TREES OF CIRCULAR MOTION
The Irish artist Orla Barry used the poems of Mimi Khalvati as the basis for her permanent installation, Trees of Circular Motion, on Lustplein. The work consists of eight circular enamel boards that refer to the name of the district, Het Rad (The Wheel).
The texts, which radiate from the centre, may also remind one of a diagrammatic map, with streets and squares leading out from the centre. Het Rad thus becomes a city on the edge of the city or a city within the city. Seen from a distance, Mimi Khalvati's words become stars that radiate their meaning.
Orla Barry had also previously made several unusual posters that refer to Mimi Khalvati's poems.
Two posters designed by the artist Orla Barry on which the sonnets of the Iranian-British poet Mimi Khalvati were printed in the shape of wheels were posted through every letterbox in the garden suburb of Het Rad (La Roue / The Wheel) in Anderlecht. She also added her own texts, in which she refers to the names of the streets in the suburb. Barry also created a similar permanent sculpture for this neighbourhood.
Of course visually the shapes on the posters refer to the name of the suburb, but the wheels could also represent a schematic map of the city with streets and squares leading away from the city centre to the outskirts. In this way Het Rad becomes a city on the edge of the city or a city within the city. The posters have no obvious orientation and can be hung up in any way, and from a distance the words form stars that radiate meaning.
In March 2007 the British-Iranian poet Mimi Khalvati visited Het Rad and met the Irish artist Orla Barry, who was working in the area at the time. Khalvati wrote twelve sonnets. Barry had them printed in the form of a wheel (het rad) on posters that were distributed house to house. She also added her own writings, playful evocations of the street names in Het Rad, which refer to the social concerns of the early twentieth century. Children at the local primary school - Het Rad - wrote their own poems and presented them at the school party. Khalvati's poetry also played a part in the local summer festivities.
Orla Barry (Wexford, 1969) does work that is rooted in language and symbols and is founded on the tension between visual and literary representation. This Irish artist writes poetic prose, scraps of text and excerpts that arise out of philosophical reflection, passing thoughts and aspects of her life, and also out of fictional narrative elements and sound associations. In her series of photos, publications, films and performances she deals with such topics as linguistic intoxication, proximity and distance, melancholy and frivolity, and friendship and family relationships. Her work has been shown in solo exhibitions at W139 in Amsterdam, the SMAK in Ghent, Camden Arts Centre in London, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin and Argos in Brussels. In 2010 she created The Stone Garden, an Irish sunken seating area to which the clients of the Psychiatric centre in Duffel can withdraw.