Marianne Keating
The Moon Is Right Over My Head

24/09/20 to 31/10/20, Thursday to Saturday 12-6pm
The Moon Is Right Over My Head addresses Irish/Jamaican anti-colonial ties and the hidden histories of the Irish diaspora in Jamaica.
Generously supported by Arts Council England. The events programme features contributions from Davinia Gregory, Merrise Crooks-Bishton, Derek Bishton, Holly Bynoe, Analee Davis, Matilde Dos Santos, Sharelly Emanuelson, Oneika Russell

The title is taken from the One Love Peace Concert at The National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on April 22, 1978, held during the height of the political civil war between two opposing parties: the People’s National Party and the Jamaican Labour Party. Bob Marley improvises lyrics as he waits to see if the impossible will happen: for Prime Minister Michael Manley to join him on stage with the leader of the opposition Edward Seaga, in the hopes of bringing peace to a waring Jamaica. The Moon Is Right Over My Head speaks of those moments on the cusp, when anything is possible, and nothing is certain.

Marianne Keating’s research examines the resulting legacy of the undocumented migration of the Irish diaspora to Jamaica during the nineteenth century, addressing their impact on contemporary Jamaica whilst responding to the cultural legacies of colonialism and the human consequences of imperialism. The exhibition examines both Ireland and Jamaica’s fight for self-determination and independence from the British Empire, which mirrored similar anti-colonial and liberation movements across the globe.

At the centre of the exhibition are three films. Better Must Come – A New Jamaica (2019) interrogates the impact of the enduring two-party political system and the resulting gang violence on contemporary Jamaica. A Beautiful Dream (2020) explores Ireland during 1920 and the escalation of the Irish War of Independence. A Riotous Assembly (2020) examines the 1938 workers strikes in Jamaica, a pivotal moment in the nation’s history.

Keating situates her practice within the historiographic turn in contemporary art discourse and in relation to the Archive, examining unrecorded, private and disregarded histories. Her multi-disciplinary approach to the research, the archival record and the archival image, questions the legitimacy of the Archive within recorded image and text. She aims to determine new historical readings that counter the dominant “master narratives” of Western nationhood, identity and culture, rewriting the histories of the dominated “Other” in order to amplify voices which were previously rendered mute.

The Moon Is Right Over My Head examines Irish/Jamaican connections and the search for a new liberation when history is not history, but what happens now.

Online Film Screenings:
Alongside the exhibition and online conversations, additional films by the artist will be available to view at

Landlessness 21/09 - 27/09
Land- Path of Migration 28/09 - 4/10
Below Cliff- A Vanishing Village 05/10 - 11/10
Journey to King’s Valley 12/10 - 18/10
They don’t do much in the cane-hole way 19/10 - 25/10
Make the Economy Scream 26/10 - 31/10

Online Conversations:

Thursday 8th October 8pm
Marianne Keating in conversation with Davinia Gregory

Thursday 15th October 8pm
Marianne Keating in conversation with Merrise Crooks-Bishton and Derek Bishton

Thursday 2nd October 8pm
A panel discussion with Holly Bynoe (St. Vincent & The Grenadines), Annalee Davis (Barbados), Matilde Dos Santos (Brazil/Martinique), Sharelly Emanuelson, (Aruba), and Oneika Russell (Jamaica).