Amanda Jane Graham

Don't Step On The Cracks


Don’t Step On The Cracks presents the work of eight contemporary artists working across a range of media, including video, installation, drawing, painting, collage and sculpture. The title is mindful of a game, rhyme, or superstition recorded in print and re-enacted from as far back as the 19th century. Don’t Step On The Cracks might initially appear as a carefree and amusing activity. Still, there are very dark undertones associated with it and any mistake could have had a potentially detrimental effect on a Mother’s health and a child’s life in general. Today this game and rhyme is now a memory. However, superstitions are culturally and collectively shared and handed down through families for many generations, for many others such as athletes, gamblers and actors, these customs are rituals.


Stuart H.Blum and Lucille H.Blum speak at length about superstitions stating that ‘It is suggested that, particularly in current times, the sense of control inherent in superstitious belief and practice has a therapeutic value in the reduction of anxiety. This value may account for the survival of common superstitions despite centuries of advance in scientific knowledge. The existence of many beliefs in various common superstitions may occur as a form of anxiety reduction, even among the well informed and highly educated.’ [i]


Don’t Step On The Cracks refers not only to superstitions and childhood games but too fearful environments that so many within our history and culture have experienced. The exhibition addresses issues of abandonment and oppression, memory and narrative, play and humour, creating a chain reaction of fret and fortune, charm and conflict that is both frightening and uplifting at the same time. Bernie Masterson and Niamh O’Connor remind us of institutional anguish. At the same time, Hazel Ramsay emphasises the dark undercurrent of global exploitation in a manner that is like this age-old game, both spirited and solemn. Harald de Bary’s triggers unease with Carol Wood, causing us to consider separation and longing, Jessica Zekus highlights the complexities of childhood and bittersweet memories that resonate within it. Christopher Abrams and Catherine Ryan playfully challenge and rework commonplace materials, the artworks are light-hearted, funny and receptive of childhood freedoms, encompassing the liberty and contentment that every childhood deserves. Lemn Sissay eloquently reminds us that, ‘Harry Potter was a foster child, Cinderella was a foster child, Batman was orphaned, Matilda, Moses and Luke Skywalker… How have we not made that connection? — between these incredible characters of popular culture and religions and the fostered, adopted or orphaned child in our midst.’ [ii] 



Amanda Jane Graham

Amanda Jane Graham exhibits both nationally and internationally with many upcoming exhibitions. Her work has featured in many publications. Graham completed an MA Fine Art at National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 2011.

Art work by Bernie Masterson

You are invited to the exhibition launch on Friday October 30th from 7.30pm.

The exhibition runs until November 20th, 2015.

Solas Gallery Ballinamore

Opening times during exhibition:

Tuesday—Saturday 10am—6pm

Solas Art Gallery

Main st.



071 9644210




STUART H.BLUM and LUCILLE H.BLUM @ Psychological Reports Psychological Reports,19741974.35, 567-571

 [ii] A Child Of The State

Lemn Sissay, TED



Cloud 3

Christopher Abrams



Looking Behind The Curtain

Harald de Bary

Installation images of Don't Step On The Cracks at Solas Gallery, November 2015


© Amanda Jane Graham