A woman who adored her mother, and had mourned her death every day for years now, came across some postcards in a store that sold antiques and other bric-a-brac. The postcards were of unexceptional scenes, but she was drawn to them and purchased several of wild beaches and forests roads. When she got home, she experienced an overwhelming need to send a card to her mother. What she wrote was not important. It was the need that was important. She put the card in an envelope and sent it to her mother’s last earthly address, a modest farmhouse that had long since been sold and probably sold again. Within a week she received a letter, the writing on the envelope was unmistakably her mother’s. Even the green ink her mother had favored was the same. The woman never opened the letter, nor did she send any other postcards to that address. The letter, in time, though only rumored to be, caused her children, though grown, much worry. POSTCARD by Joy Williams
SEPTEMBER is pleased to present GONE HERE a solo exhibition of Sheila Gallagher’s newest work.
A meditation on healing and haunting, things that go away and come back – the recipe for concrete, the stories of the dead, crafts and cures- Gallagher draws upon diverse sources including Shaker gift drawings, Aesclipion temples of ancient Greece, and recent archeological findings of mass graves at Irish orphanages, to create an installation of dedicatory phenomenon, petition and remembrance.
Across the gallery, a shrine, videos, a plastic painting, a collage of 789 cut-outs, lace drawings and hundreds of anatomical clay fragments speak to each other in voices that are both funny and tragic. Gallagher’s fluency in the language of materiality enables her to create a sensory landscape of objects and images, which bear emotional charges and historical sedimentation. GONE HERE poses crucial questions about our collective sensory memory: What role can the art object play in healing and restoring memory in our increasingly amnesiac and disembodied lives?
For further information, please visit the gallery in Hudson, or contact Kristen@septembergallery.com.
SHEILA GALLAGHER (b. Morristown, New Jersey) received her BA from Connecticut College and her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gallagher is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and Associate Professor of Art at Boston College. She works in many mediums including video, smoke painting, ink drawing, plastic trash compositions, temporal installations, and live animation.
She has had numerous exhibitions at galleries, museums, and universities in the U.S. and internationally, including the Moving Image Festival, London, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, Crystal Bridges Museum, Arkansas, Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC, The Telfair Museums in Savannah Georgia, Art in Embassies Program, and Dodge Gallery in NYC. Gallagher was the recipient of the Buttenweizer Scholarship, Young American Scholar, and fellowships from Thomas J. Watson Foundation, Mass Cultural Council, and the SMFA. She was a finalist for the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston Foster Prize, St. Botolph Foundation Distinguished Artist Award, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Maud Morgan Prize. Gallagher’s work has been reviewed in Art in America, Hyperallergic, Bloomberg, The Boston Globe, and the Irish Times, among others. Her work is included in the collections of Crystal Bridges Museum, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Fidelity Investments, the Philadelphia Eagles, and Wellington Management.
Gallagher lectures widely and has taught at Art institute Boston, Wellesley College and Boston College where she is an associate professor of Studio Art. Gallagher is a Trustee of Saint Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, NH where she serves on the contemporary exhibitions committee. She co-directs The Becker Archive, the largest private collection of Civil War drawings, and curated First Hand, which is currently touring the United States to commemorate the nation’s sesquicentennial. She is co-director of the Guestbook Project with Richard Kearney, a creative peace-building initiative for youths to exchange stories in divided communities. Gallagher is also co-creator of Twinsome Minds, an interdisciplinary performance which she and Kearney have performed internationally from Dublin, to Paris, to Stockholm, to Lisbon, to NYC. Gallagher lives and works in Jamaica Plain, MA.
Artist Talk and Workshop: Saturday, December 2, 4pm at SEPTEMBER