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Moira McIver - Migration Memories


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Moira McIver - Migration Memories
29th July - 8th October 2023

Exhibition Walk and Talk with Moira McIver: Saturday 16th September at 2pm.

Related Event: SCAP Writers in the Room

Download: Exhibition Handout / List of Works / Exhibition Minigraph

Migration Memories is a new solo exhibition by Moira McIver, which explores the history of migration between Donegal and Glasgow. 

Born in Scotland and living between Donegal and Northern Ireland, McIver has spent her life crossing borders. Migration Memories derives from a series of art projects developed since the 1980s, originally based on archival documents and family photographs. The subsequent projects have used a range of media from large-format film cameras to digital scanners. These artworks explore the experience of migration between Donegal and Glasgow from the 1920s to the present day, and how this shapes a sense of identity, particularly from a female perspective. She has focused on recent generations of her family, including her mother who migrated at the age of sixteen, from Donegal to Glasgow in 1945, with Gaelic as her first language. Through the exploration of historical photographic traditions including studio portraiture and the box brownie snapshot, McIver attempts to reframe these experiences from a contemporary perspective.

The recent artworks developed from an exchange residency between Artlink Donegal and Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow in 2021. During the residency McIver spent time interviewing individuals in Glasgow and Donegal whose families have undergone similar migration experiences, collating stories and photographs and visiting locations with historical or personal significance. She was interested in how individual memory becomes a collective experience and has produced a series of landscape and cityscape photographs which explore ideas around ‘displacement’ using furniture, photo textiles and objects in the landscape. The exhibition brings together projects from 1980-2023 in a body of work reflecting on the magnetic pull between people and place and the continuing flow of generations back and forth across the Irish Sea.

The residency exchange programme between Street Level Photoworks and Artlink, Fort Dunree in Donegal, aims to strengthen dialogue and cooperation between Scotland and other European countries. The exhibition has been supported by the University of Ulster and Donegal County Council.

The exhibition will also be shown at An Gailearaí, Gweedore, Donegal, Ireland, from the 28th October to the 8th December 2023.

View the Virtual Exhibition Here

Moira McIver is a lens-based artist from Northern Ireland. Her work includes photography, video, installation, publication, and public art. She is a lecturer in Fine Art teaching photography and video within the BA honours Fine Art course, at Belfast School of Art. She graduated with a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Ulster in 1996. Moira McIver’s photographic and video art projects are often based on historical events and the interplay between mainstream perspectives and individual experience and recollection. She researches first-hand accounts and popular local myths and stories to explore overlooked and under-represented viewpoints.  McIver works across a range of digital and analogue lens-based media to explore how our sense of the physical remains vital to our perception and interpretation of history. The artwork is often exhibited as lens-based installations using video, photography, and sound. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is held in major collections such as the V&A (London) and the Royal Armouries Museum (Leeds).

All Images: © Moira McIver. Banner image 'Donegal Hill, Queens Park, Glasgow' (2022)

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