June 2016. Writer Sue Rainsford reflects on Niamh O’Malley’s Memorial Gardens, 2008, featured in IMMA’s current exhibition IMMA Collection: A Decade.

Niamh O’Malley |Memorial Gardens (2008)
IMMA Collection: A Decade Sue Rainsford, April 2016

What can we ascertain of the human gaze and the shadow it casts? Or of memory, that diaphanous veil that shrouds even the most vibrant recollections?

Niamh O’Malley’s Memorial Gardens (2008) draws on a place potent with remembering to literalise the act of looking, the residue left by even the most cursory glance. Aligning a projection with an oil painting, the work sees these disparate materials temporarily fuse in a hovering, ethereal composite. The moment they come apart underscores the constructed, illusory nature of the image, the memorial itself, and the fabrication entailed by the act of looking.