Emma Dwyer : There are Little Kingdoms – Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray

A walk and talk through the exhibition with the four artists and curator will take place at 5pm on Thurs 11 February, followed by the opening at 6pm.

“An indisputable fact: our towns are sexed. Look around you. It’s easy enough tell one from the other. Foley’s town, for example, is most certainly a woman — just take in the salt of her estuarine air — but she’s not a notably well-mannered or delicate woman. She is in fact a belligerent old bitch.” – Kevin Barry, There Are Little Kingdoms.

Borrowing its title from Kevin Barry’s collection of short stories quoted above, There Are Little Kingdoms features the work of four Irish artists – who each tell us their own story. From King James II enjoying a meal under a sycamore tree at the house of John Keyes and later burning everything in the area but that house, to the categorisation of every rock, stone and pebble on Bray beach, the logs from Finland which have turned our soil Scandinavian and the motivational wheelie bins of Dublin 8. Every tree, house, town and mountain has a story. Whether it’s the absurd, historical, fictional or anchored in unbelievable fact. Meaning can be slippy and a slight change in the way we look at something can completely change how we see it. What these four artists have in common is a sideways glance at the world and their place in it.

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