(image: Alice Maher’s wood block print, part of Vox Materia exhibition in Source Arts Centre, Thurles) i made a visit to Alice Maher’s Vox Materia exhibition in the Source Arts Centre in Thurles yesterday. her work consists of large wood block prints and a series bronze castings of the negative space of various hand gestures. her starting point was a medieval stone carving relief of a mermaid in Kilcooley Abbey. the prints have an interesting mix of elements of the landscape and the body; prints of large wood cutouts of the silhouette of her body in strange movement poses. i think the body shapes related very well to the natural material of the wood blocks and their knots and grains. on some level, they also seem to relate to the 3d process i am engaged with at the moment in relations to a gendered landscape; natural materials, landscape and gender. she discusses her exploration of hybrid forms. being neither this nor that they have me thinking about my exploration of binary and non-binary divisions re landscape and gender. using natural materials as part of the printing process also opens up endless possibilities. and as the exhibition title Vox Materia suggests, sound, silence and gender also resonates but change and hybridity are explored rather than sacrifice and disempowerment.
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