Circadian 2010

Image 1: Circadian. 2010. Multi-channel HD projection with sound. Installation view.   Image 2: Nocturne. 2010. Found objects, Resin, plinth, light. Installation view, Leitrim Sculpture Centre.


Circadian is a collaborative multi media exhibition by the artists Padraig Cunningham & Linda Shevlin and was exhibited in Leitrim Sculpture Centre in 2010.

The three channel video work also titled Circadian touches on themes that have been a growing concern in Cunningham and Shevlin’s individual practices, particularly the impact of industrialisation on the natural environment. This observational work references the cyclical nature of their immediate surroundings, which are intentionally generic, and visually explores the consistent attempt to diminish darkness.

Lighting has long played a role in shaping the urban and rural way of life, both culturally and socially. Historically, rural dwellers in particular were always much more closely linked to the rhythms of nature, the rising and falling of the sun being a familiar daily phenomenon for those who worked the land. It’s unclear whether it was due an innate fear of the dark but industrialisation provided the solutions to shortening the hours of impenetrable dark through the development of artificial light and from the early 1800’s introduced it to cities and public spaces.

Circadian references apparent scientific developments in the plight to harness the bioluminescence substance exuded by dead herrings in the hope that this would lead to a formula for an organic source of light that had the capacity to regenerate itself, a phenomena written about by W.G. Sebald in Rings of Saturn.

It questions the necessity for artificial light at all in many of the vacant, absent scenes presented. Darkness is as essential to our biological make up, our internal clock, as light itself. The regular oscillation of waking and sleep in our lives – one of our circadian rhythms – is nothing less than a biological expression of the regular oscillation of light on Earth. Pre-industrial man apparently slept a segmented sleep. First sleep ending around midnight when people would routinely waken and get up, second sleep occurring after some time spent reading, talking or even visiting. It’s believed this is mans natural sleeping pattern. Through the persistence of industrialization, the lengthening of days and shortening of nights, this pattern became obsolete.

In addition to the video installation, Cunningham and Shevlin presented another new work titled Nocturne. Nocturne attempts to track and intervene in the progressive cycle of domestic vegetation’s development. Presented as a phantasmagorical sequence the works portrays the ebb and flow of growth and decay.



Linda Shevlin has curated, facilitated and managed both large and small-scale visual arts projects including the 53rd Venice Biennale where she was project manager for the representative artists Gareth Kennedy & Sarah Browne and is Tulca Festival curator for 2018.

In 2017 she was the invited curator for the Hennessy Art Fund, purchasing new works for the IMMA collection and also curated the visual art programme for Bealtaine Festival 2017/2018 where she developed projects, commissions, residencies & exhibitions. with numerous Irish artists including Vivienne Dick, Kathy Prendergast, Kevin Gaffney, Pauline Cummins and Frances Mezzetti.

In 2016 she curated Radical Actions at RMIT Galleries, Melbourne as part of Culture Ireland’s 2016 International Programme ‘I Am Ireland’. The exhibition featured works by Duncan Campbell, Jesse Jones, Kennedy Browne and Seamus Nolan.

Other recent independent curatorial projects include Americana: Future Rural featuring John Gerrard (IE), Brian Duggan (IE), Kim Shively (USA) and M12 Studio (USA) at The Dock, Leitrim and Amharc Fhine Gall X commissioning Ella de Búrca, Ruth Clinton and Niamh Morriarty.

She has been awarded the Arts Council of Ireland’s Visual Arts Curatorial Residency award for three consecutive years (2013 – 2016) and in that time has produced a series of events and exhibitions in County Roscommon including newly commissioned works by Maria McKinney (IE) and Sean Lynch (IE); public art projects by Sean Rafferty (AUS), Ruth E. Lyons (IE) and Deirdre O’Mahony (IE), exhibitions by Martin Parr (UK), Duncan Campbell (IE) & Eamon O’Kane (IE) and a symposium titled The Workers with contributions from Adam Sutherland of Grizedale Arts (UK) & M12 Collective (USA) among others.

Shevlin is currently curator in residence with Roscommon Arts Centre & Solstice Arts Centre.


Linda Shevlin
Tivanagh School
Co. Roscommon
+353 86 605 2571
+353  71 966 4606