Artist: Julie Corcoran, Conceptual Photographer. Exhibition Title: Looking for Light. Location: Íontas Theatre and Arts Centre, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan. Duration of Exhibition: 20th May - 9th August 2022. Opening Event: Friday 20th May 2022 at 7:30pm. Exhibition opened by: Noelle Mc Alinden with live performance from singer Niamh McCormack.
More information: www.juliecorcoranphotography.ie ‘Looking for Light’ is Julie’s second solo exhibition and features framed limited edition prints of her conceptual pieces. Julie has developed an art practice that blurs the lines between photography and painting. Rich in symbols her work has a spiritual resonance as it explores the human condition; from searching for meaning to self-actualisation. The opening event for the exhibition will include an official opening with special guest Noelle McAlinden. Noelle is a visual artist, curator, educator and Arts and Human Rights Activist based in Co. Fermanagh. A live musical performance will follow with classical singer Niamh McCormack. Niamh is a regular recitalist throughout Ireland and has a keen interest in the music of the Renaissance and Baroque period.
Julie’s work follows the path of the heroine’s journey. In 1949 Joseph Campbell presented a model of the mythological journey of the hero in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. You may not have heard of it, but you’ve probably read a book or watched a film that follows the hero’s journey template. It begins with a call to adventure, the hero crosses the threshold into unknown realms, he meets resistance, his skills are tested, things look bad for our hero, then things look good before he returns with the treasure. I bet you’re thinking Lord of the Rings now or something similar. Anyhow, it’s a very masculine outer journey and it is very much speaks of what society expects of men. In 1990, Maureen Murdock wrote The Heroine’s Journey: Woman’s Quest for Wholeness as a response to Joseph Campbell’s model. Murdock, a student of Campbell’s work, felt his model failed to address the specific psycho-spiritual journey of contemporary women. She developed a model describing the cyclical nature of the female experience. Campbell’s response to her model was, “Women don’t need to make the journey. In the whole mythological tradition the woman is there. All she has to do is to realise that she’s the place that people are trying to get to” (Campbell, 1981). That may be true mythologically as the hero or heroine seeks illumination but psychologically, the journey of the contemporary heroine involves different stages. Different Stages of the Heroine’s Journey reflected in Julie’s work The stages of the heroine’s journey are interchangeable and can overlap, they can also occur at any stage in a woman’s life.
Here are description’s of some of Julie’s pieces from the exhibition ‘Looking for Light’ which reflect this journey. ‘Searching’, a woman in a dress billowing in the wind holds up a golden telescope. She is searching. This is the start of our heroine’s journey. ‘Separation’, three boxes, three women in red dresses separated by cardboard walls. The separation from the feminine. ‘Glass Ceiling’, she plays the game. Embracing the outer masculine world, achieving goals, fighting for her place, finding success, but something’s wrong, she feels empty. ‘Ophelia’ she drifts down the pre-Raphaelite waters, her spirit succumbing to the emptiness. ‘Spellbound’ she retreats to the earth, delving deeper and deeper into her inner terrain. ‘Soul Reflection’ and ‘Connected’ she discovers her inner guide. ‘Grace’ depicts the yearning to connect with feminine allies. ‘Carry Me’ begins the process of healing the divide with the feminine. ‘Believe’ supports the healing of the inner masculine. ‘King’ depicts the union of the feminine and masculine, a non-binary state. The heroine has come full circle, caring for others and making time for herself too.
These are brief descriptions of just eleven of the sixteen pieces on display at Íontas Theatre and Arts Space from 20th May - 9th August 2022 in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan.