Weeds are the boundary breakers, the stateless minority, who remind us that life is just not that tidy. They could help us learn to live across natures borderlines again”
(Richard Mabey, Weeds, Pg. 291-292)
The Fragility of Things alludes to notions of hostility and survival in an escalating global crisis. A ‘Non-place’ is a neologism coined by French anthropologist Marc Augé. It refers to anthropological spaces of transience that do not hold enough significance to be regarded as places and where human beings remain anonymous. While gathering material for this installation I have found myself wandering in non-places, wastelands, derelict sites, roadsides and roundabouts. The disregarded territories where life thrives on the fringes, laying root in unsettled ground, obstructing our orderly maps of the world.
Writer Richard Mabey suggests that the maligning of ‘weeds’ as ‘undesirable outcasts’ to be considered a cultural signifier that reinforces hostile attitudes towards our environment, a metaphor that is further echoed to characterise current perspectives on migration.
In essence, The Fragility of Things responds to our rapidly changing world, where the devastating effects of ecological imbalance continue to bring uncertainty, loss and suffering to displaced populations globally.
Rachel Doolin is an emerging visual artist residing in the South-West of Ireland. Her practice marries art, science and environmentalism, while her research is broadly concerned with entanglements between nature and culture and the consequences of human influences on the natural environment. Matter and process hold precedence in Doolin’s approach to making. She collects, dissects, emulates, deconstructs and re-imagines, responding instinctively and exploring materiality on an aesthetic, intellectual and visceral level. Acting as an‘Evocateur’, the artist creates, manipulates or combines various materials to create poetic provocations that reflect alternative contemplations on nature, culture and the human condition. Her sculptural works are simultaneously delicate and complex aggregations, which pertain to the vulnerability and persistence, the fragility and tenacity, of biological life in the Anthropocene.