Exhibitions and Events
The Celtic-Nevada Passageway
Ruth MacLaurinNovember 17th to December 10th, 1995
The exhibition recreates the Celtic cemetery of Austin, Nevada, by juxtaposing delineation of the cemetery plots (filled with natural debris from trees, which figure so prominently in Celtic lore and myth) with the shadows of markers that MacLaurin recorded at the cemetery.
The installation is a powerful metaphor of memorial. The pathway between the two rows of graves through which the viewer is invited to walk, is the passage from life to death. A path down which, according to Celtic mythology, the soul is carried by Celtic hounds.
An art professor at Okanagan University College in British Columbia, Canada, MacLaurin visited Austin while working on her masters at Washington State University.
"The town's cemetery was crowded with the imported Celtic cross, marking both the passage of a people and a culture, as well as the transplanted memory of that culture," MacLaurin explains. She adds that she was drawn to the "sense of exile that was felt among these gravestones...the self-exile of the immigrant or displaced person, like the pilgrim of old."