Saturday 25th February to Saturday 8th April 2023

VOX HYBRIDA is an exhibition by Irish artist Alice Maher, featuring responsive artworks from Emma Brennan and Chloe Austin.

Maher’s practice is dynamic, often utilising different media including painting, drawing, sculpture, print, photography and installation. As one of Ireland’s most influential and respected artists, Maher has continued to intrigue audiences with her provoking often corporeal drawings and sculptures. She works within the realms of nature and culture, subversion and transformation, mythology and memory. Brennan and Austin, chosen by Maher, are showing site specific video and performance work as part of the VOX HYBRIDA exhibition.

A commissioned text accompanies the exhibition, written by Anna Liesching:

“…Vox Materia are visual representations of the pre-language gesture. Created by Alice Maher by squeezing wax as tight as she could, casting it in bronze and patenting it into this visceral, inky, fleshy, organ-like form. They appear to be excretions of human flesh; pieces of bodies. The work has gone through a series of stages, one gesture bleeding into the next. Reflecting a line of text, they are a hand-held version of voice. Language made material.

Chloe Austin and Emma Brennan have returned to the genesis of Maher’s work in their responses, creating their own gestural movements, capturing and translating this pre-language through their own bodies. Both Brennan and Austin have used drawing as their gestural mechanisms to translate Maher’s work and merge their own unique and sensitive practices. There is a fluidity to this process akin to hydrofeminism; that we are connected through our liquid makeup to all elements of nature and to each other, and that we are cyclical…”

Curated by Peter Richards, the exhibition is an exciting opportunity to witness Maher’s influence on a new generation of emerging artists, and their approach to the themes and ideas which have evolved through conversation and collaboration between the three artists.

Alice Maher is one of this island’s leading contemporary artists. She is well known for her iconic sculptures using natural materials, her drawings and installations using human hair, and photographic portraits of the artist using her own body and elements taken from the wild. Her work is embedded in cultural history, mythology, folklore, fairy tales and medieval history. She is represented by the David Nolan Gallery, New York (since 2001), and the Purdy Hicks Gallery London (since 2003). Maher has exhibited widely in Ireland, England and the United States, and represented Ireland in the 22nd São Paolo Art Biennial. She lives and works in Mayo, Ireland.

Emma Brennan works predominantly in performative practices to include multi-media installation, moving image and collaborative processes. She has performed locally and internationally, including; the Belfast International Festival of Performance Art (BIFPA); FIX21: Live Art Biennale, as part of Black Kit Performance Archive’s 30th year anniversary in Cologne, Germany; in Livestock Dublin; at Live Art Ireland and more. In 2021 she was Bbeyond performance collective’s New Commissioned Artist. Brennan performed in collaboration with singer Meabh Muir to ring in the solstice as part of Array Collective’s 2021 Turner Prize winning exhibition The Druithaib’s Ball.

Chloe Austin is a visual artist who works with video, text and installation. She is currently a PhD Researcher at Belfast School of Art, Ulster University, a studio member of Flax Arts Studios and is currently in residence at Digital Arts Studios as part of their Future Labs Foundation Residency Programme. Chloe is a recipient of the Agility Award from The Arts Council of Ireland (2022), ACNI: Individuals Emergency Resilience Programme and the 126 Gallery Micro-Grant Programme in 2021. In 2018 she was awarded the Alice Berger Hammerschlag Award from Belfast School of Art and the Cork Film Centre Exhibition Award in 2017. In 2018, she co-founded the Re-Vision Performing Arts annual festival in Belfast.

Golden Thread Gallery is supported by: