Donegal’s car culture subject of art exhibition

THE popularity of the Toyota Twin Cam AE86 and diffing in Donegal feature in an installation created by a Letterkenny born visual artist currently showing at the Regional Cultural Centre in the town.
Cliodhna Timoney’s exhibit AE86 is part of the Turas/Journey Exhibition now showing until September 18. She uses video, image making, sculpture and sound as she examines the use of cars and back roads of Donegal as a stage to perform “drama, play or destruction”. She describes her work as “a metaphorical vehicle for understanding the back roads of rural Ireland as a theatre for vernacular culture and escapism”.
Speaking to the Donegal News this week about her exhibited work the 28-year-old explains that she grew up seeing many Toyota Twin Cams and knew quite a lot of car enthusiasts.
“This car is something I always associated with home and Donegal. I thought it very interesting that the car was actually Japanese and looked a bit like a Delorean – very sci-fi looking in the landscape. I was always attracted to the twin cam and interested in car culture in my home county. Then when I was studying for my Masters in London I was thinking about the rhythms of the landscape at home and brought that rhythm to my work,” Cliodhna explained.
Part of the video shows her in the back seat of a car and someone driving at night through the back roads of Donegal. They then start diffing. This is showing to the sounds Cliodhna has created including car noise and subterranean sounds while showing some of the county’s bogs. Then car lights at night as they diff. Her sculpture is made from car parts and includes clay lying on the ground.
“These sculptures reference shrines that you would see along the county’s road sides and meeting points. The whole work is like a shrine to car culture in Donegal and it does reflect on the darker side of it as well,” she added.
Cliodhna is a former Loreto student who graduated from Dun Laoghaire in 2015 and from The Slade School of Fine Art, London in 2020. She was recently awarded The Felix Slade Scholarship 2018-2020, The Claire Winsten Memorial Award 2020 and The International Atlantic Residency Exchange Award 2021.
Cliodhna is the daughter of Gorretti and Peter Timoney and is currently a resident with The Fire Station Artists Studio’s Dublin through the FSAS Residential Award 2021-2023.
The Turas/Journey exhibition is a visual art ‘journey’ which traverses through Donegal’s cultural landscape via a multi-venue exhibition featuring Irish based artists exploring the societal shifts that shape our collective identity. Turas will run from June to September 2021 as part of the national ‘Colmcille 1500’ celebrations and present current work from a selection of established and emerging artists, chosen to represent a wide range of contemporary practice throughout Ireland.
Participating venues – Artlink Fort Drunree, An Gailearaí Ghaoth Dobhair, Glebe House and Gallery Churchill and Regional Cultural Centre Letterkenny.
The Exhibition is Open Tuesday to Saturday from 12pm to 4pm. Admission is free but booking is strongly advised.

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