caring for a sheep about to give birth.
Interweaving live performance, video, a 300 kg pile of wool produced on Barry’s farm in 2015, and an aural landscape which touches many different forms of speech, Breaking Rainbows is congruous with Orla Barry’s multidisciplinary aesthetic. However, as in her most recent work, Mountain, it also marks a new step in her trajectory by introducing chance procedures and a collaborative approach to the development of the texts. This results in the stories being reinvented and reshaped, defying notions of ownership, authorship and authenticity, and thus also reflecting on the nature of oral storytelling as transferred throughout generations. This is played out in an unpredictable dramaturgy in which no performance or experience of the installation is the same.
Orla Barry is both visual artist and shepherd. She lived in Brussels for sixteen years and now runs a flock of pedigree Lleyn sheep in rural Wexford. A leitmotif running through her recent work is the human disconnection from the natural environment. Barry writes, and makes performances, video and sound installations. She has shown work at The Irish Museum of Modern Art, SMAK and Tate Modern, amongst others, as well as taking part in Manifesta 2.
This is work is a work of fiction. An exaggerated story. A cacophony of voices and words. Names, characters, places, events and incidents are the products of Orla Barry’s imagination and are used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.
Written and directed by Orla Barry | with the collaboration of Einat Tuchman, Derrick Devine|assistant director Noelia Ruiz | dop Luca Rocchini |sound Michael Lemass | edit Simon Arazi| colour correction Michael Higgins |technical assistance John Beattie & Anthony Butler | fabric design Oonagh Young & Orla Barry
Commissioned and produced by Wexford Arts Centre, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios | co-production Kaaitheater, ARGOS centre for art and media, Crawford Art Gallery| funded by Arts Council of Ireland | support Dublin Theatre Festival, Midsummer Festival Cork, Opera Festival Wexford, IMMA’s Residency Program