Having grown up in suburban Dublin, Lorna Donlon lived for many years in the countryside of Co. Kilkenny, before recently returning to live in the Big Smoke. She loves trees and gardens and nature and inevitably she will have an interesting leaf, flower, or ‘curious-oddity-for-further-inspection’ in her pocket.
about the exhibition
STEP Through the Looking Glass:
Stories Told of Experimental Processes
Photo Credit: Emer O’Boyle
The idea for this project stems from ‘Scientists’ Stories from the Conway Cabinets of Everyday Curiosities’; a collaboration between Lorna Donlon, scientists in UCD Conway Institute, and patients from the Patient Voice in Cancer Research (PVCR) initiative. It arose from the initial phase of Lorna Donlon’s artistic residency in the UCD Conway Institute during the pandemic.
During this residency, as a way of introducing herself to the researchers, Lorna mounted an installation in the entrance foyer of UCD Conway Institute in University College Dublin. Her initial ‘Cabinets of Everyday Curiosities’ housed displays of ordinary, everyday objects that spoke of the lives of people in Lorna’s life, placed without label or explanation. Researchers were invited to view the cabinets before being encouraged to install their own ‘everyday object’ in exchange for one of the artist’s. This process of mutual exchange continued until all objects displayed belonged to the research community representing their daily lives in scientific research.
STEP Through the Looking Glass: Stories Told of Experimental Processes is an extension of this residency. These object displays have been created in a collaboration between the artist, scientists working on COVID-19 related or other clinical research and patients involved in cancer research in the Institute.
This website provides a window through which you can glimpse the trappings and workings of the scientist’s world. You can hear them talking about their selected objects, about what these objects mean to them personally and how some of them are used in their research experiments, as well as learning a bit about who they, the person behind the science research, are.
This website is designed both to accompany a physical exhibition of a Travelling Cabinet of Conway Curiosities and portraits of Conway Institute researchers as well as being a standalone online experience.
Exhibition venues and dates:
05 – 14 August 2022, 40 Mill Years, Grennan Mill Craft School, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny.
In person event: 3.30pm- 4.30pm, Saturday, 06 August 2022
15 August – 12 September 2022, Barretstown, Barretstown Castle, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare.
In person event: 11am – 12pm, Thursday, 01 September 2022
10 October – 02 December 2022, University Hospital Waterford in conjunction with Waterford Healing Arts Trust, Dunmore Road, Waterford.
In person event: 6pm, Thursday, 13 October 2022.
Funding is acknowledged from the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme (ref 21/DP/9758) and the UCD Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund, which was financed jointly by University College Dublin and the SFI-HRB-Wellcome Biomedical Research Partnership (ref 204844/Z/16/Z)