Frances is a researcher, field and shoreworker who works in marine, heritage research and community projects. She completed her Heritage training ‘Learning from the Landscape’ with a group exhibition in 2014 and was awarded a grant by the Heritage Council for the completion of Loop Head Peninsula Heritage and Vernacular audit carried out over two years.
In 2018 she was part of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s sailing expedition to Iceland onboard Celtic Mist.
Frances completed her Mould Making and Casting Course at LSAD in 2018 and had a joint exhibition of her work at the Cultúrlann Sweeney, Kilkee in November 2018.
Frances’s recent research work and exhibition material was ‘Five Stories from the Headland’ for Loop Head Lighthouse in 2022.
Her work, ‘A Necklace of Sea Days’ is an ongoing material conversation on the study of the materiality of seaweed.
Artist’s Statement of Frances Bermingham
‘Achievement is smaller than men think. What is large is the sky, the earth, the sea, the soul.’
I am a gatherer and collector of things, of found objects both natural and manmade. Material diversity is a constant.
I am a maker of things. I arrange and rearrange them to form and shape my story of living and surviving within a coastal seascape.
My daily vernacular is that of tide and wind and shore and bog. I am drawn to the edge, the boundary of things.
In my practice I have chosen the materiality of seaweed as a sustainable natural resource washed ashore by tides to make artifacts, objects and wearable forms.
My ongoing work is researching the cultural value and qualities of seaweed as a material language and the keeping of contemporaneous notes as I go.
In my work, I investigate the use of cordage – súgán, nettle, dandelion. The use of existing cardboard moulds from packing, brown paper, casting materials and 24ct gold leaf asking the question of how we value materials.
Dabhach Bhríde Exhibition
Frances Bermingham’s work explores the material language and tacit knowledge of votive offerings left by those who visit at St. Brigid’s Well. This placing and layering of crosses, rosaries, scapulars, rags, found objects, things of the pocket or person on the religious statues and topography of the well’s enclosure mark the processes of ritual, intentions, repetition, the fading traces of colour, form and decay. In her work she uses dried seaweed, hand woven cordage, cardboard, casting materials to make artifacts, wearable forms and objects.