Shaved Rapunzel, Scheherazade and the Shearling Ram from Arcady
Visual artist Orla Barry, a lecturer in Sculpture and Performance at Wexford Campus School of Art and Design, will this week launch her book Shaved Rapunzel, Scheherazade and the Shearling Ram from Arcady with three separate events at Wexford Arts Centre (Wed), Crawford Art Gallery (Thurs) and Dublin’s Temple Bar Gallery & Studios (Fri).
Shaved Rapunzel, Scheherazade and the Shearling Ram from Arcady follows the seasons of a sheep year in southeast Ireland, where Barry runs a flock of pedigree Lleyn sheep and recounts the personal experiences of the artist, who has left the city and returned to her pastoral roots to be reborn as a hybrid: a farmer-artist.
While embedded in the reality of this situation, the book is a fictional and humorous series of short stories that recount the artist’s tenuous and symbolic interactions with different characters and animals from her unique circumstances and reflects on the culture of disconnection from the natural environment and on the boundaries within art, gender, and the rural everyday.
The book contains the texts from two of Orla Barry’s major performance works, Breaking Rainbows (2016) and SPIN, SPIN, SCHEHERAZADE (2019) and the Meanest of the Flock, An Abcdery of Sheep by Lisa Godson. Design is by Lutece Mauger (FR).
Orla lived for 16 years in Brussels and now lives and works in South East Ireland where she runs a flock of pedigree Lleyn sheep. Her work deals with the physicality and poetics of oral language drawing on the tensions between being an artist and a farmer in rural Ireland.
She has held solo exhibitions at Mu.Zee Oostende (with Els Dietvorst) (2019), Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2006); Camden Arts Centre, London (2005); SMAK, Ghent, Belgium (2005); CCB, MuseuBerardo, Lisbon (with Rui Chafes) (2011); Bozar, Brussels (2013); Mother's Tankstation, Dublin (2014). She has been awarded the prize of the Palais de Beaux Arts in the Prix de la JeunePeintureBelge (2003) and was shortlisted for the Glen Dimplex Prize (1999).
Orla’s colleagues and students are delighted for her success and wish her well with the launch of Shaved Rapunzel, Scheherazade and the Shearling Ram from Arcady.