Vanessa Donoso Lòpez : To Swallow a Ball

In her practice, Vanessa Donoso Lòpez explores the forces of contemporary migration. As part of our ongoing Art & Ecology programme, a partnership between Dublin City Council Arts Office and our colleagues in Parks and Biodiversity, we invited Vanessa to consider the importance of soil. Her research included visits to Bull Island, part of the UNESCO Biosphere in Dublin bay.

As a resident of Dublin for over a decade, born in Barcelona, Vanessa’s work relates migration to ideas of transitional phenomena, language, crossed cultural identity, adult homesickness and compatibility between cultures. We are delighted to have Martí Manen, Stockholm based Spanish curator and art critic to write about the work.

In an age of rapid growth of global interconnectivity, individual identification, attachment to place, political and sociocultural ways of being are continuously affected. In the process of change and movement, a sense of belonging becomes more relevant to us as individuals and as citizens of the world. Vanessa has been mining the ground beneath her feet in both Ireland and Spain for clay as a material for this exhibition creating a very particular relationship with place. At each place, including the park beside the LAB on Foley Street, the process of digging and making has led to discussions with people surprised by the possibilities of clay. This exploration of our relationship to soil, clay and our earliest forms of written communication is a work still in progress for the artist. During the exhibition a series of events will provide opportunities for audiences to discover the processes involved in making clay with the artist and learn more about soil and composting with our biodiversity team.

In this time of immense change in our world, To Swallow a Ball presents different methodologies as coping strategies and a means to aid comprehension and facilitate communication, while reconnecting with the earth beneath our feet.

9 September to 10 November, The LAB Gallery, Dublin

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