Parallel Civilisations

The Drift, by London and Beirut-based artist Maeve Bren­nan (1917-1993), follows the stories of a handful of in­habitants of modern-day Lebanon, focusing on three characters in particular: a young mechanic who, in between tinkering with the collection of beat-up cars in his scrapy­ard, spends time drifting in his beloved BMW; a keeper of an ancient Roman temple who has been guarding the ruins from looting and vandalism and putting them back together for over four decades, as his father did before him; and a silent conservator who painstakingly puts to­gether broken pottery, fragment by fragment, out of the hundreds of pieces which can be found in his workshop.

Maeve Bren­nan: The Drift is at Spike Island, Bristol, until 17 September. For more information:

1. Maeve Brennan, The Drift (2017) HD video with sound, 50’ 29” (video still). Produced by Spike Island, Bristol and Chisenhale Gallery, London. Commissioned by Spike Island; Chisenhale Gallery; The Whitworth, The University of Manchester; and Lismore Castle Arts, Lismore. Courtesy of the artist.