Sheela-na-gig: Tracing the Walled Women, 2000

Ispace Gallery
Chicago, Illinois

Photographic Duraclears, thread, photographs, paint, found objects

750 sq. feet

Yarrington's occupation of space in relation to the Sheela project is important given the Sheela's original site as an architectural piece. That the Sheela so flagrantly represents a woman's sex is one thing, but that she exhibits it on public buildings is something else. Yarrington employs a range of media to dress the gallery space for a sacred occasion of display. Light penetrates chosen images that hang perpendicular to walls, there are souvenirs and books that viewers can ask to handle, and there are mysterious motifs floating across walls linked by a meandering thread. The subject is Sheela although her presence is merely suggested through allusion to fleshy openings. The body image adumbrates the space; walls and skins and thresholds and openings meld.

Lisa Wainright
Art Historian
Art Institute of Chicago

The work of Jo Yarrington, Sarah Krepp, and Veroica Nicholoson is a very important exploration of this ancient and fundamental tradition. It is also often a funny, extrovert and basically anarchic up-dating of this very archaic material....More power to their oxter, and as the toast in irish goes, "Sláinte na bhfear is go maire na mná go deó" - "Good health to the men, and may the women live forever." As they have done. As they are doing.

Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill
Poet
Dublin, Ireland

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