Goth-rock inspires Galway Arts Centre exhibition

The Sisters of Mercy, The Reptile House EP, and six Irish artists

The Sisters Of Mercy.

The Sisters Of Mercy.

IN 1983, the legendary British goth-rock band, The Sisters Of Mercy, released The Reptile House EP. It featured a song called Lights, which contained the line, "The night draws near and the daylight fades. Ignore the voices, discard the day. For the brand new darkness, for the bright new way."

That song, indeed the whole EP, has inspired the new exhibition, A Brand New Darkness, which is currently running at the Galway Arts Centre, Dominick Street, which features work by Ian Cumberland, David Haughey, Fiona Hession, Zoe Murdoch, Kelly Richardson, and Lorna Simpson.

The Reptile House EP envisaged an apocalyptic society in which drugs, reality television, and authoritarian government meet to control and cull the population. This theme has been taken up by the artists for this show. While we are no longer in the 1980s, and there have been many political, social, economic and technological revolutions since, implicit in one definition of ‘revolution’ is something circular, so we are all once again back in the midst of often vitriolic discussions of race, gender, identity, sexuality, and environment. Even the language of the cold war has returned.

Among the works to watch out for are Kelly Richardson’s Twilight Avengers, an eerily glowing stag could represent the dawn of a new age or the defiant last gasp of this one; Fiona Hession’s compositions which deal with the issue of mental health; and Ian Cumberland’s work, which presents us with, at first glance, images of young, beautiful, people. Look closer though to notice the beginnings decay.

A Brand New Darkness runs until October 6.

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