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Malcolm McClay: Swimming to Inishkeel

  • 100 Lafayette Street, Third Floor Shaw Center for the Arts Baton Rouge Baton Rouge, LA 70801
  • LSU Museum of Art at the Shaw Center for the Arts
  • November 1, 2018 - February 10, 2019
  • Recurring daily
  • Price: Adults, 13 and older: $5Children, 12 and under: FreeMembers: FreeUniversity student with ID: FreeAdmission is free on the first Sunday of every month.
  • 225-389-7209
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Swimming to Inishkeel presents recent multi-media, sculptural, and performance work by LSU School of Art Professor Malcolm McClay. While McClay’s earlier work engaged the political and the external, this body of work turns sharply inward to the spiritual and meditative. His most recent durational performance Chasing the Invisible meditates on his daily swims to Inishkeel, an island off the coast of Donegal, Ireland. While there, McClay swims two hundred fifty meters from the shore to the island of Inishkeel and back each day. Through these durational, rhythmic exertions, McClay finds focus—the “thin space.”

“In the Celtic tradition a thin place is the name given to a place where the visible and invisible worlds touch or are at their closest, a space where the veil between the temporal and celestial worlds has grown thin,” says McClay. “For me, Inishkeel is such a place…The coldness and clarity of the water, the stillness and unchanging nature of the landscape bring me to a place where I am more alive and connected than at any other time.”

Since arriving at LSU’s School of Art in 2003, McClay has become a dedicated member of the artistic community at LSU and in New Orleans, where he is a founding member of the artist-run Good Children Gallery. His artistic and teaching practice ranges across sculpture, installation, and performance and demonstrates a strong commitment to community organizing and equal commitment to teaching, which manifests most fully in his immersive Art in Ireland Summer Program for LSU School of Art students.

Swimming to Inishkeel will be on display November 1, 2018–February 10, 2019. This exhibition is a collaboration between the LSU School of Art and the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, where it was on view January–March, 2018. A full-color catalog was produced by the LSU School of Art in conjunction with the exhibition, which is now available in the LSU Museum Store.