Collection Only Festival Gallery, Shop Street, Galway (Located beside Oscar and Eduard Wilde statues on Shop Street)
We introduce an exclusive commissioned project and limited edition run for the Galway International Arts Festival Official Souvenir Poster 2021
Galway Artist | Jennifer Cunningham
Theme | "The Wayfarer"
Size | 540mm (W) x 850 mm(H)
Poster Run | 500 Pieces Exclusive
It was a massive honour to be asked to design this year's Galway International Arts Festival poster.
As I was growing up, each year, the Galway International Arts festival brought me on a visual adventure or a journey with the colour and joy it brought to the city. I wanted to reflect that in this artwork hence why it is titled "The Wayfarer" . We discussed various ideas relating to the theme of Galway and decided on a Salthill-based piece. Growing up as a child, Salthill was the place to go, with the advent of cheap flights that may have been forgotten about. However, recently people have a greater appreciation of the local amenities and green/blue space. There has been an explosion in year-round swimmers, and indeed these places have played an important role in allowing people to see their loved ones during lockdown.
As an artist I am particularly interested in amusement parks. The leisure ground is a heterotopic space suggesting a limitless world of adventures where people temporarily experience Utopia. For many these are nostalgic places, they spark off a range of associations and images of feelings and senses. I have used small details to invite the viewer in, to look closer and in doing so, perhaps instigate an inward journey into their own childhood creating a gentle sense of play and innocence.
The girl sets off with her fishing net, on her own adventure without a care in the world. Behind her the clouds symbolise the challenges of the last year, but the girl doesn't care about them now, she is gazing into the sunlight, focusing on starting her own expedition. “Red clouds at night, shepherds delight’
It is interesting to note that many creatives metaphorically use the idea of catching fish as an analogy for the creative process- Tom Waits, Ted Hughes, or David Lynch for example. “ A metaphor for the creative act, The idea of pulling something out of the darkness into the light of consciousness. “ “ I always thought of it in terms of fish, you don’t make the fish, you catch the fish, the more an idea comes, the more it is revealed, we don’t make the fish but we can at least cook it in our own way. ”