Malcolm McClay | Swimming To Inishkeel

CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery
9 – 30 April 2016

Opening reception Friday 8 April 6pm
Guest Speaker Catherine Fehily Head of CIT Crawford College of Art & Design

Malcolm McClay was raised in Donegal and his fond memories of Inishkeel Island have informed his current body of work. Inishkeel Island is a small uninhabited Island off the west cost of Donegal, accessible by foot at low tide. St. Conal Coel founded a monastery on the island in the 6th century, hence the original name Innis-Coel. The remains of two 12th-century churches, St. Conal’s and St. Mary’s are still there. The site is also home to two cross slabs from the 8th to 9th century and a large boulder known as St. Conal’s bed.

In the Celtic tradition “a thin place” is the name given to a place where the visible and invisible worlds touch or are at their closest, a space where the veil between the temporal and celestial worlds has grown thin.

For Malcolm McClay Inishkeel is such a place. “I grew up visiting the island, first with bucket, spade and picnic, later with a windsurfer, boat and kayak. Now each morning when I am at my parents’ house, I walk the few minutes to the beach and swim to the island and back. It is about a half hour each way but when I get there I am on my own and have the island to myself. The coldness and clarity of the water, the stillness and unchanging nature of the landscape bring me to a place where I am more alive than at any other time. For this exhibition I have created a series of meditations on this idea through kinetic sculpture, performance video and photography.”

Malcolm McClay will present a lecture on Thursday 7 April at 11am as part of CIT Crawford College of Art and Design’s visiting lecture series.

About Malcolm McClay
Born in Derry and raised in Donegal. Malcolm McClay studied at the University of Ulster, Belfast, where he received his BA honours degree in Three-Dimensional Design. He earned his MA in Sculpture from New Mexico State University and his MFA in Sculpture and Performance from The Ohio State University.

During his time at The Ohio State University he co-founded Crisus, a performance company. For the next ten years, Crisus wrote, produced, and toured large-scale multimedia performances throughout the US and abroad. McClay moved with Crisus from Ohio to New Orleans, then to Chicago, and finally to San Francisco. In 1999, McClay moved away from performance to concentrate on interactive installation and kinetic sculpture. He joined the faculty of Louisiana State University’s School of Art in the fall of 2003 where he is currently an Associate Professor of Art. As an Irish born artist living in the US Malcolm exhibits in both countries regularly. He is also a founding member of the Good Children Gallery in New Orleans where he regularly curates and exhibits.

LSU School of Art, LSU Office of Research and Development and CIT Crawford College of Art & Design kindly support this exhibition.

CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery, Clarke’s Bridge, Wandesford Quay, Cork, Ireland
Opening times 10am – 6pm Wednesday to Saturday