‘Sketches for an Artificial Forest’ exhibition at Arts Centre

The ‘Sketches for an Artificial Forest’ exhibition by artist Catriona Gallagher opens this Friday, November 10th, at Roscommon Arts Centre.

The exhibition brings together Catriona’s ongoing research into the forms and histories of forestry plantations that have become a dominant element of Irish and UK landscapes over the past century. She explores how human design and management of intensive forestry have taken a fundamental feature of landscape and culture, as well as an apex ecological system, and made it uncanny, an artificial architecture for the extraction of natural resources. In film scenes, photographs, models and drawings we are reminded that a forestry plantation is not a forest.

The exhibition also includes an ongoing film project entitled ‘Forest AI’, which is a made up of a series of walking interviews filmed with local residents, foresters, ecologists and conservationists in Northumberland (UK), County Roscommon and County Leitrim. This film tracks the artist’s navigation through the complexity of forestry, where planting trees seems good on the surface but faces demands for change.

‘Sketches for an Artificial Forest’ holds several worlds in parallel – not only the worlds of pro- and anti-forestry, and private and public ownership, but also the real world of the documentary, and the imagined world of speculative fiction.

Catriona Gallagher is a visual artist and filmmaker based in Athens, Greece. In 2022 Catriona was artist in residence as part of the Wings Programme at Roscommon Arts Centre.

‘Sketches for an Artificial Forest’ opens at 6 pm on Friday, November 10th, with a drinks reception at Roscommon Arts Centre. All are welcome to attend. The exhibition runs until December 22nd.