There is a Volcano Behind my House

 6 June - 15 August 2021

The Rock Cycle, Ilana Halperin, 2021. Co

Ilana Halperin, The Rock Cycle, 2021, Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute

For one of her largest solo exhibitions to date, Ilana Halperin has created new works inspired by the geology of the island of Bute where she now spends much of her time. Situated throughout the house, four distinct yet contiguous series of sculptures, works on paper and textiles reference ‘immigrant’ minerals embedded in the fabric of the building, as well as geologic phenomena found on the island. Halperin describes this work as a constellation combining personal, poetic and corporeal responses to the house and island. 

 

For over twenty years Halperin’s work has explored the relationship between geology and daily life. Through drawing parallels between very personal events, for example when she was born or when her father died, with the birth of a volcano, she has allowed for a space to think about our place within the geological time continuum from a more intimate perspective. To articulate a corporeal sense of geological time, she forms sculptures using natural geological processes, which change within our own life spans – from high velocity calcifying springs in France to geothermal pools in Japan. Her work deals with geological intimacy, vivacity, and the uncanny fact that something as apparently inert and certain as stone was once liquid, airborne, ash and alive. 

To visit the exhibition at Mount Stuart please contact contactus@mountstuart.com to book. (View more)

Field Studies (from Kilchattan Bay to Ha

Ilana Halperin, Field Studies (from Kilchattan Bay to Hawk’s Neb) 1-36, 2019, Watercolour on Fabriano Paper, Install view at Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute

Our Hands Enact the Geologic Process, pa

Ilana Halperin, Our Hands Enact the Geologic Process (part one), 2020, Recycled wool (light blue and gold), 140 x 500cm. Install view at Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute

Our Hands Enact the Geologic Process, pa

Ilana Halperin, Our Hands Enact the Geologic Process (part one), 2020, Recycled wool (red and gold),

140 x 250cm. Install view at Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute

The Library (detail), Ilana Halperin, 20

Ilana Halperin, The Library, 2020, Etched books of 400 - 800 million year old Inverness-shire and New England Mica, Install view at Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute

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Excerpts from the Library is an audio field guide designed to take you on a journey from Glasgow to the Isle of Bute. The work is presented as part of Glasgow International 2021.

 

The field guide builds on Halperin’s narrative performative lectures to tell a new story of love, lava, loss and the unexpected journeys that we now find ourselves on together. It also marks the artist’s 20th anniversary of working on active, quiet and sleeping volcanoes. Listeners are invited to embark on a domestic geologic field excursion with the artist and contributors Andrew Patrizio and Veronica Geiger, which takes us into Halperin’s solo exhibition There Is A Volcano Behind My House, Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute.

We encourage listeners to experience it whilst travelling, walking, working or engaging in other armchair expeditions. We recommend listening with headphones.

 

Commissioned in partnership with Mount Stuart Trust, with generous support from Creative Scotland.

Credits: Voices of Ilana Halperin, Andrew Patrizio & Veronica Geiger; Sound mix by Kaya Fraser; Mastering by John Harcus; Additional technical support by Charlotte Rogers; Design by After the News 

Ilana Halperin, There is a Volcano Behind My House at Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute. Directed by Connolly Clark Films.

The Library (detail), Ilana Halperin, 20

Ilana Halperin, The Library

2020, Etched books of 400 - 800 million year old Inverness-shire and New England Mica

 

The Library references the shimmering mica in the ceiling of the Drawing Room. Sourcing mica from both sides of the Atlantic, Halperin presents an alternative geologic library of laser etched ‘books’ of mica with tourmaline alongside research and archival material. Ilana describes, “For years, the skyscrapers in New York were firmly planted in mid-town and down at the end of the island not by choice, but because there the dense pegmatite-rich rock was exposed at the surface - mica schist strong enough to hold the weight of towers. This same type of rock inhabits the coast of Maine, vast areas of Scotland and Riverside Park along the Hudson. As a kid growing up, I know mica from streets that glinted in the sun, playgrounds peopled by boulders that seemed made of silver and gold, rocks on the beach with layers you could peel open like pages in a book. Mineral samples of mica are sometimes termed 'books'.  If you find a stone on West 83rd street and leave it on the granite plaque nearby, your book of mica becomes part of a memorial to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. I imagine all these volumes together. A library composed of only rocks and minerals, every layer another narrative. It continues to grow.” 

The Library (detail), Ilana Halperin, 20

Ilana Halperin, The Library (1), 2020

Etched book of 400 million year old Maine Mica

28 x 17 cm

Unique

The Library (detail), Ilana Halperin, 20

Ilana Halperin, The Library (16 & 17), 2020

Etched book of 800 million year old Inverness-shire Mica

9 x 10 cm (each)

Unique

The Library (detail), Ilana Halperin, 20

Ilana Halperin, The Library (21), 2020

Etched book of 800 million year old Inverness-shire Mica

7.5 x 7 cm

Unique

My Conglomerate Family I, II, III, Ilana

Ilana Halperin, My Conglomerate Family I, II, III

2019, Watercolour and graphite on Fabriano Paper

 

A conglomerate is a sedimentary rock composed of many different kinds of rocks naturally bound together. A family, just like a rock, can be composed of many parts. Within these watercolours, rocks feature as geologic portraits of loved ones. Halperin describes: “Each rock is a stand in for someone that is part of my family by choice. When I made these works - before the pandemic, I had been imagining and trying to conjure more expansive ways of thinking about my own family, from very deep-time family lines drawn in the calcium carbonate of our teeth and bones, to more immediate alternative families based not only on blood, but on how we choose each other, how we love each other, who and how we support one another. Conglomerates held together by feeling. And now, in some ways, we are part of an international conglomerate, intrinsically bound together by the virus. Invisible glue, holding everyone together in a shared catastrophe. I hope we can be bound together by our urgent sense of humanity.”

PFIH-0421-0002.jpg

Ilana Halperin, My Conglomerate Family I (my conglomerate family), 2019

Watercolour and graphite on Fabriano Paper

34.29 x 44.45cm

Unique

PFIH-0421-0038.jpg

Ilana Halperin, My Conglomerate Family II (pseudomorph sisters), 2019

Watercolour and graphite on Fabriano Paper

34.29 x 44.45cm

Unique

PFIH-0421-0028.jpg

Ilana Halperin, My Conglomerate Family I (self portrait as jasper), 2019

Watercolour and graphite on Fabriano Paper

34.29 x 44.45cm

Unique

Field Studies (from Kilchattan Bay to Ha

Ilana Halperin, Field Studies (from Kilchattan Bay to Hawk’s Neb) 1-36

2019, Watercolour on Fabriano Paper

 

In increasingly complex forms and palette, Halperin’s watercolours form the key and the foundation to her works at Mount Stuart. Carefully situated in the heart of the house they represent the processes of formation, erosion and growth throughout the years and the seasons.  They include references to the Suidhe, the volcano behind Halperin’s home on Bute, and the Highland Boundary Fault Line, which bisects the island, and binds two migratory landmasses together. These works also delicately draw together field observations from around the island with uncannily similar colours Ilana encountered while archiving textile swatches from her mother’s 1960s/70s fashion line snazzi

Ilana Halperin, Field Studies #22, 2019

Watercolour on Fabriano Paper

34.29 x 44.45cm

Unique

Ilana Halperin, Field Studies #28, 2019

Watercolour on Fabriano Paper

34.29 x 44.45cm

Unique

Ilana Halperin, Field Studies #35 , 2019

Watercolour on Fabriano Paper

26.67 x 33.02 cm

Unique

Ilana Halperin, Field Studies #17, 2019

Watercolour on Fabriano Paper

34.29 x 44.45 cm

Unique