07.04.22 - 29.05.22
Hannah Casey-Brogan / Faith Couch / Aidan Koch / Poot Mendes
“Blue smoke climbin' up the mountain, Blue smoke windin' round the bend…”
Blue Smoke is an exhibition inspired by the early music of iconic country singer, Dolly Parton. Taking Parton’s music as its starting point, the exhibition showcases the work of four contemporary artists who explore the idea of landscape and home within their work, although often in unexpected or unconventional ways. The exhibition presents a variety of works which navigate a range of issues, from race and sexuality to life in lockdown, family, the California wildfires, and alien planets.
Parton was born on 19 January 1946 in the great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. This is a landscape of misty valleys, deep forests, bright meadows, lofty vistas, dark hollows, and abundant Appalachian flora and fauna. Parton’s early music is particularly evocative of time and place, perhaps best exemplified in 1973’s My Tennessee Mountain Home, a concept album full of fond reminiscences of her natural surroundings (“I remember meadows and fields of golden wheat / I remember songbirds and sugarcane so sweet.”) and family life (“My mama and daddy must have loved each other / ‘Cause I had eleven sisters and brothers / And the girls worked just as hard as the boys did.”). Blue Smoke, in turn, sees this select group of artists consider their own relationship to their natural surroundings, whether that be rooted in nostalgia, engaged in the current cultural, social, and political moment, or totally reimagined.
BLUE SMOKE SOUNDTRACK
The music of Dolly Parton is central to Blue Smoke, audible throughout the exhibition space. My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy (1969) and My Tennessee Mountain Home (1973) are particularly important albums in the context of this exhibition, but Parton’s entire back catalogue has proved inspirational. The following records will be played on rotation during the exhibition:
In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad) (1969)
My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy (1969)
Coat of Many Colors (1971)
Touch Your Woman (1972)
My Tennessee Mountain Home (1973)
New Harvest…First Gathering (1977)
Blue Smoke (2014)
DOLLY ON SCREEN
The Naughton Gallery has partnered with Queen’s Film Theatre to curate a Dolly Parton Season as part of their collaborative SCREEN/PRINT project. Running through April and May 2022, the season will feature screenings of four iconic Dolly Parton films:
9 to 5 (1980)
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982)
Steel Magnolias (1989)
Straight Talk (1992)
SCREEN/PRINT sees the Naughton Gallery and QFT commission both local and international illustrators to design posters for classic films to coincide with screenings at QFT. This special Dolly Parton edition sees Irish illustrator Laura Callaghan tackle all four films in one, with various references to classic Dolly moments from the silver screen.
Visit the Naughton Gallery and QFT websites for more information on screening dates and showtimes, and follow our social media platforms for details on how to win a limited edition Dolly Parton print by Laura Callaghan.