December 2021 (online)
Cekca Het/Rhiannon Lowe
The site for Powltis is on Mynydd Twr which sits on the edge of Caergybi facing Wicklow, where your phone will ping a ‘Welcome to Ireland’. Unlike the nearby mountain range of Eryri this mountain sits alone. Its previous inhabitants who once ground wheat in a mortar in the hut circles on South Stack are long gone, and the industry that later gave it its utilitarian purpose has also vanished. The history sits on it, visibly holding remnants of time locked in these Roman forts, Neolithic roundhouses and magazine huts, between them heather and bracken flourish, and a powltis is offered to the mournful sighs that emit from these tombstone like monuments.
So much time marked out on the land like whitened scars that Bio-Oil did not sooth away, but what is striking is the abandonment of the place in the present time, the carcasses of human activity are only props for dog walkers to clamber by and the ferry route out to Dublin catches the mountain in stasis on the North side. Powltis tries to soak up these fragile scar tissues and weeping wounds with a warm soothing cloth of lilac, like the heather that blooms just after the summer.
This blanket of lilac delineates the histories of the land, the tint is now; the present; and unites us. In this unification these five artists works draw our gaze to a simulacrum of daily activity, the works bridge us between the past and now, a slippage in time occurs.