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Fri, Jun 09

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Annabelle's Home

"Home as Land, Home as Island: Traversing Cultures" by Laura Skehan

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"Home as Land, Home as Island: Traversing Cultures" by Laura Skehan
"Home as Land, Home as Island: Traversing Cultures" by Laura Skehan

Time and Location

Jun 09, 2023, 4:00 PM – Jun 29, 2023, 4:00 PM

Annabelle's Home, Framnesvegur 27, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

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This June, Annabelle's home will host “Home as Land, Home as Island: Traversing Cultures” by Laura 

Skehan. The film installation and a performed ritual spans across intertwined mythologies and oral traditions 

of storytelling from Ireland and Iceland. Through both Irish and English, she explores the merging of language, 

of place and of body, using a visual language to communicate the social, cultural, and psychological effects 

of a declining mother tongue, in this case, Irish or ‘Gaeilge’. Visiting words and phrases that were almost lost 

during the colonization and occupation of the island of Ireland by the British, the work oscillates between 

moments of calm, comedy and grief while raising concerns around cultural abandonment and loss. Skehan’s 

new film, “Imithe Leis An Taoide, (Gone With The Tide)” explores the island and nature reserve of Ireland’s 

Eye, off the coast of Dublin. In it she references the mythological island, ‘Uí Bhreasail’, or ‘Hy-breasal’. The 

changing tides and rough waters in her film remind us of the unsettling loss of connection to ‘home’, to the 

disappearing land due to climate change, to language and to ourselves. 

For her first solo exhibition in Iceland, Skehan creates a new ritual of care for Annabelle’s home. Her opening 

ritual, a meditative story telling echos a body scan in which the viewer is invited to learn new perspectives of 

the self and body as a land. She references the disappearing oral tradition of Keening (Irish mourning song) 

and the Seanchaí (the traditional Irish storytelling). A call to the senses to repair our relationship to the land –

internally and externally, starts with ‘Airigh’, the Irish word for ‘to perceive or sense’ and roots us in this call 

to embodiment. 

The ambient sound artist Masaya Ozaki will accompany Skehan for the opening ritual. Skehan orchestrates 

the sensual setting using a harp, waters from the Atlantic and from the Irish Sea, Icelandic Sea kelp, turf 

candles and wooden spools as Ozaki connects ecological data. He composes a sonic response to Skehan’s 

collected biodata of Icelandic plants such as Dryas Octopetala, the national flower of Iceland that also grows 

in mountainous regions of Ireland. 

‘Home’ as land, ‘home’ as island for Skehan is understood as an ‘archipelago of belonging in the world’. By 

bringing the viewer into a dialogue on the intersectionality of island histories while symbolically enshrining 

islands as leaders in the rejection of neo-colonialism and the conversation to preserve culture and heritage, the 

work asks; can the ocean and it's sedimented stories from lands, both near and far, bring us home to ourselves?

Laura Skehan is a visual artist based in Dublin with a BA in Fine Art from the School of Creative Arts at 

Technological University Dublin. Working in moving image and sculptural installation, she dissects the 

intricate rhizomatic structures embedded in our human relationship to the natural world. Laura will be an 

artist in residence at SÍM in June 2023, her third time at the residency in 2 years. In 2022, she exhibited at 

the Irish Museum of Modern Art in the eco art festival “Earth Rising”. Upcoming solo shows include “A 

Future Distant Memory Calls” at Roscommon Arts Centre, Ireland and “Free, Dependent, Beauty” at 

Malahide Castle, Dublin. Between 2023-25, her project “A Symbiotic Symphonic Movement”, a series of 

collaborative sonic performances with composers Clíona Ní Laoi, Masaya Ozaki and Banu Çiçek Tülü, will 

take place at the Botanic Gardens in Dublin, Reykjavik and Berlin. In 2024, she will be researching at ZK/U 

Centre for Art and Urbanistics in Berlin. She is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Dublin City Arts 

Office and Fingal County Council Arts Office and the Embassy of Ireland, Berlin. 

Masaya Ozaki is a New York-based composer born in Niigata, Japan and studied classical composition. He 

often finds inspiration in nature, the fragility of human interactions, and the momentums behind them. 

Masaya's artwork materializes as field recordings and compositions for film, dance, visual, and experimental 

arts. He has collaborated with international visual artists. His most recent score “Echoes” was written for the 

Grótta lighthouse and five performers and was performed at the exhibition “15 Nautical Miles”

Press contact: Annabelle von Girsewald, @annabellevon, info@annabelleshome.com, T.: +49 15254858245 

/ +354 612 0270

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