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Courtyard Gallery exhibition

'Field Work' by Betsy Stirratt

Admission free

Bertra dunes, looking towards Croagh Patrick, Co. Mayo, 2019-2021, pigment print, 96.5 x 172 cm

Field Work by Betsy Stirratt is a new exhibition of prints, opening in the Courtyard Gallery on Friday, 24 September 2021. It features places in the west of Ireland, notable for their form, history and beauty, marked by time and human intervention. 

"The way humans connect with the land is of particular interest to me," explains the artist. 

[This] reveals itself not only in the numerous and varied Bronze Age monuments in Ireland [stone circles, court tombs, standing stones] but also the forgotten sites of agricultural and historical import [lazy beds, dry stone walls, peat bogs and earthworks] that are found all across the countryside. Many mountains, for example, have deep significance as places of pilgrimage and spiritual renewal.  Field Work comprises photographs of some of these sites in Ireland’s western counties, sites notable for their form, history and beauty, marked, too, as they often are by human intervention and the ages." - Betsy Stirratt

The photographs in the exhibition are original platinum prints and enlargements of these prints. Platinum prints are made using a process developed in 1873 by British photographer William Willis that requires hand painting a light-sensitive emulsion containing platinum onto Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag paper. 

The image is made by exposing the emulsion to light through a large negative, and then developing and fixing the print in a darkroom. This 19th century process results in a rich image with deep tonalities, while the brushstrokes show the handmade character of the print: importantly, each one is unique.

The painterly brushstrokes suggest the maker’s touch. The handmade, at times romantic quality of the photographs allows for the image to reflect the patina of time and capture a beauty that is often difficult to record with standard digital techniques.

Betsy Stirratt, a native of New Orleans, USA, is the founding director of the Grunwald Gallery of Art at Indiana University in Bloomington.


'Field Work' by Betsy Stirratt is located at:
Turlough Park,
Co. Mayo
F23 HY31

Field Work by Betsy Stirratt features places in the west of Ireland, notable for their form, history and beauty, marked by time and human intervention. 

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Turlough Park,
Co. Mayo,
F23 HY31

+353 94 903 1755