Strangers: Film & Drawings
Now running at The Butler Gallery, Kilkenny Castle until April 24
Trish McAdam makes narrative films in response to socio-political issues, personal encounters and artistic collaborations. Her latest exhibition, Strangers: Films & Drawings includes continuous screenings of six animated films in three of the four galleries, with one gallery dedicated to drawings that were made in the development of the various films. Mostly realised in rich charcoal, these idiosyncratic drawings reveal McAdam’s range as a skilled multi-media artist. They also illustrate aspects of the far-reaching research the artist undertook to shape her material.
The films include Strangers of Kindness (2015), about a night in the 1980s when travelling in America and accepting an invitation from a stranger outside a bar to a party that turned out not to exist; Falling Man and RoughTime (2013, see video above), with a script based on interviews with homeless men, interpreted by Paris-based Butoh dancer Gyohei Zaitsu and composer Trevor Knight; a trio of charcoal animated films on Chinese Activists, A Poem to Liu Xia (2015, see video below), a collaboration with Zeng Jinyan for Chinese artist Liu Xia who has been under house arrest without charge in Beijing since 2010, and two commissioned works by Front Line Defenders, No Enemies (2012, see the Al Jazeera report below) with multiple narrators, including Seamus Heaney and Salman Rushdie, about imprisoned Chinese human rights defender Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Caged Bird (2012) to raise awareness about the plight of the blind lawyer and Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng and launched on YouTube in December 2011.
McAdam relies on instinct and revels in the act of drawing. She finds power in the creation of a vocabulary of moving images from such simple sources as charcoal, paper and a domestic digital scanner.
“Coming from a film background in which as a director one works mostly through other people, like a conductor of an orchestra, drawing and animating felt like playing my own instrument again.” McAdam sees the gallery as a cinema without seats, as an immersive space where image and audience can merge minds.
– Trish McAdam
McAdam is currently in development as writer/director of The End of Romance, a feature film based on the life of Maud Gonne and WB Yeats in the period 1916-1918, with funding from the Irish Film Board and Creative Europe/Media Funding, producers Emmet Fleming, Julia Ton and Kees Kasander, producer of all Peter Greenaway films since 1985, and UK and French co-production partners. The production company are in talks with actors Tamsin Greig (Maud Gonne) and Danny Huston (WB Yeats) and location scouting has begun in Normandy, London, Paris and Ireland with key creative crew on board. The film is planned to begin shooting Autumn/Winter 2016 and scheduled to finish in time for a spring festival launch, 2017.
You can view more of the Trish’s work here: