Michelle Moloney is from West Cork. Her work seeks to answer questions that have accompanied her for much of her life. These questions, often universal, are concerned with the human need to make meaning in our lives. Two elements that emerge time and again throughout her work are stillness, and within the stillness, a question; the question often concerned with issues of difference, otherness, identity and grief.
Lost is grounded in my experience of living with grief since the death of my daughter. It draws on the practice and language of photography to interrogate the concept of grief and confront its sanitisation in 21st century Western culture. In essence, the work stands as a challenge to the notion of closure as a “tabula rasa”.
The series offers a glimpse, even a peripheral one, into the universality of grief. It comprises of contemplative images presented in various genres including, portrait, still life and landscape. The images are accompanied by text written in the process of working through the making of the project. Included in the series are drawings and an installation piece. The work is essentially an exploration of presence and absence while speaking to a meditative stillness, juxtaposed by unease through the scale of the images. Both the aesthetic and scale create a connection to the weight and work of grief.
This series calls the viewer to see beyond the initial gesture and delve into the messy, lonely, bewildering, sorrow of bereavement. The outcome, images, installation, and text are not the endpoint as the component of the audience is an essential value-adding to the work.