Impact of ocean on landscape and lives the subject of new exhibition


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Impact of ocean on landscape and lives the subject of new exhibition Impact of ocean on landscape and lives the subject of new exhibition

A new photographic exhibition titled Shipwreck (On the Isle of Stygian Dreams) by visual artist Ivan McMahon will open at Galway’s Town Hall Theatre this Saturday, November 18, at 2.30pm and will continue until Thursday, December 14.

It will consist of 17 large, framed, limited edition (1/10) photographic prints, conveying dramatic coastal scenes.

Ivan’s fascination with the Western seaboard and its unique landscape began in childhood and has continued into adulthood, as the Galway-based filmmaker explains.

“I study its tones and textures to glean a sense of its fundamental essence; the primordial energy that emanates from its crags and fissures,” he says. “I endeavour to understand how it can act as an archive of lost human memory, dreams and emotions. I strive to comprehend how it moulded the psyche of those who once inhabited this haunting landscape and how it can still influence those who continue to do so.”

Ivan has more than three decades’ experience in the film and television industry at home and abroad. He worked on well-known national and international feature films and TV dramas, and has also written, produced and directed several short films and online dramas that have been screened in places including Washington DC, Tehran, and the Aran Islands.

Ivan has tutored in scriptwriting, visual storytelling and alternative narrative at the University of Galway.

And his passion for the sea is a constant.

“The ocean holds a deeply ingrained place in our being, its primordial energy and archetypal symbolism integrating our conscious and unconscious lives. It speaks to us on a fundamental level.”

Ivan works in tandem with the landscape.

“Instead of trying to find an image to suit a pre-ordained intent, each image as I study it reveals its true meaning. I let the senses unfurl and the lens becomes a window into an alternative reality, a different plain on which to explore new ways to experience and contemplate human existence. This is not an arbitrary process – the picture’s meaning has always been there, embedded in the image, an evident purpose waiting to be revealed.”

His approach also involves inviting “the viewer to engage on a subjective level, to let the material speak to them”.

Shipwreck (On the Isle of Stygian Dreams) runs until December 14 at the Town Hall Theatre. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Pictured: Photographer and filmmaker Ivan McMahon.


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