Poster for the Launch of the Eternal Sedulous Line, featuring precise pen scribbles over a grey canvas

Cork County Library  and Arts Service presents The Eternal Sedulous Line an exhibition of new work by visual artist, Muireann Kelleher.  Muireann graduated from CIT Crawford School of Art and Design in 2018 where she was selected for the Cork County Council Emerging Artist Award.  This Award provides a solo exhibition opportunity for a graduating student from the Crawford School of Art.

For her new show The Eternal Sedulous Line, Muireann has continued her exploration of mechanical mark making which she uses as a metaphor for the repetitive and tedious nature of women’s work in both historical industrial and domestic contexts.

The Eternal Sedulous Line is open to the public Monday-Friday at Cork County Library Headquarters LHQ Gallery, Carrigrohane Road (next to County Hall)  until June 14th. Cork County Council and Cork Library Services cordialy invite you to attend the exhibition launch on Wednesday 29th of May at 1PM. 
Muireann Kelleher Artist statement  The Eternal Sedulous Line.

Within the male oriented industries of post war Europe, ‘woman’s work’ often extended beyond the domestic realm into for example, service industries, factory production lines and industrial laundries.  The overriding narrative of this era, however, places far more value on traditionally ‘male’ employment, within, the fields of coal mining, iron-smelting, steelworks, construction and engineering as they are seen as key infrastructure for creating the society we live in today. In contrast, the work women were confined to at this time lingers in the background, unrecognised and undervalued.

To draw attention to the mundane and repetitive nature of ‘women’s work’ during this period, I have repurposed a 19th century clothes mangle into a contemporary drawing machine. This was recovered from a domestic setting in rural Ireland. Mangles or clothes-wringers of this kind were widely used in Ireland after 1800. The hand-cranked devices functioning due to the interaction of a series of cogs became an integral piece of equipment for many within industrial laundries and domestic environments. By attaching pens to the mangle and threading paper through the space where the rollers used to be to the mangle itself records the strenuous, repetitive labour through line as the manually driven cogs and wheels turn.

The drawing produced on the mangle for this exhibition was made over a period of twelve consecutive hours. The lines of the drawing record the shakes and tremors of the mangle as it works and the line, breaking in parts, mimics the strains and persistence of its making creating a sedulous line that would, in theory, continue on as long as the wheels are turned. The resulting drawing represents and celebrates the yearning, vigour and fragility of both the laundry and it’s labourers.

For further information contact The Arts Office, Cork County Council. Email arts@corkcoco.ie

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