An Lanntair is opening a new gallery exhibition Leanabh Cloiche/Stone Child, by artist Mhairi Corr, on Saturday, October 24th.

Based on the theme of The Abandoned Child Archetype, Leanabh Cloiche / Stone Child presents 19 characters navigating their way over rocky ground. A story waiting to be told, all these children have something in common: they have been thrown or have fallen from the nest and are left to find their own way without guidance.

Artist Mhairi says: “In Jungian psychology, this is the archetype of The Abandoned Child. Hiding their profound vulnerability is necessary for survival. They hunch over to protect the embers in their hearts. They grow prickly exteriors. The become even less approachable, isolating themselves further from the sense of belonging that they crave.

 “Defensive and untrusting, they are suspicious not only of the world at large, but the more immediate threat of each other.”

Each of the 19 Stone Children are presented with their own scenario – a suggestion by the artist of their background, yet open to as many interpretations as there are observers; each character providing a surface for its viewers own projections. Conversely, they too are the audience, watching back silently, listening, attentive.

Made from pulped newspaper modelled over individual armature, the solid stone-like quality of each character echoes the Stone Child’s fragile yet tough exterior, with the chaos and confusion of the outside world creating and warping each one’s formation as Mhairi explains: “Yesterday’s news, opinions, gossip are all mixed up into a soggy chaotic verbiage.

“The pulp does its own thing as it dries (I have learned to step out of the way). Its weight will bend the armature. Limbs will warp. Necks will disappear. Heads will settle into hunched shoulders. Once dry, the pulp is transformed from flimsy transient newspaper into a relatively tough material with a stoney appearance.”

She adds: “So, here are the Stone Children. Here are their characters. Here are their challenges. How do they interact? How does the story unfold? What scenarios can we dream up? Nineteen characters navigating their way over rocky ground, A story waiting to be told.”

Mhairi Corr has been creating and exhibiting throughout the UK since graduating from Glasgow School of Art in 1982.  She is a previous recipient of the Scottish Arts Council Award (1995) and the Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Award (1996); and in 2003 held post of Online Artist in Residence with Channel 4’s Art Factory (2003). For further information, please visit: www.mhairicorr.moonfruit.com

Leanabh Cloiche / Stone Child opens in An Lanntair’s main gallery on Saturday October 24 and runs till Saturday December 12.

Visitors are reminded that COVID-19 safety measures are in place at An Lanntair gallery and will therefore be asked to provide contact details for Scottish Government Test & Protect, to observe social distancing and to wear a face-covering if able to do so.

Mhairi Corr: Paper Pulp Animals Workshop – Learn how to make paper pulp animal sculptures with artist Mhairi Corr in An Lanntair’s two-day workshop. Running on Tuesday November 24 and Wednesday November 25, 10am-4pm, £60/£51.