The Decorative Arts of West Cork (Cv/Visual Arts Research Book 156)
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Editors and affiliations. We are also in receipt of an annual programming grant from the Arts Council and have in the past also successfully been funded via other Arts Council initiatives for projects, tours and residencies. Roscommon Arts Centre provides a yearround, multi-disciplinary programme of events, which provides opportunities for the local community to actively engage with a range of art forms through participatory and performance-based activities.follow link
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The centre presents work by professional and community-based artists in theatre, dance, music, comedy and literature, along with a programme of cinema in the auditorium space. The visual art programme includes exhibitions in the gallery space and also sight-specific projects at locations around the county. We act primarily as a receiving house, recognising the importance of supporting artists, companies and practitioners at all stages of their careers, through commissioning, co-producing and touring.
For specific projects we also provide complementary use of our space, along with administrative and technical support. To date, this has included projects in theatre, visual art and music. Supported by Roscommon County Council Arts Office, RVAF was set up to provide visual artists based in or from the county with a platform to develop their practice through professional training, events, talks and exhibitions, while also providing access to information and opportunities from beyond the region.
In response to the needs and requirements of the artists in the county, the RVAF award was set up in We have a strong commitment to supporting the creation of new work for youth and family audiences and have facilitated a number of short artist residencies. More recently these have focused strongly on working with older people. Our performance programme is complemented by workshops, post and pre-show discussions and other initiatives that are designed to allow audiences to engage with the art forms on a different level, while the exhibition programme is supported by free tours and workshops for school and community groups.
We have worked closely with our curator in residence a role that is currently funded by the Arts Council and colleagues in the Roscommon County Council Arts Office to develop and support the roll out of a visual arts strategy for the county. Our annual programme includes two festivals aimed at families. The outcomes of these workshops were installed in our gallery during the Lollipops festival, allowing our younger audiences to engage with the work created by their peers.
The centre also works closely with the Irish Film Institute on its schools programme, titled Filmed, which is geared at second level students. Has this fixed, rural base intrinsically influenced the projects you undertake or do you harbour more nomadic tendencies in your methodology?
Richard Saxton: The Feed Store is our base of operations. It is stout and exudes a deep feeling of rootedness. It seems like that building has always been there — whether in our town of Byers or any other small community like it on the American Plains. The Feed Store has been half burned down and rebuilt. It has a deep pull from the root, the earth. A space like The Feed Store and absolutely the surrounding landscape social, cultural, environmental and built have a big impact on the work we make. We can house groups of up to 15 people there. We run an experiential summer rural arts school, host potlucks, screenings, performances and of course guest artists, curators and researchers like yourself.
Beyond The Feed Store, our home terrain comes out in the many readily available themes of our region: imagery, the color palette, the textures and materials of the region all impact the work. The majority of the regional population, and especially urban folks, have little direct experience with this landscape. If the larger cultural narrative goes into the world written by urbanity, elitism and through the cult of personality, there has to be an antidote. Working in rural communities with small budgets, and through connective means, allows us to access a different type of practice.
Those things seem needed to me right now. If we roll over and let the real estate developers who are usually partners of or on the boards of these art institutions write the narrative, the artists and real community will lose. Art is currently existing as a marketing tool. The arts are of course highly urban-centric in both funding and practice in the US. Rent in Dublin is increasing exponentially while basic housing standards are barely being met in many of these properties.
We have some infrastructural issues, obviously, but with investment in basic services in rural towns I think cultural initiatives and LS: As a group your output ranges from experiential, one-off building arts communities could break the cycle of depopulasocial events to social sculptures in gallery contexts.
How do you negotiate your relationship with of two things. First, either a craft or hobby artist kind of community. And, you around rural issues? Or do you think there is scope for a dis- lery kind of thing. The second, and I think ruption in the programming of the more formal, culturally cen- the more critical type, are the larger, funded ones.
I was just talking about this with another writer the other day. We have this monster of tred institutions in the form of non-commodified artworks? Funders are all ratively. We want to work with people and places that can think lined up behind it. It seems to make everyone feel good. More often than not, the developers have already knocked. That place was humming with artists and musicians at the time; there was a coffee shop, a bar, and it was gritty.
The place is now outrageously expensive and no emerging artist could ever live there. The artists did. And where are the artists now? Pushed out, some having to go to low-income housing situations without any studios. LS: M12, along with other US rural practitioners, have been gaining national and international recognition for their projects over the last decade or so. You were recently invited by Lucy Lippard to participate in one of a series of panel discussions organised by her during her time in residence at the University of Wyoming Art Department.
How did this invitation come about? RS: Lucy has been a great supporter of our work over the last several years. She is someone who really believes in place and integrity. Kirsten Stoltz, who was our programmer for four years, also worked with Lucy on a project about art and climate change, and Kirsten had lived in Santa Fe for years, so they might have gotten to know each other there as well.
You know, that whole New Mexico draw is really interesting. Two years ago we participated in a project through the Santa Fe Art Institute. We were looking at wild horse issues in the American West and drawing an arch from the image of the romantic wild horse to the slaughtering of horses for food production, making connections through various means. We made a book and vinyl record about it called An Equine Anthology.
I imagine inviting all of us was a natural extension of her writing. The expectations and perceived outcomes can often be linked to a notional idea that art can gentrify or drastically change communities. RS: In some ways change and how art can facilitate change, is tied to the people and place you work with.
But, that said, change is something we think of as being constant — rural communities are in so much flux these days — so good change, or bad change, or lasting change, or systematic change, that might be something to explore further. I think in our projects we are trying to get closer to an idea of elemental awareness that exists outside of the city, both for ourselves and for those who engage with our work.
We see our practice as a series of connections, much like an aesthetic network or terminal with many ideas, people and experiences interfacing. I live in Leitrim, which is considered peripheral by some, both in terms of its geographical location and its perceived distance from the Dublin art scene. The historical and geographic fluidity of the global art scene suggests that there is no longer such a thing as a centre for the art world.
The internet has changed the former model in which everything was mediated through a centre.
During these two years I have found Leitrim a perfect base for my independent art and research practice. I have a studio in the Leitrim Sculpture Centre LSC in Manorhamilton, which offers a vibrant working environment and technical support for making work. The extremely active workshop, residency and exhibition programme at LSC brings a constant flow of new faces to the town.
I travel frequently to participate in residencies and exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. These are mostly in rural locations where I can research the dynamics between local and global commonalities of land use and resource management. I am interested in the struggles faced by communities in the light of climate change, water issues, mining and fossil fuel extraction.
I have been researching the strategies developed by rural communities and indigenous groups to resist and to protest against the contamination of land and water bodies by extreme energy processes, intensive farming practices and governmental economic initiatives. Most Leitrim-based artists have benefitted in some way from the schemes, bursaries and residencies that are on offer. The Dock in Carrick on Shannon and the Leitrim Sculpture Centre in Manorhamilton both have vibrant residency, workshop, training and exhibition programmes.
Despite these supports, I have found it difficult to survive financially as an independent artist in Ireland. Being a rural dweller can make accessibility to national opportunities more difficult. A lot of time is spent in the car, so having one is a necessity, given that public. Dublin remains the hub for rail transport and the bus network can be circuitous and time consuming. It once took me seven hours to travel by bus from Limerick to Sligo! In terms of practice opportunities I have had more success recently with applications for international residencies.
The concerns within my practice seem to resonate in regions where climate change, energy production, environmental human rights and the contribution that artists can make to these fundamental questions are taken very seriously. Artists in Ireland have seen a significant reduction in income since and with the situation worsening it seems that more and more artists will have to seek opportunities overseas.
My research and project work has involved collaboration and consultation with artists, scientists, historians, archivists, indigenous elders and environmental activists, among others. Damn Right! Broken Hill is an isolated mining city in the far west outback of New South Wales. The first Australian city to be awarded heritage status, its ore rich mines provided much of the early wealth for settlers in Australia from the s. With most of the mines now depleted, Broken Hill is a post-industrial city with a diminishing population and is currently experiencing a severe, almost total, failure of its water supply from the manmade lake system of reservoirs on the Darling River.
I constructed and carried a portable sculpture through two performative walks in the rain-stressed environs of Broken Hill. One walk brought. With a shared interest in the potential of art to bring about change through direct action in sitespecific public arenas, Wendy and I developed a street poster, zine and performance project devised to draw attention to climate change, infrastructural failure and state mismanagement of the water systems in rural New South Wales. The unfolding water provision crises in rural New South Wales in places such as Broken Hill and Menindee has had little nationwide media coverage in Australia despite the seriousness of the situation facing the communities along the Darling River.
Our work in Sydney was in support of the Menindee Lakes: We Want Action Group and Watershed Alliance groups, who are agitating for a fair and equitable potable water system. We posted the hand printed posters around the streets of Sydney, also using social media and interviews on ABC radio as a way to reach broader audiences. The zine and performance urged Australians to take action by signing a petition to the Senate to enshrine Water as a Human Right in the Australian constitution.
Damn right! Here I will continue to explore human resilience to the threats of climate change and what that means for communities who live in semi-arid, high altitude locations. Santa Fe is 7, feet above sea level and the Santa Fe River is considered by the conservation group American Rivers to be the most endangered river in the United States.
The length of the residency, which will last three months, encourages interdisciplinary collaboration and community engagement. This will be a fantastic opportunity for me to spend time with a group of artists interested in the broader context of water rights and the complex relationship between embodiment and landscape. Wexford County Buildings will host the show from 10 June — 29 July Notes 1. Situated at a latitude of 66 degrees North, just south of the Arctic Circle, it experiences 24 hours of day light for 3 weeks each summer, contrasted with just 2 hours of daylight in mid winter.
My practice is an ongoing investigation into the nature of time. In I began a body of research titled Reflections on, a study of time in the landscape. Looking for a landscape where measured time had no business, I undertook the first iteration of the research in Portnoo, County Donegal, a place where time is signified by the changing light, the path of the sun on the horizon and the movement of tides across a peninsula.
There I set out to see and record on Super 8 film a single day from sunrise to sunset, documenting the shifts and changes in light and tide through the course of the day. This research, and the resulting work, emphasised the cyclical nature of time, which is particularly visible in the movement of the sun and the shift from day to night. This work posed a question: how does time exist in a landscape in which the most basic form of time, the movement of day to night, is absent? In October I received project funding from Rehab Ireland to further my research into the nature of time in the landscape and set about finding a residency that would allow me to further explore this new question.
Visiting the Old School Art House Residency in June provided this opportunity, facilitating prolonged engagement with the landscape, but this time in an environment where the sun never sets. The northern half of the island is a bird sanctuary with a single yellow lighthouse marking the tip. The Old School Art House is set in the old school building and is located right in the village about five minutes walk from the harbour. It can accommodate up to four artists each month. The local people are warm and welcoming; over the years they have become accustomed to the presence of artists in their community.
Through various exhibition openings and events, a social outlet for the Islanders has been created and they have come to respect the work of the visiting artists by regularly attending these happenings. In a small community the presence of four different artists each month. From 10 June to 7 July each year, the sun remains constantly above sea level, moving incrementally higher from the horizon at midnight with each passing day, reaching its highest turning point on 21 June, the summer solstice.
After this, it begins its descent on the horizon once again. Due to the shallow angle of the June sun, the descent and subsequent assent of the sun is long and drawn out. The warm tones of the late evening and early morning linger for hours and the island is bathed in a seemingly endless hue of warm, rich colours that are reflected in the sea and the snow on the mountain tops. At that time of year, both sunrise and sunset occur in the north.
On each clear night, I set out along the gravel path to the clearing and photographed the sun as it crossed over the horizon. The sun shifted its position on the horizon with each morning that I returned to photograph and film in that sublime landscape. I saw that the extent of that shift denoted the changing angle of the earth with each day that passed. I noticed that in early July, once the sun disappeared under the horizon once again, the change in the angle of the earth would be visible, not in the height of the sun above.
Rising and setting occurred to the north in summer, to the south in winter, and due east to west at the equinoxes in September and March. However, in the incremental shifts of the position of the sun, I saw not the day, but the year, as I photographed the sun dipping over the northern horizon. The island being positioned so close to the Arctic Circle meant that in mid winter the sun would rise and set in the south. This makes the yearly cycle very apparent in the landscape.
On the last day, as the sun approached the mountain to the west, I turned the camera and took a series of photos making up a degree panorama of the landscape around me. I began thinking about how I could get the contrasting image of the winter sun rising and setting in the south. As I left the island I was already planning my return. When I returned in December a pristine blanket of white snow covered the landscape and the island was steeped in a near-constant night.
On clear days the sun was just visible behind the mountain tops; the landscape bathed in deep pink and bright orange hues. Temperatures dipped as low as minus sixteen degrees. With the cold constricting the amount of time I could spend photographing, the darkness dictating when I could venture out and the snow and ice limiting my movement, I found that working on the island in December had to be much more focused.
I picked one thing each day to try and attain and kept a close eye on the weather forecast. With only three days to go I finally got my opportunity to return to the clearing. I walked out of the village towards the spot where I knew the gravel path began and turned off the road. With the untouched snow six feet thick on the ground, the landscape seemed strange and unfamiliar.
As I approached the clearing, the southern sunset came into view and I took a moment to take in the sublime landscape that surrounded me. These two residencies provided me with the chance for a prolonged engagement with the landscape and my time on the island brought my investigations into the nature of time in the landscape to a conclusion. This immersion in the landscape created an awareness of the cyclical nature of time, visible in the movement of the sun through the course of the year and in the subtle changes in light through the course of the day. The Arts Council of Ireland funded the residency in December.
I want to know about how you came to do it. Why is heritage important to you? What have you found out about yourself during this research, and how did you perceive your own family? Did anything change from the things you already knew? Until I was registered as a Yugoslav. Yugoslavs have been written out of history. I wondered what happened to 1. Where have they disappeared to?
I also wanted to deal with the politics of forced amnesia that many independent states of the former Yugoslavia adopted. My memories and emotions about this lost country were very conflicting. I tried to engage with the meaning of identity. Is it a generational issue? At a time of mass migrations, the uncertainties in the political and the economic realm, what is actually being changed? DJ: It is a reasonable presumption, in this era of globalisation, that the concept of identity as tied to the nation state is rendered obsolete and redundant. This, unfortunately, is not the case, and we can see that if we look at what happened in the former Yugoslavia.
If the national identity is worth killing for, it must be important! What I found out about myself, through experiencing war and losing my national identity, is that this experience, although traumatic, freed me. I believe that people are not trees; the importance of roots is something I left behind.
I also learned that nationalism is the ideology of idiots; it points to a significant lack of confidence in yourself as an individual. When people realise that they were given a cheap toy identity, and that the real problems are somewhere else, maybe they will start to search for. Because perpetuating the trauma of repressed ethnic and other identities produces a thick and manipulative ideological fog. Some of her political statements are questionable and subjective.
Are her political views important to you, or just the fact that she ventured on a journey that still provokes interest and serves as a kind of a model? I look at it as a work of art, not as a history book. Black Lamb and Grey Falcon is a repository of memories, and we all know how factual memories are. Look, for example, at the collective memory of our Yugoslav past and what happened to that? I am also well aware of her politics after the book was published. Some of these writers even used Black Lamb and Grey Falcon as their guide during the s conflicts, and still ended up writing patronising, stereotyping publications such as Balkan Ghosts by Robert Kaplan.
It is my personal history.
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Following the thought that this is a conceptual artwork, I could have invented a story in which Alice from Alice in Wonderland came to visit ex-Yugoslavia and documented her fictional journey; it really would not matter. This book provided me with a map to follow. SKR: Your book begins with a photograph of a girl at the moment of her becoming a Pioneer.
Although you belong to a younger generation, who perhaps did not even enter the Pioneers, you use this symbolism that probably has a completely different meaning to you than it has to my generation. What motivated you to open your book in this manner? DJ: Well, actually, the little girl in the photograph is me. I was 16 when the war started so I did experience that whole narrative and symbolism you speak about.
I think constructs like national identity, belief systems and core values are bestowed upon us. These are strong currents to swim in and not many people have either the strength or courage to make their own way. I am looking very uncomfortable with the whole scenario. SKR: You first studied psychology, and later you started studying photography. What is photography to you? Is it a medium that makes research easier and spices it up with bits of reality? DJ: Photography is fleeting, which allows it to capture that sense of rootlessness and dislocation with relative ease.
I consider myself an exile, because the country I refer to as my home does not exist anymore. There is no home to return to. Both exile and photography intensify our perception of the world.
The Decorative Arts of West Cork: Cv/Visual Arts Research, Book 156 (Unabridged)
In both, the memory is in its underlying core. Both are characterised by melancholy. Her work is in many collections including the Irish State Art Collection. She developed a digital archive of conceptual photography projects and is responsible for the programme at the Spot Gallery, Zagreb. Damien Duffy, Sea Ghost Audit, ; oil and acrylic canvas; x cms; all photos courtesy of the artist.
This is an allusion to other memorials to the fallen as well as to the denigrating headgear of the conspiracy theorist. The year at the academy is made up of four terms. Residents are here for three, six or nine month stays and these can occur once or twice a year. For the artists, each three-month visit results in an exhibition of work in the BSR Gallery. These group shows are open to the public and provide a platform for work to be presented to the wider Roman public as well as to curators and collectors. Though Rome is the capital, Milan seems to have a more dynamic contemporary art scene.
There is also Gagaosian, Maxi, Cura and numerous independent foundations. Rail travel within Italy is relatively cheap and worth using to visit other cities. Rome is an encounter that is uniquely and irrevocably tied up with the past and this serves to amplify and spotlight the shape of the present. The BSR has opened up numerous opportunities for me, one being an invitation to lecture at the Universita Bocconi in Milan. This also provided the opportunity for a visit to Fondazione Prada and other institutions.
Further lecturing opportunities have opened up in London as well as another residency later in with a Foundation in Rome. The residency is an unrivalled opportunity that has helped me forge new friendships and firm links with both the British School and the City of Rome. THE Academia Britannica is one of the most prestigious research academies in Rome, providing a base for visual arts, humanities, architecture and archeology.
Seven artists at a time live and work amongst the various scholars in doctoral and post-doctoral research. The whole building has recently undergone a refit, completing a sustainable building project that has modernised the Lutyens design. Despite the grandeur of the neo-classical facade, the Academy is designed around a cortile with a fountain and four grand cypresses that give the place a rustic charm and provide an open air space in the heart of the building.
There are around 25 residents along with a continual flow of shorter-term visitors. The work I made during that phase was well placed to benefit from continuation in Rome, specifically the Cy Twombly appropriation works. The application went through to the shortlist, which was followed by an interview and finally selection. Having been in Rome on several other work related projects, the chance to live and work there for a sustained period was very appealing.
It would also allow me to firm up connections I had previously made in the city. Through the generous support of ACNI the residency provides full board and a stipend that goes toward making work. The artist studios are well finished, double height rooms, each with a moderniststyle mezzanine, bedroom and bathroom. There are seven such studios attached to the British School in Rome. As an institution, it seeks to foster a community that allows for cross-disciplinary exchange. This happens informally over meals each day and more formally as part of the numerous events that the British School at Rome BSR hosts.
A rich and varied programme of weekly public lectures in humanities and visual arts attracts visiting artists and leaders in a variety of research fields. This public platform creates an interface of learning and exchange between the international scholars and artists from the various other academies in Rome. William Kentridge gave a talk recently on his public art piece Triumphs and Laments, which was accompanied by a major performance on the banks of the Tiber.
Almost all those visiting artists and researchers are available for studio visits and more often than not are a part of the conversation over dinner, so the opportunities to discuss work and to make invaluable links are abundant. Being a resident at the Academy provides not. It encourages an immersive relationship with the city and with Italian culture. In addition, Italian language classes are provided once a week for beginner to intermediate level.
Having the good fortune of being in Rome in early January afforded me an insight into the city outside of the tourist season. The wind down after the festival of Christmas reveals a city that takes on a more relaxed tempo. This element of my stay felt like a real privilege, especially this year as the weather in mid January onwards was unusually warm and dry by normal standards: an early spring.
The luxury of having this space gave me an opportunity to see the city, the museums and palazzo without the crush. On applying for the residency the applicant is asked to design one or a number of projects that engage fruitfully with the city. Inevitably the experience of Rome dramatically changes things. Much is made of how transformative the Rome Fellowship can be; against the backdrop of such cultural grandeur, history and art, it is inevitable that one undergoes a reassessment of planned projects.
This goes to the core of the stay here. It can be something of a sensorial overload. The grandeur and elegance of the city is striking, from Empire and Renaissance up to the grand public parks of Borghese, coupled with its cinematic and political history. Rome provides a cityscape that is unlike any other European capital. In the work Sea Ghost Audit I unpick the painterly indulgence of the American artist Cy Twombly, employing elements from his work in order to address the ongoing refugee crisis in the Mediterranean.
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Twombly was himself a migrant who lived in Rome for most of his life. This was then paired with the poetry of C. Cavafy, a source used frequently by Twombly, looking in this instance at his poem Waiting for the Barbarians. The flag stripes continued onto the wall in a mute grey, a nod to. He set up and led Void Art School — , and is a former member of Void curating committee — Anni piombo or The Years of Lead was a period of socio-political turmoil in Italy that lasted from the late s into the early s, marked by a wave of terrorism 4.
Eco Umberto, The Open Work, I live and work in a rural part of County Clare. Beautiful as it is, I do sometimes hanker for the city, so the prospect of doing a residency in Dublin was very appealing. Last October Janice Hough was in touch to ask if we might have a meeting about a forthcoming project with Cumbrian arts agency Grizedale Arts, who were planning a major project at IMMA in August this year.
As Janice runs the residency programme at IMMA and part of the project was to rethink the residency programme, I was very pleased to be invited into the initial stage of discussions at IMMA. I was asked to put forward initial ideas, then in January I was invited to spend a short research residency at IMMA to develop these further. The invitation was appealing for a number of reasons. I wanted to engage further with Grizedale and also to touch base with curators and artists I rarely get to see.
Isolation is a significant factor in my working life and much of what I do is largely invisible because of my distance from Dublin. It is central to my practice to make my work in context and in response to the particular social, economic and political issues affecting where I live. Thinking through these differences in public is at the heart of what I do: making use of cultural space to highlight the reductive lens that is all too often applied to rural life in Ireland.
My starting point was Antoine-Agustin Parmentier — who saw the potato as a means of breaking the cycle of famines in France and as a key to coping with a rapidly expanding population during a period of. The remark demonstrated attitudes about farming and tacit knowledge that still resonate today, and I wondered if bringing some members to work in the context of a national institution like IMMA might change perceptions of their skill. Furthermore, the presence of potatoes within the institution opened an unexpected space within the museum site to audiences who might not feel that a contemporary art institution was for them.
The ridges were planned as formal, decorative flowerbeds for the front lawn entrance of IMMA, bringing agricultural knowledge into this cultural space. The Bloomer, an Irish Heritage variety precarious food security. The other variety grown is the blight resistant Sharpo Blue Hospital at Kilmainham. His most famous event was a potato dinner Danube, a purple flowering variety.
The purple and white flowers, he hosted at the suggestion of Benjamin Franklin at Les Invalides. I had not realised how large and extensive the community that progress of Enlightenment in its fight against the scourges of makes use of the gardens is. One of those who noticed the beds was spurred fear and suspicion of new varieties of food. After the French Frank McNally, who wrote a thoughtful and nuanced reflection on the revolution, the Tuileries and Luxembourg gardens were used to grow project in the Irish Times.
The final stage will be a harvest event, the potatoes — an idea that became the starting point for my proposal, details of which are yet to be finalised. It will involve seaweed, Swiss titled A Village Plot. I was keen to draw upon the knowledge and villagers and members of the Irish Loy Association who have visited A expertise of members of the Irish Loy Association, having worked Village Plot and keep an eye on its progress and will be helping with the with them in The Loy is a foot plough, a simple but very effective harvest.
The residency has given me an opportunity to fully test my tool for making potato ridges, sometimes called lazy-beds. The ideas and a public space in which to perform, allowing me to gauge association members are extraordinarily skilled at making perfect, aspects of rural life and its relationship with the metropolitan while straight potato ridges, something I thought could really effectively situated in the heart of Dublin. By beginning with a crop of potatoes on deirdre-omahony.
Multiples of four are also a feature. This device forces the observer to rethink where they are coming from, quite literally. Whether the artist is also making a comment here about the male dominated world of the built environment is up for debate. Suffice to say there is a. This glass building is an anomaly next to the skyscrapers that surround it, two of which were also designed by Van der Rohe, framing it as an alternative response to the space it sits in. This immersion in Miesian modernism gives Walker a vocabulary of construction, measuring and quantifying, while stripping away extraneous material.
Two of the pieces represent something of a departure, with clay taking the place of the glass and metal he has previously favoured. Arranged on the corbanscale table, in layers that bring to mind a partially constructed amphitheatre, there is inviting tactile warmth to the piece. The second clay work feels positively freeform in comparison. Also made from Langeais clay, it is dried instead of fired. Untitled 16 bags of clay , is made up of hand-moulded cubes of beautiful bone-coloured clay, piled into a precarious stack five by five deep. The urge to touch — which any object. Gerrit Rietveld is recalled too, in a drawing more like a collage where a black and white photograph of horizontal window blinds is bisected by a triangle of blue.
For such an artist whose output tends towards the measured and restrained, this seems like a quiet revolution. Anne Mullee is a writer and curator based in Dublin. WITH cobbled expanses running alongside brutalist, modern buildings, Trinity College wears its history overtly. Its built environment reflects the different eras in which it has existed. As an audience we struggle to place the various time-periods suggested by this exhibition. The minute film, which forms the principle part of the show, opens in the Trinity Dining Hall where, through a long real-time take, we observe student hoodie-wearers in amongst ceremonial robe-wearers.
They all respond together as grace is said in Latin. This exhibition borrows from the anomalies created by certain academic conventions — deepening our sense of disorientation in relation to time and proposing history as an entity which slips and weaves its way through the contemporary moment in a dynamic way. The first space we enter is carpeted in red and contains 29 small black and white framed photographs, collectively titled Outrage and the City. We learn in the hand-out that these photographs were taken at Trinity College in by an Irish Independent news photographer.
These images describe moments which seem to be taking place around a single antagonism. Individuals are isolated by the photographer, but mostly the photographs are of a large group of people gathered around the outside of Trinity. Rather than make a selection of images from this roll of film, Clarke has chosen to print what seems to be the entire series of pictures taken by the photographer that day.
What results is the display of clusters of pictures which differ from each other only slightly. These partial representations of moments, along with the titles of both works, primes us to enter into this exhibition as an active audience of clue-finders and narrative-seekers: what is the Great Dream and what happens to invoke a Hopeless End? The emotional register of the titles Clarke uses stand in contrast to the calm and clinical atmosphere permeating the film work.
The opening section is dominated by a dense lecture delivered to a sparsely populated lecture hall. The lecture focuses on the importance of secrecy as a tool in defining and preserving the nation state in modern European history. People and objects cited in this lecture — such as Roger Casement and his return.
Secrecy is another key theme, principally embodied by a film-noir style agent whom we witness navigating his clandestine and mysterious world. Folders of images are delivered to him through nods and winks and when he kills, he does so silently without disturbing his greased-back hair. He moves through familiar spaces, puncturing them with secrecy and intrigue, infusing them with uncertainty.
The verbal density of the lecture at the start of the film falls off sharply into a largely non-verbal narrative, but the visual language conveyed is equally dense, carried by cinematic tropes and a weighty architectural backdrop. The partial insight we are given into a world of secrecy has the effect of implicating everything in the frame. There are a number of long sequences towards the end of the film where the agent drags a body through an uninhabited yet operational library.
The corpse and the agent in the scene seem unrealistically pristine, yet the body is cumbersome and awkward to handle. We are led to wonder if these sentient yet purportedly knowledgable objects are somehow complicit in such moments of unremarkable violence? Perhaps the ineffectualness of these harbingers of knowledge is part of the failure of the Great Dream? As the film progresses, we feel more keenly the active presence of historic moments as agents within the present moment. Clarke opens up a space for these thoughts in subtle and complex ways.
As the film ends we are unsure whether it has in fact been setting the scene for an as yet undefined beginning. After all, we know from our own history of the Rising that what can seem like a hopeless end can also be an unexpected beginning. Sarah Lincoln is a visual artist based in Waterford. It offers multiple voices, diverse approaches and unheard perspectives on the objects and artefacts utilised and referred to by the contributing artists. The exhibition was commissioned by Larry Lambe and artists were asked to respond to the concepts, ideals and beliefs of The works could be linked with any of the events of that affected Ireland, not only the Easter Rising.
The commissioning process began in to allow the artists time to digest and explore the complex themes at play. Armed conflict was a pronounced theme explored by many of the artists. Lynch argues that the rising was not only a turning point in Irish History but also in the dismantling of the British Empire.
Taking a classical form of historical painting he uses its well-known language of signs not to celebrate the empire but to salute the underdog. A lone cartoon-like bike is illuminated by a backlight, combining traditional craftsmanship with illustration. Rita Duffy and Sonja Landweer further explore the close and complicated relationship between the Irish and the British army. In her use of the plaque, a universally-recognised symbol of loss, Duffy draws on classical and military history.
Hackles are hairs that rise when an animal is in distress or ready to fight. These were incorporated into military dress uniform, each legion with its own unique and intricate design. The hackles are exquisite, beautiful pieces, full of rich jewel colours, feathers and ornamentation. Their opulence is in contrast to the reality and practicality of war but.
As early as , tailors had been advertising in newspapers offering to make the Irish Volunteer uniforms. The title of the piece calls attention to the absurd fact that these adverts were ignored. The replica of the paper advertisement takes on a new permanence in glass. Though comic in tone, the work highlights the intricacy and ambiguity of history. The insignificant is made significant. It is an inconsequential moment, a banal occurrence transformed by subtle associations to the Rising, GAA, masculinity and nationalism: a snapshot of an event emblazoned on the Irish psyche. Maher uses a scrimshaw technique to engrave a portrait of Alice Milligan on an ostrich egg, a technique usually associated with pirates and prisoners who might etch lines with ink-filled byproducts or materials that are to hand.
Maher calls attention to Milligan as an overlooked figure who was written out of history by a conservative Catholic state. The egg, Maher states, relates to Easter, but the surface also acts as an ambiguous texture, familiar but unfamiliar, echoing the wider thematic exploration of the shadows of time. Lilburn maps the overlap between his own family and ideas of personal identity, politics and art history.
The map has no key to decipher distance; it all depends on perspective. All the works on display reflect the long research and preparation time given to the artists, allowing for a complex examination of historical context. The exhibition is strikingly immediate, the themes universal. Gemma Carroll is an art writer based in Cork. In other words, a language is not simply words — if that were the case, all you would need is a dictionary.
But what makes meaning is the interaction between those words, the infinite number of permutations and combinations which are the basis of communication. It references botanical portraiture, though with a degree of stylisation. However, each plant is placed in a context: a vast expanse of sky, and a perspective which suggests that the plant is located at a height from which the viewer sees a long-distance panorama of fields.
These details imply a desire to go beyond mere taxonomy. Close examination reveals fine brushstrokes and his use of colour is bold and confident. But that is not a deterrent. That Canning has an audience is patent: his biography is impressive, as indeed are his prices. His work clearly appeals. The question then is whether that appeal is enhanced in any way by putting these pieces together in this place.
An artist or curator bringing a body of work together in a physical location sets up an expectation in the viewer: that there is a reason for doing so, that there is something in the chosen works which creates a sense of cohesion, along the lines of the sum being greater than parts see above. This cohesion may be communicated in a number of ways, not mutually exclusive: the title of the exhibition and the titles of the pieces, the placing of the pieces within the space, the placing of the pieces in relation to each other.
That this title sums up. But the titles of the individual pieces are more challenging. However, there is no obvious connection to the individual piece, nor is there any thread running through the titles as a whole. It can be argued that this is not their role. But they have been chosen for a reason, and that in itself is a communication. Titles can aid a viewer in reading a painting, they can express an emotion in the artist, or evoke an emotion in the viewer. The positioning of the pieces within the gallery is also interesting, only because it is hard to see what difference it would have made to have placed them otherwise.
One piece does not lead into the other, one painting does not resonate with another, there is no relationship between them, other than their similarity. To return to the opening riff on language, these paintings are like words in a thesaurus. Combining them, juxtaposing them, ordering them differently — no added layer of understanding ensues. The viewer has been given a dictionary, not a grammar. Communication is limited. Such places hang heavy with social need and local politics. The structure is of a semi opaque material illuminated from within and at a distance it possesses a transcendent otherworldliness and a peaceful serenity that reflects a solemn meditation on the Rising.
Close proximity reveals the milky translucent walls to be surfaced with numerous pale three-dimensional fabric lilies. Moore has used those proportions to attempt to transform a space representing imprisonment, suffering and death into a customary symbol of peace.
If visual art is a form of thinking through objects and images, this work leaves us with an emotional response but offers little analysis of its subject or dialogue with other similar projects. The work has developed from the Mayo County Council Arts Office Library Services artist in residence project commemorating through a prodigious historical archive, the Jackie Clarke Collection in Ballina.
The outcome of this project, an origami-like decorative arrangement, is impaired by a similar lack of conceptual underpinning. There is a list of participating community groups on a wall adjacent to the display but nothing more about these engagements is elucidated, making them seem insubstantial. This unique personal collection contains more than , items relating to years of Irish history.
It includes a vast array of materials: letters, legal documents, photographs, masses of printed ephemera, maps, manuscripts and books, many extremely rare. The stark aseptic whiteness of the paper installations help elevate the pieces beyond ornamentation. She addressed concepts of absence, isolation and bodily integrity, especially in relation to cystic fibrosis. This earlier work resonated with a passionate intensity of feeling underpinned by a nascent critique of medical procedures and the challenges of privacy and seclusion within hospitals. This work was also executed in sterile whiteness.
The work reduces the multiple narratives of to essentials. It is the imposition of a hopeful ideal onto a complex period history with an ever more complex aftermath. Nonetheless there is a power in simplicity of form. Both artists share a commitment to painstaking process as part of the content of the work. Like Donovan, her work speaks of the systems that shape our lives, digital and cellular networks that are reflected in the repeated forms. Moore approaches her heavy subject matter with nobility but, for me, the absence of more detailed analysis results in a somewhat slight work.
It is in her usage of multiples that Moore exhibits a capacity for absorption that is communicated in obsessive and compelling ways. Bronze Art, Fine art Foundry Please check out our new up to date website of all the work we have been up to in the last few years. Accept no compromise in the quality of your work, come work with the specialists.
Best quality guaranteed everytime at competitive prices. Tel: Fax: Email: bronzeartireland hotmail. WHAT is commemoration? An act of remembrance performed in the present tense. From 10am until 10pm, live and digital media artists transformed the former prison, the site where most of the Easter Rising rebellion leaders were imprisoned and then executed. Commemoration in this context is performative — constitutive — where history is told and reconsidered through embodied scenarios of memory, forgetting and contemplation of the current state of Ireland.
Additionally, each of the artists tackled the act of remembrance from a different angle, producing a rich and diverse array of actions and encounters. Within this monumental structure, opening up areas not commonly accessible to the public, the artists created a palimpsest that imbued the architectural and historical framework with new meaning. As a whole, the performances can be loosely broken down into gestures of discipline, resistance and resilience, three key characteristics of revolutionary action, which raise questions about whether the Ireland of today has fulfilled the vision and promises of a century ago.
In live performance, duration provides repetition with change over time. As such, artists who decide to engage in an action for hours require discipline of the self, the body and the material. Small blackboards hung from the wall with bits of chalk lining the floor, providing traces of primary school instruction. Throughout various points in the day, McCarthy sat still at a desk under a black cloak topped with a mortar-. Their gestures and presence were evocative of servants who were methodically misbehaving. The minute precision of their actions offered a dedicated discipline that was absurd and yet subversive to rational authority through its duration.
Discipline took a different form in the work of Fergus Byrne. Without stopping for the sporadic rainfall that occurred throughout the day, Byrne drew correlation between the mechanics of the body and of institutions with the machine of history, through corporeal motions and interactions with kinetic sculptures. Twisting and turning his arm and hips in rhythm with oversized joints and gears, he told the story of three journalists shot at the Portobello Barracks in through a montage of historic texts. Like McCarthy, his work eludes to the disciplinary structures of institutional systems through his mechanic parallels that transform the body into a gear of history.
These disciplinary behaviours were mixed with acts of resistance. Drawing her strength from subtlety, Debbie Guinnane slipped through a matrix of social expectations. Dressed in denim jeans and a white t-shirt, it was not clear at first glance that she was performing. However, a closer look revealed that she was undertaking a series of meditative actions, manipulating a chunk of clay.
Her gestures were minimal: the slow dripping of spittle from the lip, a concentrated examination of performances through a molded frame. She was both out of place and in every place, standing at a threshold between artist and audience. She roamed the entirety of the space that day, creeping in and out of performances while presenting her own non-disruptive interventions. There was an honesty to her presence as time passed in this institutional structure. In her work, Guinnane draws energy from the act of witnessing, using it as fuel for her own contemplative.
Her occupation of this liminal space became a connective force between the various performances throughout the site that day, while simultaneously resisting unity. In a performance only witnessed by six women at a time, McAtackney and Murphy acknowledged the women marginalised during the creation of the Irish nation.
They recited the Hail Mary in Irish — the only prominent Catholic prayer that provides direct reference to women. Standing in the darkened space, fingers touching the cool stone walls, I considered the histories and experiences of the prisoners that occupied this space. Even though I do not understand Irish, I recognised the rhythm of the familiar prayer with both a sense of solace and a twinge of disdain. Through the insistence of presence, despite being placed under erasure, this acknowledgement of marginalised women became an act of resistance through the ironic recitation of a prayer.
While gestures of resistance tend to be subtle, these compliment more obtuse acts of resilience. Throughout the 12 hours of the event, Helena Walsh maintained watch in the centre of the East Wing, the famous Victorian era Panopticon.