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Wexford Festival Opera 2023 is here and we are very excited to open our exhibition of works in collaboration with Maree Hensey at the Blue Egg Gallery in Wexford town tonight.

The exhibition will run for the duration of the festival. 

This collection of works titled “Surface Tension” is a unique collaboration between artist and maker. 

We have a long established relationship having worked together with Maree for many years. We have developed a strong and considered understanding over this time.

Through this body of work, Maree communicates the uncertainty of the impacts of climate change. The world’s climate is changing at an unprecedented rate. The magnitude of these changes is in no doubt but there is also much uncertainty around trajectory, tipping points, and cumulative and reactive effects.

We have fallen consistently short on our climate goals, temperatures continue to rise, wild fires to the east and west, flooding and ocean acidification, are all alarm bells begging not to be ignored? 

A new study which is the  the third major assessment of the planetary boundaries framework, first introduced in 2009 has indicated that Earth is now well outside of the safe operating space for humanity.

From global warming to the biosphere and deforestation, from pollutants and plastic to nitrogen cycles and freshwater: Six of nine planetary boundaries are being crossed, while simultaneously pressure in all boundary processes is increasing, new research published in the journal Science Advances shows.

The climate impacts are simultaneously foreseeable but highly uncertain. On a personal level, the scale is overwhelming, it is clear that we need unified and systemic change to address this.

Through her work Maree communicates this uncertainty. Her intention is to visualise climate change and to take away specific details, numbers, labels and wording and present a moving and still image. The visuals do not tell the scientific story of climate change but prompt conversation, enquiry and investigation to broader audiences. 

The initial drawings she makes float on the surface of water. She makes the drawings blind folded exacerbating the sense of touch and the connection with the waters surface. She dips her hand into the blackness of the ink and lays it over the water’s surface. The drawing is unpredictable there is no control over how the ink and the water will interact. There is a sense of letting go and allowing the work to engage with its own destiny. The drawings exist floating on the surface of water and also as a video, photograph, print and our hand tufted rugs in wool and silk.

The design for each of the rugs in this collection are hand drawn by Maree at Ceadogán workshops before being tufted and finished.

We will have an official opening tonight Thursday 26th at 6pm at the Blue Egg Gallery in Wexford. Opening speech by Aisling Kennedy, actuary and independent non executive board member and recipient of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland award for outstanding contribution in 2022 for her work on climate change.

All welcome.