Dave Madigan and Meadhbh O’Connor
powerS + √ roots is the second exhibition informed by a longstanding critical dialogue between artists Dave Madigan and Méadhbh O’Connor. Here, the two artists explore their interests in networks and energy systems, both natural and man-made.
Both artists will present large-scale sculptural installations using very different approaches. These include a working, handmade, ‘marvellous machine’ that is a crossover between a still, steam boiler, water wheel and wind turbine; an installation comprising the charred remains of spent organic and carbon-based fuel; an installation of living weeds growing through asphalt; and more.
By deliberately adopting different strategies, both artists seek to examine the legacy of energy production and trace changing attitudes associated with different periods of technological development, from the earliest discoveries of electricity in the mid-nineteenth century to the growing, consequent environmental anxieties of today which are emerging as a defining cultural concern of the 21st century. Madigan and O’Connor have elected to present individual works in reference to these different points in history, with the aim to expose both disparities and correlations, and ultimate causal relationship between the two.
Dave Madigan’s practice is centred on both the liberating and failing consequences of the technological age. Reworking electronic and industrial detritus, he employs large-scale sculpture and installation, which primarily involves metal fabrication and heavy construction. Méadhbh O’Connor works at the conjunction of art and science. She works through sculpture, installation and photography, and has progressively followed a path toward working with scientists and experts in other fields. She is presently artist-in-residence in the UCD College of Science. Both artists studied together in I.A.D.T. Dublin, where they graduated with first-class honours in 2009. They have since forged both individually and collaboratively-driven practices, informed by their shared interest in the implications of the techno-scientific age.