You are welcome to join us and the artists for the opening of the exhibition on Thursday 25 September at 5.00pm.
Canadian artists Hadley+Maxwell examine Ireland’s powerful and complex relationship with public monuments in a new exhibition for Project Arts Centre, as part of Dublin Theatre Festival.
A tale of imperialism and an exploration into the destruction, decommissioning and burial of public statues and sculptures, The Queen still falls to you traces the history of a 1908 monument of Queen Victoria by Irish sculptor John Hughes.
Unceremoniously dethroned from her seat at the front of Leinster House in 1948, she was retired into storage at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Sections of the monument’s carved stone base were discarded in Bully’s Acre Cemetery at the gates of the hospital, and to this day the three symbolic cherubs who once sat protectively at her feet remain on display in the formal gardens.
The Monarch was later abandoned in an Offaly reformatory school before finally finding a new home in Sydney, as a gift to the city and centrepiece for its newly refurbished Queen Victoria Building.
Hadley+Maxwell will visit Victoria’s Cherubs in Bully’s Acre Cemetery, in the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and a host of other Dublin statues. Taking direct impressions of their forms using sheets of Cinefoil – a black wrap material used in theatre lighting design which moulds around shapes and holds its form – they will fragment, recompose and re-organise Victoria and friends into a symphony of shapes and shadows in the Gallery at Project Arts Centre.
The Queen still falls to you is an exhibition informed by the dual contexts of theatre and imperial history, theatrically reacquainting Her Majesty with her three stone cherubs and colourful Irish heritage.
Hadley+Maxwell’s installations, performances and writings, employ diverse media to rework iconic images and traditional forms as they are expressed in pop-cultural, artistic and political movements. They cut into reified narratives via direct touch, transposition and re-figuration, putting into play the absences cast in relief.
Hadley+Maxwell have been collaborating since they met in Vancouver, Canada, in 1997. Public presentations of their work have included solo exhibitions at Artspeak (Vancouver), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), Kunstverein Göttingen (Germany), and Smart Project Space (Amsterdam), and group exhibitions at galleries and festivals including the Vancouver Art Gallery, Kunstraum München, the Power Plant (Toronto), the National Gallery of Canada, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, La Kunsthalle Mulhouse (France) and Witte de With (Rotterdam). They are represented by Jessica Bradley Gallery, Toronto, and live and work in Berlin, Germany.
Special thanks to the 19th Biennale of Sydney, through whom Hadley+Maxwell first encountered Queen Victoria. Warm thanks also to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, who generously supported this exhibition with an IMMA Production Residency. The artists would also like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, and the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, for workshop facilitation.