Matt’s Gallery presents Loose Ends, a recent two-screen video installation by Willie Doherty. Shot in locations in Donegal and Dublin the footage depicts two places connected through events leading up to the 1916 Easter Rising and its conclusion. Exploring how people, events and sites associated with the 1916 Easter Rising are remembered and imagined today, Doherty’s asks if a residual response to these events continues to be played out and how the voices and actions of one generation resonate in the unconscious of another.
Gola Island is the largest of Donegal’s small offshore islands, covering about one square mile. Two fishermen from Gola, Charles Duggan and Patrick McGinley were crewmembers of the yacht Asgard, which on the 26th of July 1914 docked at Howth, Co. Dublin and offloaded a consignment of guns and ammunition that would subsequently be used in the Easter Rising of 1916.
The final days and hours of the Rising unfolded in and around the Moore Street area of Dublin. Escaping from the GPO after it caught fire following a bombardment by British artillery, volunteers made their way to Moore Street and tunnelled through the terrace, making number 16 their final headquarters. After realising they could not escape without causing further civilian deaths, Pádraig Pearse issued the order to surrender from 16 Moore Street.
Filmed in 2016, Doherty uses his camera to examine the material evidence of how these places look 100 years after those events. A slow, extended zoom brings the viewer closer to the surface of existing architectural structures and the surrounding urban and rural contexts while a voiceover explores the fraught relationship between fiction and reality.
Willie Doherty: Loose Ends at Matt’s Gallery is generously supported by Arts Council England and is commissioned by Arts Council of Ireland as part of the Open Call National Project Award and co-commissioned by The Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, Nerve Centre, Derry, Donegal County Council, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin and Matt’s Gallery, London.
The exhibition will be open Wednesday - Sunday, 12-6pm.