Let the Dead Leaves Fall:
Opening: Friday 1 December, 7-9pm
Continues: 2 December 2017 - 24 January 2018
Artist Talk: Saturday 9
Artist Master class: 16 December, 10-4pm
A Free Bus will run between Belfast and Portadown on the evening of the opening.Leaves Belfast from Golden Thread Gallery at 6.45pm. Returns from Portadown at 9pm
Millennium Court Arts Centre is delighted to present “Let the dead leaves fall”, a new solo exhibition by Miguel Martin.
In this exhibition of new work, Martin examines societal attitudes surrounding contemporary forms of mindfulness in a digital age, and questions its various associations to practices of occultism and worship. The title of the exhibition is adapted from a quote by the 13th century Persian poet and mystic Rumi, who originally wrote, “Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop”, alluding to ideas of letting go, shedding inner demons and thereby submitting oneself to higher
transcendental states of consciousness. Having been taught the practice of transcendental meditation (TM) himself at the age of 11, Martin combines influences from personal experience with research into narratives surrounding tropes of contemporary occultism such as gurus, garments and symbols. A personal choice to remove himself almost entirely from most social media platforms also led to an interest in alternative forms of engaging with the self and how that can benefit a stronger awareness of mental health.
Drawing aesthetic influences from minimalism, horror and still life, the tone of the exhibition is softly sinister and includes video, installation and sculptural components. Among these components include an industrially fabricated sign emblazoned with the words “Search inside yourself”, appropriated from the title of a mindfulness course developed at Google headquarters designed to improve employer productivity. Also featured in the exhibition is a slab of locally sourced black nero marquina marble cut and shaped to the proportions of a standard yoga mat, as well as a new series of still life drawings and a short video piece. Entitled “Downward dog not spiral” this video is an abstracted version of a YouTube yoga tutorial which charts the progress of a masked guru figure. Choreographed in a specific order the exhibition leads the audience to a bronze object, which forms the basis of Martin’s research surrounding symbolic and occult hand gestures.
Accompanying the show will be a booklet featuring a newly commissioned essay written by Brussels based Irish curator, artist and historian Padraic E.Moore, and a limited edition set of antique gold die struck pin badges which will also be on sale throughout the exhibition.
Miguel Martin (b. 1985 Belfast, UK) BA Fine and Applied Art at the University of Ulster, Belfast (2005 –2008) Lives in Belfast and works at Platform Arts, Belfast. Solo shows include: 2016 Put to the sword, CCA Derry-Londonderry; 2015 Curio, Ards Arts Centre; 2015 Out of Site, University Art Gallery, Belfast; 2011 All Good in the Manhood, Abrons Arts Centre, New York. Awards: 2015 Arts Council of Northern Ireland Artist’s Career Enhancement Scheme (ACES); 2012 and 2011 Arts Council of Northern Ireland Support for Individual Artist Award.