Gallery Opening Hours: Mon, Tues, Wed: 11.00 am to 6.30 pm
Sat: 12.30pm – 5.00 pm
Last day of Exhibition: Thurs 8th of July: 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Ilse Mikula endeavours to explore what links us to a place and a sense of belonging. When we are in a place, it is determined by its physicality and spatial limitation, once we leave the location, all that links us to the space is a process of reminiscence and emotional reflections. Thus through absence the place becomes memory.
Mikula first explored this concept with her project "Solis Journey". The intervention entailed the displacement of a laundrette as a 3-D photographic representation in the form of multiple light-boxes which were then placed on the banks of the river Thames. The small laundrette light-boxes removed from their original form & functionality seemed to occupy in essence more of what they actually were; vessels for often migrant people’ to the UK’s thoughts, senses of longing & nostalgia. Later the light-boxes were floated on the river and when photographed became abstract and fleeting.
These ideas were again revisited through her work “Departure”. Inspired by a chance meeting with 89 year old retired shepherd, Stanley Akrigg, Mikula, visited his dry stone walls and began to explore the nature of nostalgia when related to a certain space (your childhood home for instance). Stanley Akrigg completed nearly 8 miles of dry stone wall which could be considered as a physical imprint of his time there. In “Departure” Mikula relocated Stanley’s wall in her Chelsea degree show, accompanied by his voiceover of recollections associated with this place invoking a profound sense of place and memory.
Ilse Mikula is continuing conceptual ideas of place in her present and future work. She comments: "I’m further displacing “Departure” within other physical contexts. The work for my forthcoming show at Red Gate Gallery, will display a WW1 U-boat lying partially submerged in the floor of the gallery, its menacing presence and place in history, is re-interpreted. This comes from my personal investigation of an event which involved my great-grandfather. Event rather than place becomes the link, for the place is in the middle of the ocean. The place itself remains intangible.