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  • 2018-09-06—2018-09-15

    Sibyl Montague—Saplings

    TOTALLY DUBLIN, Artsdesk: immaterial – pallas projects.

    Opening reception: 6–8pm Thursday 6th September 2018
    Exhibition runs: Thursday 6th September – Saturday 15th September
    Gallery open: 12–6pm Thursday–Saturday

    Artist Talk: Sibyl Montague will be in conversation with curator Rachael Gilbourne on Friday 7th September at 6.30pm

    Pallas Projects/Studios are pleased to present Sibyl Montague—Saplings the ninth exhibition of our 2018 Artist-Initiated Projects programme.

    Saplings presents a site-specific installation of new sculptural works by Sibyl Montague. It features a series of sculptural objects or 'tools' that explore our relationship to material as physical but flawed representations of inner experience. Based on a speakeasy that Montague's grandfather worked and drank at in New York in the 1920's, the installation takes the physical bar as form and support for the work.

    It seeks to situate itself in the muddiness between corporate intention and personal narrative, as consumer society encourages us to define ourselves through goods and digital platforms, privilege and/or individual economy determines our status within these very forms. Concentrating on aspects of form, usability and the hand-held, Montague’s works consider how we regard, hold and consume objects and experiences, defining our economies of consumption, wealth or poverty. 

    Saplings is a durational work; elements weeping, coagulating and changing form over the course of the exhibition. Large blocks and cuts of gelatine, displayed like meat at a market stall, provoke the sensual, formless by-products and residues of our consumption. The work imagines the physical, interior agency and affect of expenditure on the body. Resisting objectification through its inherent anti-form, it dually occupies a carnal, toxic presence in the space.

    “…truth and illusion George, you don't know the difference?'
    'No, but we must carry on as though we did.”

    Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Edward Albee,1962

    For the exhibition Saplings, Montague has invited writer Molly Hennigan and music producer Leopoldo Rosa to respond to the exhibition. Copies of the text and audio will be available at the gallery over the duration of the exhibition or by download below.

    Saplings was made possible through the generous support of the Irish Arts Council Bursary Award.

    Sibyl Montague's (Dublin, Ireland) practice includes sculpture, video and installation. A graduate of Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, she is recent laureate of the Institut Français Residency Programme at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France (2017). Additional awards include Emerging Visual Artist Award, Wexford Arts Centre (2012) and Oriel Davies Open, Wales (2011). Her moving image work was commissioned for the collection of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania. Montague is co-founder and co-curator of PLASTIK, a festival of artists’ moving image in Dublin and is current studio resident at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios. 

    Molly Hennigan  is a Dublin based writer, a graduate of Maynooth University and Trinity College. Her writing is concerned with the historical female absence in the Irish literary canon and also the current way in which the physical female body is only afforded space and authority based on its function as a tool and a residential site. She has contributed work to Nasty Women Dublin.

    Leopoldo Rosa is an Italian, Dublin based music producer. Releases include Seattle's experimental label Further Records, D1 records and Berghain label Ostgut Ton.

    Rachael Gilbourne is a curator based in Dublin. Gilbourne works as Assistant Curator of Exhibitions at IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) and also independently, often in collaboration with Kate Strain under the aegis of RGKSKSRG.


    Artist-Initiated Projects at Pallas Projects/Studios is an open-submission, annual gallery programme of 12 x 2-week exhibitions taking place between April and November 2018, in the context of a gallery space with a dedicated tradition towards the professional development of artists in a peer-led, supportive environment. 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.

    Artist-Initiated Projects aims to act as an incubator for early careers, and support artists' practices at crucial stages, providing a platform for artists to produce and exhibit challenging work across all art forms. The model of short-run exhibitions with a relatively short turnaround time of 3–6 months is an alternative to the normal institutional model, where the process of studio visit to exhibition can take several years. Shorter lead-in times allow the programme to be quick and responsive, reflect what artists are currently making, and encourage experimentation and risk-taking.

    Pallas Projects/Studios Artist-Initiated Projects is supported by The Arts Council.

    Text description for audio work:

    Sediments (2018)
    Duration: 03:04'

    Sediments is a collaborative sound work between Leopoldo Rosa and Sibyl Montague.
    The piece isolates all glass and ice sounds chronologically from the film ”Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf” (Dir:  Mike Nicholls 1966). This is combined with sound recordings sourced during the construction of the bar for exhibition. Processed with a granular synthesiser, the work creates a narrative arc of material and immaterial labour and consumption.

    Installation images photography: Vera Ryklova ©2018