Exhibition dates: October 16th-November 20th.

Preview, Thursday October 15th.

Emer O Boyle | Meadhbh O’Connor

2039 brings together new work by artists Emer O Boyle and Meadhbh O’Connor. The exhibition explores the parallels that bind the pursuits of both artists and scientists, in a continuum of reciprocal influence.

Early in the life of the solar system, dust and rock circling the sun were pulled together by gravity into planets. But Jupiter, the largest planet, kept a number of the pieces from coalescing into another planet. Instead, it’s gravity disrupted the formation process, leaving an array of unattached asteroids. The exhibition takes its title from a piece of rock orbiting the sun between Jupiter and Mars. It has been there since the dawn of our solar system. Only 23km in diameter, it travels alone, 600,000km from any other object in space. It travels in the Main Asteroid belt among billions – maybe even trillions of asteroids. On February 14th, 1974, it was observed and named. It’s called asteroid 2039 Payne Gaposchkin. In 1925, Cecilia Payne Gaposchkin discovered the composition of the stars. Her Phd work on decoding stellar spectra underpins all modern astronomy. Her story is the impetus for a new body of work by Emer O Boyle.

Since graduating with an MA in Fine Art Sculpture in 2007, Emer O Boyle has worked with forms of expanded portraiture to explore individual stories within collective contexts and to create conditions for exchange between different interest groups. Her long term projects have been funded by the EU Partnership for Peace Programme, Amnesty International, EUFP7 project called GLORIA – Global Robotic Telescope Intelligent Array and University College Dublin. Since 2010 she has collaborated with UCD Professor of Astrophysics Lorraine Hanlon and is co-founder and director of UCD Parity Studios.

Méadhbh O’Connor produces large-scale sculptural installations that mix handcrafted objects, engineered constructions and ephemeral materials. Her projects are all, whether directly or indirectly, propelled by her interest in science. For 2039 at ArtBox, Méadhbh explores the role of fiction as a domain in which complex and seemingly unlikely ideas can be processed through the imagination. Here she creates a world which combines Baroque and Gothic Revival styles, the scientific instrument, references to the astronomical, to the Sci-Fi subgenera of Steampunk and Planetary Romance; echoing tropes which persist in Science Fantasy today, often serving as elaborate backdrops to alternative worlds. Recent exhibitions and awards include Welcome Disturbances, The LAB, Dublin, 2015; Sculpture Workshop Award, Fire Station, 2015; Unknown Shores (solo exhibition), O’Brien Centre for Science, UCD, 2014; UCD Science Artists In Residence Award, 2013; powers + √roots, Pallas PP/S, Dublin, 2013.

This project is curated by ArtBox Director Dr. Hilary Murray.

Image: Emer O’Boyle, Prof. Lorraine Hanlon and processed by Dr Antonio Martin Carillo from, the UCD Watcher telescope.

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