David Cunningham Projects presents

Bernadette Cotter : STILL LIFE

A mixed media installation with a live performance element

Event has passed (Thu Apr 3, 2008 - Sat May 10, 2008)
Arts, Gallery


DCP (David Cunningham Projects) is pleased to announce STILL LIFE, a mixed media installation with a live performance element by Irish Artist, Bernadette Cotter. The exhibition will be on view from April 3rd thru May 10th, 2008.

‘STILL LIFE’ is an installation with origins in two separate but related experiences. The first occurred in September 2004 when the artist found herself stranded in a remote part of the Irish countryside after her car broke down. Soon rescued she was brought to the nearest town. While waiting at a hotel she found herself confronted with televised broadcasts of the school siege in Beslan, North Ossetia. She watched in horror as a stream of images of half naked children being rescued from their murderous Chechen rebel captors filled the screen. For days afterwards images of the bullet-riddled school and dead or near dead children filled the newspapers.

Over a year later the residual effect of that experience began to manifest itself in her work, taking the form of an insistent torn or tangled mesh of a red line resembling a small head, a heart or a uterus that the artist felt compelled to get down on paper. Finding it difficult to concentrate on anything but this in her studio the artist embarked on a series of 42 drawings before the line finally stopped - only to resume again and take new shape in the form of a tightly wound ball of red thread pierced with broken needles. An unfinished work, this tiny ball still cries out to the artist to be wound some more, to find it’s right size in the world.

In 2007 black began to seep into every aspect of the artist’s work after she read Paul Celan’s chilling poem ‘Death Fugue’. She began to obsessively wrap needles with black thread creating pod-like spindles. Full of potential and foreboding she describes them as “longing to burst open and give birth, but to what?” Keeping the spindles company are several black organza panels embroidered with words and tracings of hands. Sewn together to form liquid, shimmering, hanging veils they whisper gently that, despite all, there is “still life”.

Bernadette Cotter

Bernadette Cotter is an Irish artist based in Co. Cork. She received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1989 and lived in San Francisco for many years. ‘STILL LIFE’ marks her first solo exhibition in the city since 1996. The recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, Fulbright Enhancement grant and a Cadogan Scholarship from the San Francisco Foundation her work has been included in exhibitions at The Lab, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, Haines Gallery, Catherine Clark Gallery and others. She has exhibited widely in Ireland and in Korea and in 2005 she had a major one-person show at the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny Castle in Ireland.


Bernadette Cotter and DCP would like to thank artists Bob Rasmussen and Richard T. Walker for their time and assistance with this installation.
Support for this exhibition has been provided by Culture Ireland and Udaras na Gaeltachta.

For more information/ images please contact
[email protected] | tel:- 415.341.1538 | http://www.davidcunninghamprojects.com


David Cunningham Projects
1928 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA
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  1. David Cunningham Projects
    1928 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA