Rajinder Singh: un-migrant-ing

Linenhall Arts Centre Gallery: Friday 24 July - Saturday 26 September

Rajinder Singh: un-migrant-ing, at the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, Co Mayo

un-migrant-ing is an exhibition of painting, drawing, installation, sculpture and film by artist Rajinder Singh.

Rajinder writes: Un-migrant-ing is based on a text I found recently on the 19th century unverified sighting of the Purple Martin in Dublin from the Museum of Science and Art ( National Museum of Ireland). The show is developed around the following 'unverified report' on the said bird:

“In May of 2019, according to the Irish Birding records, there was a rare sighting of a migrant bird from North America called the Purple Martin in the stone circle at Termon Hill, near the south end of the Mullet Peninsula in County Mayo.The Purple Martin, which matures to a dirty black plumage, is the largest of the aggressive North American swallows. It has taken over large parts of North America. After a season of unfettered breeding it migrates to parts of South America where it aggressively competes for food in the Amazon basin. It is rarely seen in Ireland. The only other sighting claim was in 1840 in Kingstown, Dublin, now at the  Museum of Science and Art, Dublin.

The Purple Martin, a juvenile, was first sighted Sunday the 16th of May by a group of birding enthusiasts who had traveled to Belmullet for the summer birding season. They alerted the Irish Birding authorities immediately. It is rare for a bird to make the arduous journey across the Atlantic, and it was unlikely to return. One of the birders explained that it probably had little chance of survival and that he was praying it would not reappear again. The authorities are on the alert. The entire area has been searched and there was no sign of it.

The population of purple martins in North America usually take over artificial houses of wood or aluminum and fake plastic gourds. The martins compete aggressively with other cavity-nesters, and will fight over nest sites. They  have even been known to kill starlings and house sparrows, often evicting them from their nests. Irish Birding has long concluded that, unmonitored, Irish birds will be overtaken by this more aggressive, non-native species.” 

Rajinder Singh (b Ipoh, Malaysia) lives in Dublin, Ireland. Rajinder’s photography, video and performance work explore ideas around the vulnerable body and its pain, interrogating the economies of power that deny it space and shape. Often focused on the power of ritual action in the construction of the social body, his practice uses choreography and performative objects to explore the ways the human body unfolds around various topographic and symbolic borders.

Adm. Free

Official Opening: Friday 24 July at 1.00pm 
Due to COVID-19 guidelines the number of attendees at the opening event will be limited. Attendance is on a first-come-first-served basis.
There  will be two short introductions by the artist at 1.30pm and 2.30pm on the day to facilitate as many people as possible. 

We kindly ask that you please adhere to social distancing guidelines within our gallery space. We will provide face masks for those who wish to wear them on the day and have hand sanitising stations upon entering and exiting the building and in the gallery space itself. Our office phone lines will be open from 10am on Tues 21 July for any queries in advance of the launch and we would be delighted to hear from you. You can contact us on 094 90 23733 or by email on info@thelinenhall.com.

Exhibition continues until Saturday 26 Sept 2020