In the exhibition MEMENTO – AGREEMENT, Dunsmore revisits each of the filming sittings and creates from her memories ‘mementos’ in a composition of three elements; a drawn portrait, a text piece and a map.
Individuals portraits are drawn on tracing paper which floats above the paper accompanied by typed text and map etchings. The embedded text shares memories of conversations, with filmed portrait subjects and observations around contexts. The copper plate etchings map each encounter depicting geographic locations and the journey of artist and subject to the site of filming.
These three elements together create a ‘memento’ of each individual video portrait subject that Dunsmore filmed between 2004 and 2023.
These reflective portraits are made from typed text, ink portraits and map etchings of the meetings with (in order of filming):
David Ervine, Progressive Unionist Party, 2004; Lord Alderdice, Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, 2005; Martin McGuinness, Sinn Féin, 2005; John Hume, Social Democratic and Labour Party, 2005; David Trimble, Ulster Unionist Party, 2017; Senator George Mitchell, United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland, 2018; Monica McWilliams, Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition, 2005/2019; Pearl Sagar, Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition, 2019; Seamus Mallon, Social Democratic and Labour Party, 2019; Bertie Ahern, Fianna Fáil Taoiseach, 2019. Gary McMichael, Ulster Democratic Party, 2022; Malachi Curran, Labour Party of Northern Ireland, 2022; Gerry Adams, Sinn Féin, 2022. Created by machine learning, digitally processed from RTE archival media footage; Mo Mowlam, Labour Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, 2023.
Dunsmore, felt it important to include Mo Mowlam in the artwork AGREEMENT and using machine learning processes and RTE archival media she created a facial mapped, data portrait. In MEMENTO, Dunsmore reflects on Mo Mowlam, who was her inspiration for initiating AGREEMENT and is the final portrait in the series.
The need to preserve and depict through filmed portraits, representations of individuals, is a core element of Dunsmore's social-political-historical art practice. Dr Mowlam act in 1998, of her meeting with prisoners in the months before the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement inspired Dunsmore. Dr Mowlam was a woman who took a political and personal risk and many admired her bravery. Dr Mo Mowlam was the primary artistic inspiration for the initiation and creation of the artwork AGREEMENT.
MEMENTO – AGREEMENT Copper etching maps, chine colle on Kitikata paper typed text, digital printed tracing paper drawings on Arches Velin Blanc 250g paper. Limited Box Edition of 10. + 2 AP. Parallel Editions. Showing at the Ulster University Gallery, in April 12th - May 22nd, 2023. Photography Simon Mills.