Can you hear me Damo? is the first solo show from Cork-based artist Anne-May Tabb and is curated by Alison O’Shea.

Normally, an artist would take the written ‘Artist Statement’ as an opportunity to fancifully reveal hidden truths, meanings and intention behind the work, all the while struggling to translate their visual ideas into words. Instead, let’s not over complicate it – the work is simply about the everyday – something which the title of this exhibition encompasses wonderfully.

Can you hear me Damo? albeit a confusing phrase to 99% of viewers, is a sentence that has played a massive part in the artist’s life since the first lockdown. Anne-May has religiously played Zoom bingo every Thursday night in the hopes of winning big! She has come away with a few extra quid but more importantly she has found inspiration for her solo show. This phrase comes up traditionally as bingo is JUST about to begin, when players start to panic their Zoom mic will betray them at the most vital of times. Without fail you’ll hear a shout ‘Can you hear me Damo?’ which will always be met by a good natured ‘Don’t worry, don’t worry, I’ll hear you when you have a check*’

*Check = Bingo (for those non-accustomed to bingo lingo)

This reference to the everyday sets the tone for the exhibition. Anne-May explores aspects of the everyday, relying on spontaneity, humour and connections which are found in the seemingly mundane. Whether it’s obvious or not, the work relates to knocked-over pints, pigeons of the city and flatpack furniture of IKEA with subtle references to Cork throughout. The accessibility of the work is important to Anne-May as she enjoys seeing the viewer make connections to their own everyday lives through her work. In other words, don’t worry if you don’t ‘get it’, the work doesn’t take itself too seriously and just like the people of Cork it’s up for a bit of craic!

The objects used are either found objects or cheap and cheerful necessities. Anne-May makes a point to reuse and manipulate material and repurpose it as art, shining a light on the ‘normal’. The work is susceptible to what she can find and the ideas she can generate from it making her art process quick-paced and playful.

The show opened on February 1st in St Peter’s Vision Centre, North Main Street and ran until February 14th. As part of the show Anne-May Tabb and Alison O’Shea were in discussion with artist and curator Ciara Rodgers as part of the Faoin Spéir programme presented at the Living Commons, Wandesford Quay, Cork.

Supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.

As part of this exhibition we spent 2 weeks in one of the National Sculpture Factory’s project spaces.

There is also a limited edition 2 colour, hand finished risograph available.