Exhibition: Fight or Flight by Lorraine McDonnell & Niamh Leonard July 2017

Fight or Flight     Lorraine McDonnell & Niamh Leonard

A massive crowd turned out on a glorious July evening to witness the opening of a joint exhibition of paintings, sculpture and drawings by Cork city based artists Niamh Leonard and Lorraine McDonnell.

The exhibition was opened by spoken word poet, Cormac Lally, whose opening remarks included some appropriately themed work. He later introduced fellow poet, Nuala Leonard, who also recited some of there work to a spellbound audience of young and well, not so young! Another wonderful night in WAS.

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“The title of this exhibition represents the shared commonalities found in each artist’s work. The ‘Fight or Flight’ response (also called Hyper-arousal) is a physiological reaction to a perceived harmful event, attack or threat to survival.

In this exhibition we look at how we, as humans react to this response in our modern world.

Western society does not usually present us with dangers of a prehistoric nature, the dangers that hardwired our ancestors with the flight or fight response but still, we react to situations releasing large amounts of adrenaline, other hormones and chemicals, not always having to flee or fight. In our modern day society this reaction may manifest as anxiety and other mental and physical illnesses.

Other meanings can be attributed to this theme – current societal problems e.g. chronic unemployment, political corruption and addiction. In reverse, this feeling of entrapment within our society, could be seen as the death of this hyper-arousal state, unable to flee or fight our way out of this daily cycle.

This exhibition not only explores this theme but also simply looks at the words individually, ‘Fight’ and ‘Flight’.

We hope you enjoy our interpretation of both.”

Lorraine McDonnell  is originally from Co.Mayo and came to Cork city in 2001. In 2005 she graduated from C.C.A.D and since then has worked from many studios in Cork city. Lorraine is primarily an acrylic painter and recently exhibited at K-fest music and the arts festival in Killorglin, Co.Kerry.

In 2015 she won the ‘Screaming Pope Prize’ at K-fest – a unique annual award for outstanding achievement.

Her current work explores layering and fragmentation, she dissects portraiture and animal anatomy to create her compositions.

Niamh Leonard  is also originally from Co. Mayo and has been living in Cork city for the past 20 years.

Her usual pratice includes painting (oil, acrylic, watercolour and gouache), pastel and charcoal, pen and ink and sculpture, with clay or found objects.

For this show she has concentrated on pastel and clay sculpture.

Her design work includes album covers, logos, tattoos and she has illustrated a children’s book.

She has facillitated workshops in schools and hospitals and is also a bodypainter.

This is her second show with Lorraine whom she met in Camden Palace Hotel Community Arts Centre where they both had studios.

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