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Isabel Nolan

Calling on Gravity

As part of our monthly From the Archive Project, we would like to thank one of the participants from our TY Project for contributing to the series. They requested that we look back at the 2017 exhibition Calling on Gravity by Isabel Nolan. In response, we have updated this page with installation images and images of some the artworks included in the exhibition, as well as links to a selection of reviews from the time.

Isabel Nolan began a recent lecture with the title, “Just because the universe is probably real it doesn’t mean it is not weird or puzzling to be here.” (1) The second part was announced as, “I am powerfully confused.” These utterances indicate the expansive, yet profoundly impractical, ambition of her enquiry and her work. Setting the scene for this solo exhibition, Nolan described her problematic attraction to certain seductive and powerful cultural forms. From eighteenth century museums to sculpted Greco-Roman warriors and Gothic Cathedrals, Nolan attends to their grandeur and authority in a way that is at once fascinated, resentful and inappropriate. The resulting works are both intimate with and alienated from the spaces and objects that inspire them.


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