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New exhibition opens at Artlink, Fort Dunree 05.09.22

VISUAL artist Louise Spokes explores ‘deadly poisonous plants, love and betrayal’ in her first solo exhibition at Fort Dunree.

An intriguing new solo exhibition entitled ‘The Seed That Stops The Heart’ by Glasgow-based visual artist Louise Spokes is currently being showcased in the Saldanha Gallery, Artlink, Fort Dunree with free admission daily from 10:30am - 4:30pm up until 2nd October 2022.

The exhibition by Louise, a former director and chairperson of the 126 Artist-Run Gallery in Galway, explores the themes of 'deadly poisonous plants' and their associations with folklore and historical stories of ‘love and betrayal’ from ancient Rome to the modern day.
Patricia, George and Louise Spokes at the opening reception of 'The Seed That Stops The Heart' exhibition at Fort Dunree.
Louise, a former student of Scoil Mhuire in Buncrana, who previously worked in Malta and has extensively showcased in group exhibitions throughout Ireland, drew inspiration for her latest series of drawings on glass and paper having had a desire to bring nature ‘indoors’ during lockdowns and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Louise explains: “I produced many exhibitions of other people’s work during my time on the board at 126 Artist-Run Gallery, but this is my first solo exhibition and it’s a bit new to me or somewhat strange being on the other side of the experience!”.

“The Seed That Stops The Heart is inspired by poisonous plants, their effects, and the folklore, tales and notorious historical events associated with them.

“My title refers to the literal danger of poisonous plants such as the common Foxglove, whose seeds can be fatal when eaten. It also hints at the seed of doubt, jealousy and anger that might inspire someone to poison a victim.

Louise says there are also so many interesting stories, both past and present, related to poisonous plants, which are full of intrigue, love and betrayal, and the pursuit of power.

“Legend goes that Catherine DeMedici murdered Jeanne d'Albret with a gift of perfumed gloves laced with poison, and Locusta of Gaul (the ‘poisoner of Rome’) is considered to be the first recorded serial killer - notoriously taking down many royal court members in the 1st Century Roman Empire.

“Poisonous plants are also ‘cropping up’ in the news recently – for example with Donald Trump alarmingly appearing to endorse Oleandrin in 2021, a toxic substance extracted from the Oleander plant, as a possible treatment for Covid!"
Louise Spokes at the opening reception for her first solo exhibition 'The Seed That Stops The Heart' at Dunree.
For Louise ‘home is certainly where the heart is’ and she is both excited and proud to be showcasing her first solo exhibition and new artwork at Dunree.

“I always get back every summer, Christmas, and as often as possible. Last summer, I was able to work from home in Ireland. I would finish work, then head out and meet friends and go for a swim in the sea. After all those months cooped up in my apartment in Glasgow, it felt so liberating. It feels fitting that I would have my first solo show at home. Inishowen is stunning and a great source of inspiration for art and artists. Fort Dunree, where the exhibition is being held is spectacular too!”

For further information on ‘The Seed That Stops The Heart’ exhibition visit www.artlink.ie .
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