[We Must Not Act Like] Children of our Parents | Lynn-Marie Dennehy

Dates: 29 February – 29 March  2024
Days/Times: Tues-Fri, 10am-5pm
Location: Studio 12, Backwater Artists Group, Wandesford Quay
Opening Reception: 29 February , 6pm
Event : In Conversation | Lynn-Marie Dennehy & Sarah Foster. 9 March, 1 -2pm.

[We Must Not Act Like] Children of our Parents is an experimental exhibition by Cork-based artist Lynn-Marie Dennehy that investigates the ongoing colonial legacies that exist within our cultural subconscious. 

Dennehy’s research-based practice employs sculpture, printmaking, video and performance, with influences from philosophy, history and mythology. Her work explores the space between culture, art and resistance, drawing parallels between revolutionary periods in history and contemporary society.  

For this exhibition, she has produced a single immersive work designed specifically for Studio 12. This installation serves as a testing ground to find ways of illuminating the human consequences and experiences of a post-colonial Ireland by reappropriating some of the symbols and apparatus of colonialism. 

Upon entering the space, we are confronted by a view of the south colonnade of the British Museum, a triumph in 18th century neoclassicism whose logical, symmetrical structure attempts to recreate the nobility and grandeur of Ancient Greek civilization and promote a sense of power and unquestionable authority. 

Dennehy challenges our historical and emotional connection to the pristine white marble column by presenting neoclassical architecture as a socially and historically recognised symbol of colonial power. The artist intentionally introduces contradictions into the work to disrupt our senses and perceptions. The low ceilings in Studio 12, juxtaposed with the towering columns of the British Museum, create a bizarre contradiction of space that is made both comical and oppressive by the artist’s manipulation of scale and materiality. This deliberate friction or incongruency within the space invites the viewer to consider diverse interpretations of the work. 

[We Must Not Act Like] Children of our Parents is a pointed, irreverent commentary on what is still, in the 21st century, a bastion of imperialist ideologies. Crucially, it strives to transcend linguistic boundaries to create an embodied experience of colonialism — a visceral, unconscious encounter that immerses viewers in the complex narratives woven into the work. 

Through her work, the artist invites us to reconsider our collective history, challenging us to confront the discomfort inherent in acknowledging and dismantling the enduring tradition of internalised colonialism.  

About the artist:

Lynn-Marie Dennehy is a Cork-based artist, full-time studio member of Backwater Artists Group and Cork Printmakers and a lecturer in Visual Art at SETU Waterford. Dennehy has exhibited both nationally and internationally and has worked on and participated in several international arts events in Ireland and the USA. She received an MA in Art and Process and a BA in Fine Art from Crawford College of Art and Design.


Recent exhibitions and residencies include: Associative Relations, Studio 12, Cork City; Technically Art, Chapel Hill School of Art, Macroom, Co Cork; Ah Go On!, Cork Printmakers Studio Gallery, Cork City; Drawing Connections, The Lord Mayor’s Pavilion, Fitzgerald’s Park, Cork City; Reach Out and Touch Me, St Peter’s Exhibition Centre, Cork City; The Scene Unravelled, project residency at Backwater Artists group; Caboodle, project residency at Backwater Artists group 

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