Opening Party: 6–9pm Thursday 15th June Register here
Exhibition continues: Friday 16th–Saturday 24th June
Open: Tuesday–Saturday 12–6pm, Saturday 24th 11am–5pm.
Pallas Projects/Studios are pleased to present Bog Cottage—Queer na nÓg: 4ever young, the third exhibition of our 2023 Artist-Initiated Projects programme.
"Last November, I spent three weeks working with Bog Cottage alongside Grace Jackson as part of the first iteration of Queer na nÓg at PSSquared, an artist-led space in Belfast. Queer na nÓg wasn’t the only outcome of those three weeks - a fantasy woodland of pink and green - but also the friendship and collaboration that developed from the period. Many hands created a place of love and companionship.
Whilst trees outside were being stripped of leaves, flowers browning and becoming mulch, and mushrooms reverting to their underground networks, we were inside, creating an everlasting season of abundance within PSSquared’s project space. We collectively built trees out of cardboard and paper mache forms, forged a patterned dolmen and designed a pretty pink car using old election posters, and constructed a sexy darkroom from a pleather-esque black tarp. It may have been cold and heavy outside, but inside we were shedding our winter coats, adding colour and warmth to the Irish winter.
Just like the first hints of spring, working ~and being~ with the Bogs was uplifting, filling me with a familiar joy. Those weeks weren’t just about working with one another, hanging out and forming a friendship were just as important as, and deeply entwined in, any final outcome. We found a new routine for our collaboration, sharing daily lunches of cheese sandwiches and supermarket soup, taking breaks to smoke on the roof of PSSquared whilst laughing over funny stories, and testing different ways of making the woodlands’ slowly developing landscape. Together, we formed a nurturing environment, where checking in on energy levels and wellbeing surpassed the desire of slickness or perfection. I miss being with the Bogs, sitting in the pub together and learning about crochet techniques and knitting patterns. For those three weeks, our collaboration became our own mythological world, somewhere open, generous and outside of it all.
Although in Belfast, the trees are now felled (donated to a local school, friends and family), the mushrooms picked and the vines untangled, Queer na nÓg lives on in not just this iteration at Pallas Projects, Queer na nÓg: 4ever young, but in the hearts of myself and Grace.
The Bogs tell me about Queer na nÓg: 4ever young over a voice note. They record as they walk around Berlin, and I listen as I’m walking to a mutual friend’s house in Belfast. As they talk in-depth about the creation of this new world within Pallas, it transports me to the entrance of a magical world. I imagine myself lying on plush hills surrounded by friendly snakes and getting lost amongst trees in shades of blue and orange. The Bog universe, much like fairy forts in folklore, sits outside of heteronormative concepts of logic, function and rigidity, and it’s amongst this ancient land where alternative social and political formations come into being. The Bogs have created the potential for queer rural spaces that offer abundance, joy and openness. The snakes don’t bite here, they embrace us.
The first iteration of Queer na nÓg accumulated in a party to hang out and celebrate together. Old, new and potential friends sat in the car in groups of four, lay dreamily in the darkroom, and perched on stools that felt like puffball mushrooms. As always with the Bogs, this was a collective moment of joy - the party, a tender gathering, a place to laugh, relax and share together. I thought about this as I lay on a platform made spongy by a tufted rug and watched people share beer from a Bog-made pond, each offering mixing with others. Generosity is generative, and this is at the heart of Queer na nÓg.
On the last day of Queer na nÓg in Belfast, we found a real-life snail living amongst the cardboard world. A new friend thriving amongst the trees, sliding amongst the papery crevices and meeting its green paper mache counterparts. I like to think that that little snail wanted to live in the land of the Bogs, this new society full of colour, emotions, abundance and love. I know that there’s nowhere else I would rather be <3”
Bog Cottage (BC) commissioned curator and writer Cecelia Graham to write this piece about their upcoming show Queer na nÓg: 4ever young. Cecelia Graham is a curator and writer currently based in Belfast.
BC has invited artists Renn Miano, Austin Hearne and Hugh McGettigan to take a walk deep into the woods and make something magic.
BC will be welcoming youth groups to guided tours of the exhibition. If you are interested in bringing your group please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bog Cottage is an artist collective originally conceived as a formalised response to art-making in the west of Ireland. Since then it has transformed into an art-making tool - a way of working which focuses on meeting other artists and learning through mutual making. Bog Cottage wants to build spaces, wants to make space to create and progress. Space to hang out and eat pizza. Space to get messy, space to make mistakes, space to experiment, space to fail and space to be supported when you do. Bog Cottage wants to have fun. Bog Cottage is Roberta Murray, Orla Meagher, and all the goodies we meet along the way.
If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise…
Austin Hearne is an artist from Dublin, living in Co. Wexford. He holds a MFA from NCAD (2016). Hearne is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice is rooted in Photography, he comes from a family of Painters and Decorators and uses the stuff of this industry to make works and installations. His film work Whispers won Best Irish Short at the Gaze film festival (2022). Recent solos shows include Love Letters to Cardinal Raymo at Gorey School of Art (2021), Slabs at The Complex (2021), Requiem For Raymo at The Royal Hibernian Gallery (RHA)(2022-2023), Slabs II and Whispers at The Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray (2023) and group shows with WEARTFETISHISTS (2022), PhotoIreland Festival (2022) and Speech Sounds at Visual Carlow(2022). Austin is a founding member and one half of the experimental queer goth music act Satin Shadow, they have released 3 albums to date. He is currently a studio member at Temple Bar Galleries and Studios. He will take part in an upcoming group show titled Confessions at Lismore Castle Arts curated by Rosa Abbott. Austin’s work is held in private collections in USA, Europe and the OPW collection.
Hugh McGettigan is an artist living and working in the north-west of Ireland.
Working predominantly in found materials, his work draws influence from modernist sculpture, Adhocist design principles and Constructivist three-dimensional work.
Hugh has worked with the National Museum of Ireland, decant of the Natural History Museum, and The National Gallery of Ireland, assisting with the day to day running of the conservation department and the implementation of conservation policy ensuring the preservation of artworks and museum objects. He is currently enrolled in a Master's in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage at the University of Amsterdam specialising in the Conservation of Contemporary art to commence in September 2023.
Renn Miano is a dj/writer, photographer, archivist & anti disciplinary artist and cultural curator. Founder of Origins Eile a Black Queer community collective. DJ with CO-OP label DIAxDEM.
Renn is a mentor and mess maker and a big fan of the sea, If they aren't burning jazzed up pizza they can be found by the sea or watching real housewives of potomac.
Artist-Initiated Projects at Pallas Projects/Studios is an open-submission, annual gallery programme of 8 x 3-week exhibitions taking place from March-November 2023. This unique programme of funded, artist-initiated projects selected via open call is highly accessible to artists, with a focus on early career, emerging artists and recent graduates. Projects are supplemented with artists' talks, texts, workshops or performances, and gallery visits by colleges and local schools.
Pallas Projects/Studios is funded by The Arts Council
Image description: A white square contains printed rose-like shapes in reds, pinks, oranges and purple. Overlayed are line drawings of beads intertwined with celtic knots and flowers. On top is text in blue reading 'Artist-Initiated Projects. Bog Cottage.'