Chloe Brenan

The piece takes as its point of departure ‘Na Gamhna Gealla’, an old Irish lament in which a woman mourns the loss of her rural independent life herding cattle before her marriage. The song was collected by Neillí Ní Dhomhnaill in the 1970s, having been passed down orally up to that point. The work explores melody as a vessel for the transmission of narratives across generations. The micro movements and physicality of listening, learning and singing become the focal point. As the melody impresses itself on the bodies of three women, light impresses the bodies on Super 8mm film. Meanwhile the melody is translated by the artist onto the theremin which becomes the soundscape, one sound synced with the bodies of all three women.


Super 8mm film (digitised), sound


Chloe Brenan is an artist working across moving image, sound, print, language and photography. The porosity of the body and its indivisibility from its environs is a recurring concern. Works often involve close examinations of the poetic haptics of daily life and processes on the edge of perception that question boundaries between bodies, intimate spaces and the wider environment. She explores the simultaneous engagement of the corporeal and the intellect, and the reciprocity between both, that enhances our ability to be responsible and responsive to the world’s patternings and murmurings. On one side there is our ability to measure and model, on the other our somatic capacity to tacitly experience, infer and intuit. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally including Kilkenny Arts Office; Periphery Space, Wexford; Galway Arts Centre; The Library Project, Dublin; Catalyst Arts, Belfast; The Estonian Museum of Applied Arts and Design, Tallinn; as well as in print at Dublin Art Book Fair 2019; Tokyo Art Book Fair, Japan; and I Never Read Art Book Fair, Basel. She has received support for her practice from The Arts Council of Ireland, Thomas Dammann Junior Memorial Trust, Culture Ireland, The NCAD Research Committee, Carlow County Council and ArtLinks. Her work is included in the collections of 100Archive, Ireland; Reminders Photography Stronghold, Tokyo, Japan; New Zealand Audio Foundation, Zine and Art Book Collection, Auckland, New Zealand; and MoMA Library Artist Publication Collection, New York.

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