Catriona Gallagher arrived at VARC in July 2020 and spent 10 months living and working at Highgreen. You can download a PDF of her end of residency booklet that includes an essay by Lesley Guy here: Catriona Gallagher Booklet (PDF)
In the statement below, Catriona describes the interests and foci of her art practice and how these have been shaped by the residency:
In highlighting vestigial details in our physical surroundings and the psychological landscapes mirroring them, my work seeks to make the familiar strange within the places we occupy. I use drawing, writing, moving image and installations of all three to collect, map and record traces of a physical and cerebral nature, such as plant growth, wind and light movements. Specific plant species, from weeds to medicinal herbs, appear in my work as symbols in the hands of their human imbuers, containers for concepts and research. In tracking such passages over time and through space, the elements interacting with our environments can be utilised to reveal as much about their historical and socioeconomic contexts as the subconsciousness of their perceivers.
The point at which natural and manmade environments collide is the arena for my investigations; I do not see either in isolation. When there is no figure present in the frame, the human is implied through its residues and ghosts. Inspecting our surroundings with an observant perception allows me to explore context, its formation of us and our formation of it. By examining such deeply connected ecologies, we can better understand both the components and their relationships as part of the wider whole.