Saturday, July 16, 2011

Defying Gravity

The labour of rising from the ground, said the artist, will be great, as we see it in the heavier domestic fowls; but, as we mount higher, the earth´s attraction, and the body´s gravity, will be gradually diminished, ´til we shall arrive at a region where the man will float in the air without any tendency to fall: no care will then be necessary, but to move forwards, which the gentlest impulse will effect.
—Samuel Johnson, 1759, The History of Rasselas
Johan Lorbeer in Cork (Image: Irish Independent)

Gravity is the theme for a new exhibition at the Crawford Gallery, Cork which touches on the idea of physics, gravitational forces and even deep space.

The exhibition contains a variety of works from over 50 artists including Dorothy Cross' new work Whale. Cross' is a unique interpretation of gravity, with the skeleton of a whale hung from the fabric of the gallery itself. Located in the Crawford's historic sculpture galleries, it works perfectly with the marbles and plaster-works that surround it.

The exhibition was opened by Minister Jimmy Deenihan on July 15th and runs until 29th October.

The exhibition features a variety of pieces from the collection of the 3rd Earl of Rosse, William Parsons.

William Parson's sketch of the Whirlpool Galaxy
Parsons built the 'Leviathan of Parsonstown' on his estate in County Offaly in the 1840s. The largest telescope of the nineteenth century, the Leviathan was considered a marvelous technical and architectural achievement. He used it to catalogue a number of galaxies including the famous 'Whirlpool Galaxy'.

With spectacular off site installations by Cross and Johan Lorbeer, the exhibition is well worth a visit. It's great to see science and art combining once again in the Crawford - a building  financed by WH Crawford, a man who himself was intrigued by both.


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