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Tapestry Drawing (Red Sun), 2021, pencil on paper, 42 x 74.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Kerlin Gallery, Dublin.

A delicate bond which is also a gap

Isabel Nolan

Solstice presents a significant exhibition of work by Irish artist Isabel Nolan ‘A delicate bond which is also a gap’.

The bonds that hold us together, which make us less alone and enable us to inhabit this world are simultaneously sub-atomic and social, both fundamental and a matter of convention. It’s not miraculous but it can feel as near as dammit. We are the brief emanations of fields that are electromagnetic, gravitational, chemical, temporal, psychic, social, and cultural. Perceiving the seemingly infinite array of gaps that constitute our crude and delicate selves and the universe, we work constantly to understand, to close, or bridge them. We do this over and over again, alone but together. - Isabel Nolan

‘A delicate bond which is also a gap’ ranges across a vast span of time beginning with woven images of the 40,000-year-old sculpture “Löwenmensch” and concluding with an ambitious, specially commissioned tapestry depicting the disintegration of the sun. The exhibition includes new textile work, sculptures, drawings, painting and text.  

New drawings and sculpture undertaken during Covid restrictions weave through the exhibition. Drawings of looping spirals and leaf like lozenges chime with the significant megalithic art of the ancient landscape surrounding the arts centre. The exhibition includes a sculpture dedicated to Ludwig Boltzmann, a physicist who transformed our understanding of entropy and the future disorderliness of the universe. A major new textile work depicts a wave, which Nolan imagines has travelled for over two thousand years since it first engulfed St Cuthbert on the holy island of Lindisfarne. These diverse artistic investigations are driven by intensive research, giving generous form to fundamental questions about the ways the world is made meaningful through human activity.

Isabel Nolan was born in 1974 in Dublin, Ireland. Recent shows include The air between things, two- person exhibition with Stephen McKenna, OCT Boxes Art Museum, Shunde, China (2019); Ein Fuß in der Welt / One Foot in the World, Kunstverein Langenhagen, Germany (2018); Another View from Nowhen, London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE, UK (2017–18); Curling up with reality, Grazer Kunstverein, Austria (2017–2018); Calling on Gravity, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2017); The weakened eye of day, Mercer Union, Toronto and CAG, Vancouver (both Canada, 2016) and Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2014) and A hole into the future, Musée d’art moderne de Saint Etienne, France (2012).

Nolan is represented by Kerlin Gallery, Ireland.

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Take a Virtual 360° Tour of the Exhibition

To navigate: 

- Click & Drag to look around the space, or use the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard to look in each direction.
- Click on the rings throughout the space to move around, or use the up and down arrow keys to move forward and back.
- Use the scroll wheel on your mouse to zoom in and out, or use the plus and minus keys on your keyboard.
- When finished in the Foyer, click on the small blue circle 'Exhibition continues upstairs' to continue the tour in the upstairs galleries.
- Click 'view fullscreen' on the bottom right to enter fullscreen mode. 

Recording of readings and conversation with Isabel Nolan, Sue Rainsford and Francis McKee August 21st, 2021

Enjoy a recording of readings and conversation with artist Isabel Nolan, fiction and arts writer Sue Rainsford and writer, curator and Director of CCA, Glasgow, Francis McKee from August 21st, 2021, following Nolan’s solo exhibition at Solstice A delicate bond which is also a gap.  The conversation begins with an introduction and reading by Sue Rainsford, followed by Isabel Nolan’s reading and a conversation between the speakers led by Francis McKee. The event ends with a Q&A led by Solstice Director Belinda Quirke. 

Ranging across a span of time A delicate bond which is also a gap began with woven images of the 40,000-year-old sculpture “Löwenmensch” and concluded with an ambitious, specially commissioned tapestry depicting the disintegration of the sun. The exhibition included new textile work, sculptures, drawings, painting and text.  

Isabel Nolan is a visual artist from Dublin. Her expansive practice incorporates sculpture, painting, textile works, photography, writing and works on paper. The subject matter in her work is similarly comprehensive, taking in cosmological phenomena, religious reliquaries, Greco-Roman sculptures and literary/historical figures, examining the behaviour of humans and animals alike. Nolan is represented by Kerlin Gallery, Dublin.  

Sue Rainsford is an Irish fiction and arts writer living in Dublin. She is a recipient of the the VAI/DCC Art Writing Award, the Arts Council Literature Bursary Award, the Kate O'Brien Award and a MacDowell Fellowship. She is the author of two novels, Follow Me To Ground and Redder Days.   

Francis McKee is Director since 2006 of the CCA, Glasgow, and a lecturer and research fellow at Glasgow School of Art. He curated the Scottish participation at the Venice Biennale with Kay Pallister in 2003, and has written and co-published extensively on the work of artists linked to Glasgow. His first novel Even the Dead Rise Up is published by Bookworks.  

SolsticeArts · Readings and conversation with Isabel Nolan, Sue Rainsford and Francis McKee | August 21st, 2021
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