Then I laid the floor is an exhibition bringing together the work of Brian Maguire (Dublin), James Concagh (São Paulo) and Robert Chase Heishman (Chicago). It opens in Triskel Christchurch on Saturday 15 July and runs until Saturday 30 September.
Brian Maguire explained how this exhibition came about, “In 2022 James, Robert and I convened in Brazil to embark on a project called The House That Valdemar Built. This centres on a deep engagement with the self-built family home of James’ in-laws in the Jabaquara community on the outskirts of São Paulo. The aim of our meeting was to produce works that told the story of one specific family who have been discriminated against because of their migrant status of being from the Northeast of Brazil.”
The exhibition’s title Then I laid the floor comes from Heishman’s film where Valdemar speaks about the original foundation and construction of his favela house. Each brick laid and floor added to the favela home of Valdemar and Valderci is a symbol of self-reliance out of necessity. It is this that Maguire, Concagh and Heishman’s respective artistic practices aim to accentuate, translate and express through a visual narrative of this family’s story that is emblematic of the spirit of their larger community.
Tony Sheehan, Artistic Director at Triskel Arts Centre, said, “The works in this exhibition speak to how the family have gracefully dealt with adversity, and found joy, dignity, pride, and self-respect. We are honoured to work with Brian, James and Robert because their project encapsulates what’s important to us at Triskel: supporting communities who are dealing with discrimination.”
The exhibition opening is at 6.30pm on Saturday 15 July in Triskel Christchurch.