A thought-provoking new solo exhibition by Donegal-based visual artist Leanne McLaughlin has opened in the Saldanha Gallery, Artlink Fort Dunree.

The captivating artworks, which explore the world of patterns, will be showcased up until 8th June 2023.

Entitled ‘Fractured’, the new exhibition challenges us to contemplate the ways in which patterns govern our daily lives, from our morning rituals to the way we cope with seismic changes. Leanne invites us to reflect on the resilience of human nature in the face of change (such as the Covid pandemic) and how we adapt and alter our patterns over time.

Leanne McLaughlin, originally from Derry, has been living in the Donegal Gaeltacht for over twenty years. She graduated with a degree in Fine & Applied Art from Ulster University in 2012 and has since worked on numerous national and international projects, ranging from fine art exhibitions and public sculptures to community arts, outreach and engagement programmes.

Her artwork has featured in prominent locations such as Blarney Castle, University College Dublin, Derry City of Culture, The National Botanic Gardens, and a public sculpture in Mountshannon, Co Clare.

Visitors to Leanne McLaughlin’s solo exhibition ‘Fractured’

Leanne has also received several awards, including the Donegal County Council Arts Scheme Award in 2021 and the Scéim Sparánachta d’Ealaíontóirí in 2015 & 2021. She is currently the manager and lead artist with ‘Turas Úr’ – a visual arts collective in the Donegal Gaeltacht that merges artworks, sculpture and video installations. The research and development for the work for this exhibition has been supported by Ealaín na Gaeltachta and The Donegal County Council.

Speaking at the open event for her new solo exhibition, Leanne said: “I titled the show ’Fractured’ as I am examining how physical patterns change over time and space and how even in a disruptive or fractured state, patterns remain. The installation features a series of new artworks, including moving images, intricate geometric designs, a soundscape and abstract sculptural pieces. These works demonstrate the various emotions and experiences that patterns can evoke, from the calming repetition of a soothing motif to the frenetic energy of a chaotic pattern.

‘Fractured’ by Leanne McLaughlin

“My inspiration comes from the everyday – engaging with the landscape, community, and humanity – and it also reflects the journey of personal identity and belonging. Over the past few years, I have reflected on how loss and our patterns for coping can be replicated and integrated into our daily lives.

“Through my artwork, I aim to highlight the influence of patterns in our natural world and human-made structures, and how they shape our understanding of the world around us. Indeed, from the Fibonacci sequence to the principles of symmetry and balance in design, patterns are integral to our perception of the world.

“I hope, ‘Fractured’ encourages the viewer to reflect on the interplay of patterns in their own lives and how fundamental they are to life.”

Artlink Project Co-ordinator Rebecca Strain said: “We’re delighted to be showcasing Leanne’s striking and captivating new artworks which invite us to contemplate our relationship with patterns and how they shape our understanding of the world.

“This immersive exhibition which includes atmospheric sound and voice by the artist creates a space where we can take some time to reflect. As we navigate through the current times, where change has been thrust upon us by the global pandemic and other events, Leanne’s new exhibition focuses on the everyday patterns and activities that govern our lives. From working from home to wearing masks, the changes we have experienced have created new patterns that Leanne seeks to explore and examine.

“Indeed, the exhibition’s theme is highly relevant in a world where patterns have become more apparent than ever before, transcending place and person. Importantly, Leanne’s work focuses on recording these types of patterns and understanding how internal and external influences encourage or dictate new patterns.”

Martha McCulloch, Artlink Project Co-ordinator added: “With the world in a state of change, Leanne’s work becomes even more significant as she encourages personal reflection and creative expression in the face of global conditions.

“It is also great to see that Leanne is embarking on a new and exciting chapter in her career with a sensory exhibition that will incorporate various art forms.

“Her new body of work delves into the concept of patterns found within our culture and landscape and how they dictate our behaviours and circumstances. With a wealth of musical experience, Leanne is also eager to incorporate and develop an innovative work practice that explores the use of moving images, digital art, sound, and video editing.

“Indeed, the thought-provoking ‘Fractured’ exhibition really is a feast for the senses and one not to be missed!”

The open event for Leanne McLaughlin’s new solo exhibition took place on Saturday 6th May with free admission daily from 10:30am – 4:30pm. For further information visit artlink.ie email info@artlink.ie or telephone 0838696513 / 0864532428.