Martin Healy

Martin Healy’s works examine the conflict between scientifically proven theory and belief systems to create narratives that are a synthesis of fact, fiction and mythology.

The Terrain series, showing in the RHA Foyer, forms part of an ongoing body of photographs that explore our contested relationship with the natural world by examining the cultural constructs used to shape our perception of ‘nature’. Each image is suffused with an uneasy stillness that slowly discloses the artifice of the surrounding environment and reveals the plants as enclosed specimens – substitutes for the real, designed to fulfil our desire for an experience with nature.

From gardens to zoos we create artificial environments hewn from the raw materials of the ‘natural world’ which are then reshaped and altered to depict a passive image of nature. These efforts to instrumentalise ‘nature’ – to recast it in a familiar pictorial language – underlines our desire for an idealised image that keeps the reality of the natural world at a distance.

Special thanks to The National Botanic Gardens and The Office of Public Works.





Image: Martin Healy, Terrain I, 2015, Archival pigment print, 80 x 100cm, Image courtesy of the artist.

Artist Bio

Martin Healy lives and works in Dublin. He works predominantly through the mediums of photography, film and sculpture and his works have been shown widely both nationally and internationally. He has taken part in residencies at Cove Park, Scotland, 2014; HIAP-International Residency Exchange, Helsinki, 2010; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, 2008; Artists’ Residency Programme, Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2007; the International Studio Programme Residency, PS1 Contemporary Art Centre, New York, 2000/01.

Solo exhibitions include: The Augury, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, 2018; A moment twice lived, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, 2016; Terrain, Galway Arts Centre, 2015 (Galway International Arts Festival); Aether, Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin, 2014; The Future Perfect, Rubicon Projects, Brussels, 2013; Last Man, Crawford Art Gallery (screening room), Cork, 2012; The Inhabitant, Temple Bar Gallery and studios, Dublin, 2011; Facsimile, Lismore Castle Arts, St Carthage Hall, 2011.

Group exhibitions include: Traces, Kasteel Wijlre, Netherlands, 2018; Double Take, The Glucksman Gallery, Cork, 2018; The Crawford at the Castle, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, 2017; Aesthetica Short Film Festival, York, UK, 2016; Crash Visors, Rua Red, Dublin, 2016; Tulca festival of visual arts, Galway, 2015; Dead Eye, Rua Red, Dublin, 2015; Cosmic Dust, Visual Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow, 2015; Transit and Transport (screening), Fact, Liverpool, 2014; Island: New Art from Ireland, Galleria Civica Di Modena, 2013; Still Light, Gallery Augusta, Suomenlinna, Helsinki, 2013; Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland, Visual, Carlow, 2013; Fata Morgana, Catalyst Arts, Belfast, 2012; Cutting a Door, Eastlinks Gallery, Shanghai, 2012; Here’s the Tender Coming, Pallas Projects, Dublin, 2011; Its all true, Morono Kiang Gallery, Los Angeles, 2011; Terminal Convention, Cork Airport / Static Gallery, Liverpool, 2011.