Ann Maria Healy

Hypnagogia – Second Set

21stJanuary – 5thMarch 2022

Open Monday to Saturdays 11am - 4pm

Opening reception 6 - 8pm Thursday 20thJanuary 2022

* Hypnagogia is a common dream where various states of wakefulness intertwine into a surreal narrative, and screens flatten reality into an ever-erupting collage. The pineal gland, located deep in the brain’s epithalamus, is a site of melatonin production, a hormone that regulates our sleep wake cycle. When this is off kilter, heightened sensations recall past and future traumas.

Mermaid Arts Centre is delighted to welcome the second iteration of this body of new work from Ann Maria Healy, first shown at The LAB Gallery in Dublin and curated by Sheena Barrett.

Healy’s work expresses itself through video, sculptural and textual form. Her practice is concerned with reoccurrence and the power of history and narratives embedded within the human psyche.

She seeks to co-opt the embodied meaning of material in order to unpack and subvert it. Drawn to narrative that is connected to place and object, often acting in an absurd manner, the work seeks to employ mysticism as a device to reconsider our present moment.

The centrepiece of Hypnagogia – Second Set is twofold. Monumental sculptural forms bring to mind the standing stones of Stonehenge or Avebury, while the artist’s new film, ‘My dreams won’t resist’, features a self-driving car as its protagonist.

The large forms stand strong, perhaps in dialogue, maintaining a confident but ambiguous presence. They are both mysterious and mystical. The bright discs at their centre appear like pupils as the forms begin to take the form of an eye, perhaps the Third Eye.

Meanwhile, the self-driving car has forgotten its destination, but through various breathing exercises is finally finding its way home. In this landscape, spiritual awakenings abound but perhaps we are inside the ultimate trance machine, one that we are perpetually awaiting release from.

“Sometimes I feel the works collapse into each other and other times they’re way too different,” Healy explains. ”For ‘Hypnogogia’, everything is channelled through the eye sculptures…For this exhibition I kind of infected the space with sculptural works coming out of the environment”.

Throughout the exhibition, familiar forms of materials take on new meanings. Used yoga mats hold quivering peacock feathers in silent chorus, referencing the bird’s hypnotic mating ritual. There are references to mystic practices, transient states, pharmaceuticals, sleep cycles, all woven together through drawing, sculpture and film.

A new publication accompanies the exhibition, and includes an essay by Dutch critic and writer Jan Verwoert, specially commissioned by the LAB Gallery in response to the exhibition. The publication is available to buy from Mermaid’s Box Office.

For Hypnagogia, Healy has collaborated with artists Karl Burke, Jane Deasy and Christopher Steenson, as well as visual effects experts Enter Yes Ltd.

As part of her research for this exhibition, Ann Maria undertook a three-month residency at The Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics at DCU, alongside post doctorate researchers looking at neuro feedback therapy.

Ann Maria Healy is an MFA graduate of The Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, 2014, and a recipient of the Irish Arts Council, Visual Artist Bursary Award, 2019 and 2020. Her work is part of the Irish Arts Council Collection. She currently holds a project studio at Temple Bar Gallery & Studios.

Selected exhibitions include 'Desire- A Revision,‘ Irish Museum of Modern Art (2019 -2020), ‘When Dealers Are Shamans’, Pallas Projects (2018). ‘Futures: Series 3 Episode 1’, Royal Hibernian Academy (2017). Previous residencies include Fire Station Artist Studios Dublin (2017 -2020), Cow House Studios, Wexford (2015) and The Banff Centre, Canada (2014).

About the The INSIGHT artist residency

The Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics is one of the largest Data Analytics centres in Europe. It undertakes high-impact research, seeks to derive value from Big Data, and provides innovative technology solutions for industry and society by enabling better decision-making. INSIGHT is a joint initiative between researchers at University College Dublin, NUI Galway, University College Cork, and Dublin City University, as well as other partner institutions.

The INSIGHT artist residency is awarded to an artist in the community that wishes to engage in scientific research to expand their own practice and foster links between the arts and science communities to further inter-disciplinary research. The purpose of the residency is to support artists, curators or producers to develop and research new, ambitious work intended for public presentation. The intention of this residency is to allow the artist impactful access to current research at the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics. The research collaboration will focus on the development of a particular project. It is hoped that the residency will enable the creation of a work that is ambitious and far-reaching: works which propose new forms of medium and new ways of theorising complex scientific ideas are welcome.