Domestic abuse occurs within a physical arena with far reaching implications within the psychological. Estranged is a tangible response to this. Body & mind become “estranged”, a disembodied reaction to abuse. Domestic accoutrements play a key role in this large site-specific installation which is constructed from deconstructed objects that are painted pink and are then stacked vertically in suffocating layers. This layered assemblage of flattened and repurposed domestic fixtures slots into itself in a jigsaw fashion. Layers of handstitched textiles also play a significant role. Together they insulate the gallery space acting as a type of obstacle that serves as a physical representation to that invisible barrier experienced by those within the realm of abuse. Two spaces exist simultaneously; that of the gallery itself and the Estranged Space that lines its perimeter.

Cleary discusses that ‘in an abusive relationship, the victim can feel as if she is not fully present, I suppose it is a form of self-protection, to guard the psyche in overwhelming times; the work as a whole is as a reaction to HER entrapment in the home’.

Supported by the Arts Council Ireland & Tipperary Arts Council

Estranged December 2022 /January 2023 in the Ballai Bana Gallery, Belfast.