At the edges, just beyond. Places remember
Fringe spaces hold memories, hold imaginations
Hinterlands and Liminal spaces where the present holds echoes of the past
Strange structures raise their skeletal frames, odd animal forms stalking in the distance
Over tumbling wild grasslands
Over heaving blue seas.
At their feet
A scattering of things…field borders reduced to remnants of fence posts,
a spray can exhausted and weathered away.
Footprints slowly swallowed by the landscape,
Traces of being and doing
Of living and moving on
A fish hook, a weight and a thimble –
Are small moments from fingertips.
Forms of Seaweed, tangles of rope, line and bone
Tell of shoreline life
Speak of a sense of place
Through misty recollections.
Tell us of being.
Of living now
And how it contains
Everything that went before.
And all that might come ahead.
Stuart Cairns is an Irish artist whose practice is concerned with investigating the environment – landscapes composed of liminal spaces, hinterlands, tidelines and fringe spaces. He explores his relationship with them through the forms, images and objects he creates with his personal culture of walking, photography, drawing and the collection of found objects. He graduated with a Bachelors Degree In Silversmithing and Jewellery from the University of Ulster in 2000, returning to complete a Masters degree in 2006. He is a member of the Association of Contemporary British Silversmiths.
Cairns has exhibited widely; selected exhibitions include The Art Of Gathering, New Craftsman Gallery, St.Ives, 2019, Retracing Nature, Make Hauser & Wirth, Somerset 2019, Narratives in the Making, Ruthin Craft Centre, Wales 2017, Silver Speaks, The Victoria & Albert Museum, London 2016, Side to Side, The National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny, Ireland 2015, Collect , The Saatchi Gallery 2012 and Fit For Purpose, The V & A, London (2012). His work has been purchased for both public and private collections including the University of Ulster, The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, The Ulster Museum and the private collection of Iwan and Manuela Wirth. Recently he was the first recipient of the Rosemary James Memorial Trust Award for Craft.