Title: Relic of Memory


Artist: Anne O'Callaghan   Exhibition year: 1998

Mining the repositories of memory, Anne O'Callaghan reconstructs the natural and human histories issuing from this site. In Relic of Memory, domestic and architectural structures fabricated from contemporary industrial materials are introduced into the environment. An eight-foot long steel table squarely placed in a moss-laden clearing bears the inscription "Huron-Hatherly-Ruttan," identifying the generations of people who have inhabited this territory. Alternately, the poetic insertions on the reverse trace the organic constituents of the earth: "Petrified Wood-Dead Lava-Cooling Star-Incarcerated Ghosts" extending the historical continuum. Nearby, an area of hollowed ground is vaulted by a pair of steel arches joined at the vertices by a single cross beam. The multi-valence of O'Callaghan's armature underscores its cultural dexterity, admitting allusions to the sweat-lodges of indigenous cultures; the oratories or small stone churches from the ninth and tenth centuries which populate the Irish countryside; and, through its boat shaped configuration, the diasporic history of migration and settlement. Higher on one end than the other, the structure rephrases the uneven terrain below. A sense of movement is engendered, bestowing on the steel an organic sensibility. Rather than offering shelter, O'Callaghan's armature frames the encompassing landscape, reorganizing our experience of the site. 
Carolyn Bell Farrell, "Axis of Time," The Tree Museum, (The Tree Museum, 2000)

Anne O'Callaghan's work extends from photo-based work to site -specific sculpture. Selected site-specific installations. As well as a practicing artist O'Callaghan has an active curatorial practice. She is the co-curator and a founding member of The Tree Museum, Gravenhurst, Ontario, and a founding member of the intersperse curatorial collective. Born in Ireland, O'Callaghan lives and works in Toronto, Ontario.