“In this body of work I am exploring the role of costume and fashion as carriers of meaning and signifiers of identity. I use the discarded wardrobe of my mother in the aftermath of her stroke in 2009. As she is no longer the instigator in how she appears sartorially, I embrace her ‘story telling wardrobe’, especially her outfits for formal occasions, in performances, paintings, photographs and video where my embodiment of her wardrobe intensifies her absence from it.
Rather than referencing the discarded wardrobe as relic, I re-invigorate and re-animate my mother’s clothes using my own body assuming a series of contemporary fashion poses. Through manipulation of fashion imagery of clothing worn by waif-like sixteen year old models and its inherent seductive power, there is an interplay on the discordant imagery of a seventy seven year old’s clothing.
Through my attachment to the memories contained within these clothes I explore the ageing process, the fragmentation, construction and deconstruction of self. Depriving a body of its clothes alters the story of the clothes. These dresses, coats and shoes contain the imprint of the life story of the body and the dreams and desires of a now disembodied woman.
Looking through a celebratory prism of joy and its expression through dance and upbeat music while wearing the clothes merely accentuates their haunting quality. Though my intention is to enliven these clothes the action evokes a deep sense of loss”
Mags Geaney was born in Cork. She studied Fine Art painting at the Limerick College of Art and Design. She was awarded a MA by Research in Fine Art by the Crawford College of Art and Design in 2010.
Solo exhibition’s include New Work (2019), (Upcoming) Sternview Gallery, Tu Me Manques (2015), Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork, Fall (2011) Backwater Studio Gallery. Lucky (2010 ) video projection Culture night at Wandesford Quay courtyard. Vasalisas’s Journey (2004) was shown at the Lightboxes, Tom Barry’s.Tryst (2000) Tig Fili Gallery, Cork toured to Siamsa Tire Gallery, Tralee. Two person exhibition Crewel (2015) at the Lightboxes, By Request (2010), Wandesford Quay Gallery.
Geaney’s group exhibitions include Imago MundI (2016), curated by Ciara Gibbons, Blue Leaf Gallery, Dublin for Benetton, CREATE at Brown Thomas (2011), Backwater Twenty 10 (2010) Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Straylight/ Darklight (2009) performance festival curated by Amanda Coogan, the Millstreet Gallery Dublin, Happy Accidents (2004) the Triskel Arts Centre, Christmas and Summer shows,Fenton Gallery, C2 (2005) at the Crawford Art Gallery, UCC and the Contemporary Irish Artists, Sala Consiliare, Italy. Contemporary Art in the Cathedral 2005, Fetish in a box (2006) at the Triskel 2006, Mother Art in the Buckley Gallery, Death and Desire at the Sirius Art Centre in 2007, Fruit cakes and Furry collars in the West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen in 2009.
She has work in the Bank of Ireland Collection, Lithuania Art Museum and many private collections in Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and USA. She is the recipient of many awards including Art Flights from the Arts Council of Ireland, and residencies at the International Plein Air in Lithuania and in Berlin. She worked as Eduction officer at the Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast and implemented the Education Programme at the Crawford Gallery. Various public commissions include The Discovery Centre, Neurological Paediatric Research at UCC/ CUH 2010, Lifetime Lab, Cork City Waterworks for Cork City Council 2008, North Monastery