The work I was to due exhibit as part of HOME before the onset of the pandemic related to a textile manufacturer in Castlebar in Co Mayo which was established in the early 1940’s during World War II. It not only provided employment in the locality, but offered a means of exile for Jewish families who were also employed there as technical experts.
When we were asked to create a response to the crisis, I, like many others, felt overwhelmed by uncertainty. As an Irish woman residing in London, I found myself grappling with the anxiety of not being able to return home. I found myself drawn back to the archive on this factory which was situated in my hometown and began re-reading letters written by a Castlebar woman who travelled to Belgium alongside a group of others who were being trained in the art of textile manufacture prior to the factory’s establishment. She describes being in Europe as the war broke out, and the journey across the Channel from Belgium, passing through London and her experience of the blackout.
I found myself cycling around London in the early morning as way of dealing with the anxiety related to my own temporary exile and thinking about the very disparate connections between this woman’s journey and my own micro journeys in the city where I live. This sound recording is composed of a short excerpt of this woman’s writing and my own field recordings. (Please listen with headphones where possible)!
About the Artist
Amanda Rice is an artist and researcher based between London, the United Kingdom and Ireland working with film, sculpture and installation and is interested in how geological material is exchanged and extended in the world and its subsequent entanglement with processes of manufacturing, human labour, global trade and circulations of capitalism.
She is a recent graduate of the Slade School of Fine Art MA (2018) Upon graduating she was awarded the inaugural Edward Allington Memorial Prize, and was shortlisted for the lmacantar Studio Award. In 2019 she was awarded the Arts Council of Ireland Next Generation Award and the Éigse-Hotron Graduate prize presented by VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Ireland. She has exhibited at Arebyte Gallery, London, Charlton Gallery, London; The University College London Art Museum; Eva International Biennial, Ireland, Limerick, Ireland, Flux Factory, New York and Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai.