Leitrim Artist ' decodes times' in new exhibition.
by Stella Carroll
The interpretation of art has always been deeply personal and is dependent on our memories, upbringing and life experiences. Leitrim artist Birgitta Varadi’s latest exhibition entitled 'Decoding Time', addresses directly how art is interpreted by each of us. A renowned textile artist, her current work uses wool and features a new twist on the famous 'ink block' tests.
"I am exploring the interpretive possibilities for the concept within the Rorschach test,
as the test elicits no single “correct” answer." Brigitta explains, "It is designed to reveal a person’s interpretive and perceptive abilities. Inkblots were used before by psychologists other than Rorschach for creativity tests with the aim of studying imagination and consciousness. I am at present examining how our thinking and our emotional responses are conditioned by our physical environment, by our upbringing, by what our parents and others tell us."
Hungarian born, Brigitta has made her home in the beautiful iron mountains in South Leitrim. It is a landscape which continually informs and inspires her work. She exhibits internationally and her work is found in many private and public collections across Europe. The distinctive wall piece which graces the main atrium at the Office of Public Works in Athlone is typical of the site specific installations for which Brigitta is known. In 2008 the President, Mary McAleese acknowledged her contribution to the arts in Ireland.
In October 2012, Brigitta was granted a 4 weeks art Residency at the Contemporary Artists Centre (CAC) in New York and here she began to work on the concept and the initial works for this new and exciting exhibition. The Residency was supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, by Leitrim County Council and by the Contemporary Artists Centre. "During my time in New York, I worked in an open studio space with 11 other artists - not my ideal studio situation! However, it proved to be a great intellectual platform providing the opportunity for creative engagement." laughs Brigitta. “I met artists there, who influenced the way I approach my own practice, others who shared a common language with me but expressed it through different mediums. After my return from the U.S., I started to extend the body of work and to create an exhibition. I liked the idea of combining the inkblots with the blanket-like texture of wool, as it gave a different type of sensation for the blots and encourages a different type of interaction between the viewer and the work." The pieces for this exhibition are black and white and large scale, which will, she feels, allow a different kind of the interaction between the viewer and the work.