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Work of the Week | 16 August 2021

CAG.3086 Debbie Godsell, Stray Sod, 2019-20, screenprint, 70 x 50 cm. Purchased, the Artist, 2020. © the artist.

As it’s Heritage Week, we’re delving into Irish folklore with this WORK OF THE WEEK!

Stray Sod (2019-20) is a screenprint by Debbie Godsell that draws on past customs that have contemporary resonance.

“Irish folklore,” the artist explains, “is underpinned by the understanding that the world is not a fixed place. For example, when a person inadvertently stands on a stray sod, they experience the disorientating sensation of the meascán mearaí, an Irish expression loosely translated as confused direction. Quite literally the person would no longer have their bearings in the world, and to counteract the effect they would turn their coat inside out or backwards and the seen world would return to normal.”

Godsell’s monochrome screenprint is highly suggestive, taking the appearance of an old photograph and capturing a haunted quality. It depicts a figure in sandals standing in a field with their coat worn backwards, hood covering their face. A backdrop of trees and gorse enhance the unsettled atmosphere. For the artist, Stray Sod “represents the anxiety and disruption within the world that is characteristic of present times.”

Debbie Godsell is a visual artist and art educator who specialises in printmaking. A graduate of Crawford College of Art & Design, she is a member of Cork Printmakers and lectures at C.S.N. Cork. In 2018, she was shortlisted for the Zurich Portrait Prize.

Stray Sod (2019-20) by Debbie Godsell is featured in NEW THREADS: Acquisitions 2021 in our Gibson Galleries (Floor 1) until 5 September.

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with assistant curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week's chat here:


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