Installation view, John Gerrard, Mirror Pavilion, Corn Work, Sep 3 – 26, 2020, Claddagh Quay, Galway City, Ireland © John Gerrard, Photo by Colm Hogan

Artist Projects

John Gerrard

Mirror Pavilion, Corn Work

Claddagh Quay, Galway City, Ireland
Sep 3 – 26, 2020

Mirror Pavilion, Corn Work by John Gerrard was commissioned by Galway International Arts Festival for Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture.

The Pavilion is a beautiful and striking structure, with
 three sides and the roof clad in a highly reflective mirror and the fourth wall a high–resolution LED wall. This structure will host two new artworks in two locations: Corn Work at the historic Claddagh Quay in Galway City from September 3 – 26, 2020, and Leaf Work at the spectacular 4,000–year–old Derrigimlagh Bog in Connemara from March 20 – April 11, 2021. The works reflect and respond to the landscape of both locations.

Now on view by the River Corrib at Claddagh Quay, Mirror Pavilion, Corn Work, recalls histories of grain milling in Galway and the strong flow of water which provided a sustainable clean energy source for the city’s now dismantled flour mills. Four folk figures, the Straw Boys, remade virtually, perform a symbolic wheel of production on the LED wall in the work. Changing with the seasons, they commemorate attitudes toward agriculture and the landscape that existed prior to the petroleum derived methods widely implemented today. The powerful coordinated turns of Corn Work provide a mirror image to Leaf Work in Connemara.

As the viewer approaches the Mirror Pavilion structure, they will see themselves reflected in the mirrored walls, and on the LED screen they will see an image of the landscape in which the structure is situated. Using a technique described as motion matching John Gerrard generated an ongoing infinite choreography for the characters we see on the screen. Real-life dancers, wearing motion capture suits, walked, danced and performed. This series of motions was then captured and converted into data. What we ultimately see are the Corn Work characters responding to time while the Leaf Work character responds to the solar cycle and changing temperatures, their movements in tandem with the changes of the seasons. There are two virtual worlds to discover on the Mirror Pavilion LED screen, each at a different physical location.

To learn more, visit the Galway International Arts Festival (opens in a new window) website.

  • Artist Projects — John Gerrard: Mirror Pavilion Opens in Galway City, Sep 3, 2020