The theme for this year’s TULCA Festival of Visual Arts explores the concept of ‘The Headless City’ and questions what’s gone wrong with our cities? And what are we going to do about it?
Galway’s Sorsha Galvin is among the participating artists at this year’s festival, which will see close to 50 artists, writers, musicians and filmmakers contribute in some way.
To reflect the theme, Sorsha has chosen to create a type of work called ‘Desire Paths’.
“After reading the curator’s call out I was reminded of a lovely phrase ‘desire paths’ I once read in Gaston Bachelard’s ‘Poetics of Space’ to describe the paths that are worn into grassy areas by repeated human or animal traffic rather than prescribed by city planners. Desire paths to me were a great example of people’s ability to change the layout of their city and through an almost unconscious action. It’s like the most passive protest, that gets stronger the more people come together.”
Sorsha explains how her work expresses festival curator Daniel Jewesbury’s chosen theme.
“I was interested in curator Daniel’s writing about the headless city, our cities are changing really rapidly, I’m saddened by the commodification of these spaces and wanted to make a work that highlighted another path, a rejection of these imposed structures.”
Sorsha will create a number of temporary interventions in the Galway landscape inspired by these paths and her work will be located in various sites across the city including: Salthill public park, Moneenageisha Road, Westside playing fields, Dyke Road, Castlelawn Heights and along the Corrib.
She will highlight the six ‘desire paths’ by dousing them in a red pigment. Visitors to the Galway Arts Centre will also find some images of the installation in the exhibition.
Asked if there was a particular reason for choosing each location, Sorsha says she “wanted the work to appear across the city, to reach parts that don’t normally have art works in them during art festivals”.
Sorsha, who holds a BA Honours Degree in Fine Art from GMIT and an MA in Ceramics and Glass from the Royal College of Art, is currently based in London.
This is her first time showcasing her work at her local festival.
“TULCA is a festival that supports many different kinds of artists and, for me, its importance lies in its support of non-commercial artists,” she says.
“It shows the visitors some amazing artworks that have been selected because they raise vital questions. Visual art is just another language, let’s just see what we can gain from discussing these important issues in that other language.”
She is looking forward to returning home for the event.
“It’s very exciting to come home for TULCA. I’m so happy to be supported by Galway and it’s very strange to be making work out of the shortcuts while living in the city.”
TULCA exhibitions are scattered across the city in galleries, public spaces, special venues and disused buildings. There are also a range of different events happening throughout the city during the festival including live performances, film screenings, explorations and interventions, readings and discussions, music and stargazing.
TULCA Festival of Visual Arts runs until Sunday 20 November. See www.tulcafestival.com for more details.