Marianne Keating’s practice examines the wave of immigration from Ireland, then part of the British Empire, to the Caribbean –particularly Jamaica and Barbados, then also colonies within the British Empire – that occurred in the aftermath of the abolition of slavery in 1834.
She explores the overlooked accounts of this aspect of the Irish diaspora, mainly composed of indentured labourers that left Ireland and settled in the Caribbean between 1835 and 1842, and
their contemporary legacies, from the progressive creolisation of the Irish in the Caribbean to the influence of this population in the politics of the region, and from the practices and consequences of
British imperialism to the notion of Ireland as a ‘white colony’.
Keating makes films and video installations that bring together documents sourced from official archives (mostly based in Ireland, England and Jamaica), which she combines with views of landscapes of architectural interiors and voice over texts, usually excerpts of books and files. These works approach the disjunction of archival record and the ‘enacted’ image/sound/text to question the legitimacy of the archive as a storytelling device. They determine new narratives around the Irish diaspora in response to the dominant ‘master narratives’ of the West, rewriting the histories of the dominated ‘other’.
The exhibition is co-produced with Cork Printmakers, Ireland, and presented with support from Culture Ireland.