Ailbhe Ní Bhriain

An Experiment with Time

Fri 4 February — Sat 19 March 2022

Wheelchair accessible

Wheelchair accessible

A small marble statue with a flaw in its face against a black background.

Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, An Experiment with Time, Film Still, 2022

An Experiment with Time combines film, tapestry, print and installation works by Irish artist Ailbhe Ní Bhriain.

The exhibition draws us into a world of theatricality and disorientation in which the familiar is re-imagined in light of a destabilised future. A decommissioned medical site is submerged in water; a chameleon is the sole inhabitant of a museum of computing history; a brain-coral becomes the centre piece of an iconic cathedral. Throughout the exhibition, diverse locations, histories and systems of knowledge are mysteriously compressed and conflated. A portrayal of environmental aftermath emerges, weaving a dreamlike narrative around the constructs through which humans have sought to understand and control the world.

An Experiment with Time takes its title from a 1927 publication by the Irish-born popular scientist JW Dunne. This book outlined a belief system based on precognitive dreams – a theory of parallel timelines whereby dream narratives predict future events. Using CGI, collage, and assemblage, Ni Bhriain references Dunne's text to explore our current relationship to both past and future, so profoundly unsettled and called into question by the threat of climate disaster. What results is an enigmatic visual vocabulary that connects to the uncertainty, contradiction and loss experienced in this time of crisis.

Ailbhe Ní Bhriain and CCA would like to thank The Arts Council of Ireland, the Golden Fleece Award, Culture Ireland and Cork City Council for their generous support of this exhibition.

Ailbhe Ní Bhriain

Ailbhe Ni Bhriain’s practice incorporates film, computer generated imagery, collage, tapestry, print and installation. Ni Bhriain's work is rooted in an exploration of imperial legacy, human displacement and the anthropocene. These intertwined subjects are approached through an associative use of narrative and a painstakingly crafted visual language that verges on the surreal. Ni Bhriain sidesteps directive positions and familiar binaries, exposing instead the layers of ambiguity and contradiction embedded in these fraught issues. The resulting worlds she creates are at once idiosyncratic, irresistible and deeply unsettling.




Event Type





11:00am — 6:00pm


All ages


Free and unticketed


Wheelchair accessible

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