Catriona Leahy’s work engages in sites wherein a particular dissonance manifests itself temporally, spatially or aesthetically, where anachronistic objects, architecture or particular landscape tropes usher the past into focus with the present. To that end, her interest lies in the remains of cultural phenomena that have been displaced, or have lost their significance in our “progress-driven”, globalised society. Residues on the landscape of our industrial past and by extension, the impact this intervention has had on our environment also provide material for investigating the repercussions of a society driven by progress. Through a process of intervention in the image using print, photography, moving image, installation and sculpture, attention is drawn to transformations, latent aspects and layered histories.
More recent work has been preoccupied with the question of how to reimagine the landscape in a time of ecological crisis. To that end, the work often focuses on anthropogenic landscapes – landscapes made or transformed by man’s intervention. In an ever-evolving landscape, it is only much later that the repercussions of human intervention can be truly determined. The latency of a visual manifestation of such activities, teaches us that the consequences of our actions in one moment can have any number of outcomes – undetermined and unpredictable. It is this temporal latency that is of concern for Catriona – the ripples or tremors that are felt, experienced or perceived, only much later after the event, as traces that meld into the fabric of our present.