From bedtime stories to legends, tragedies, chronicles and rumours, we all love a good story. They make us laugh and cry, they teach us lessons and morals and they even sometimes give us wisdom and new ways of seeing. Whatever their purpose they are everywhere we go. Spoken out of mouths, written in books, lying in the abyss of our imaginations. Inspired by the Seanchaí, a respected Irish storyteller and bearer of folklore, Andrew Moynihan explores the oral story. Handful of Stew transforms the oral legend into a visual experience that surrounds the viewer. Linking this curiosity in his Irish heritage with his interest Australian Indigenous oral storytelling, Moynihan creates his own ancient tale. A tale of a troubled teenage boy rescued by a shark and brought to solid ground. Mystified the viewer becomes immersed in the story, amongst the dark shadows and blotched shapes revealing themselves in the monoprints. Although the events of the story seem impossible, one can relate to the boys feelings and in this respect Moynihan imports his ancient tale into the present. One can connect with the story, even though its events seem mystical and impossible. Moynihan therefore reminds us of the role of the story in our lives. He celebrates the simple presence of the story and leaves it up to you to decide what you do with it.
Adapted from catalogue essay by Isabelle Morgan; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.