Daily Archives: May 29, 2015


Selected Articles from the May/June 2015 Issue of the Visual Artists News Sheet

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Cover Image. Méadhbh O’Connor, Unknown Shores, 2014, O’Brien Centre for Science UCD

After each issue of the Visual Artists News Sheet is distributed to members we make a selection of the published articles available on our website. In the latest issue Maolíosa Boyle and Mark Wallinger discuss Horse at Derry’s Void gallery. Sarah Pierce interviews the curators of Plastik, an international festival of artists’ moving images shown in Galway, Cork and Dublin. In Capturing Passing Moments artist Kevin Killen discusses the work he made for the exhibition Certain Moments at University of Ulster Gallery that took place during the Ulster University Festival of Art and Design. And finally, Brendan Fox discusses his project Less Greater Equal shown at NAG, Dublin, last March.
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VAN May/June 2015: ‘Dialogue Between Spheres’ Sarah Pierce Interviews Curators Plastik

07_Image from Plastic Passion screening_pictured_Wilhelm_Hein_Material_filme II (1976)

Plastic Passion’ at IFI screening with view of Wilhelm Hein’s Material filme II, 1976

SARAH PIERCE INTERVIEWS THE CURATORS OF PLASTIK, AN INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTISTS’ MOVING IMAGE HELD IN GALWAY (7 FEBRUARY, AN TAIBHDHEARC), CORK (13 – 15 FEBRUARY, CRAWFORD/TRISKEL) AND DUBLIN (20 – 22 FEBRUARY, IFI/TBG+S).

Sarah Pierce: How did Plastik come to be?
PLASTIK (1): Jenny Brady first got in touch with Ben Cook (Director of LUX) about the possibility of setting up a critical forum group in Dublin after attending a school led by Ian White at the LUX / ICA Biennial of Moving Images in 2012. Lux were interested and Cook visited Dublin in February 2013, in order to establish Critical Forum Dublin at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios (TBG+S). It was based on a model that had been running in both London and Glasgow. The curatorial board responsible for putting PLASTIK together were all drawn from that first year of Critical Forum.

Maeve Connolly was also involved from a very early stage and helped put together a conceptual framework that would inform the festival. Our intention was to set up a dialogue between the spheres of film and visual art and to have that conversation take place in ways that we might not be used to here. Key to this relationship was creating a dialogue between the festival’s two main partners: the Irish Film Institute (IFI) and TBG+S.

The history of artists’ moving image practice, in terms of work produced, but also access to materials, is still relatively new here. Of course things are changing rapidly, but it was our hope that, by bringing these aspects into conversation through a festival, we could also consider the ways in which cinema can function as a site for the visual arts. We also wanted to begin to address issues around access, to create a context through which audiences throughout the country could start to access this work, the full spectrum of which we now refer to as ‘artists’ moving image’. (more…)


VAN May/June 2015: ‘Watching Liquid Run’ Maolíosa Boyle and Mark Wallinger in Discussion

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Installation view ‘Horse’ Void, Derry 21 February – 18 April 2015 photo by Paola Bernardelli

MAOLÍOSA BOYLE AND MARK WALLINGER DISCUSS ‘HORSE’ (VOID, DERRY 21 FEBRUARY – 18 APRIL 2015).

The concept for the exhibition ‘Horse’ (21 February – 18 April 2015) came about during Mark Wallinger’s 2013 Void show ‘One’, curated by Elaine Forde (10 September – 25 October 2013). Myself and Wallinger spent an evening with his friend Juliette Cooper, a horse trainer / breeder. Over dinner I was introduced to the equine world: the rules surrounding horse naming, the design and colour of the jockey silks and the significance of lineage. I was completely captivated and the idea for the exhibition was born.

I’ve always had an interest in horses, having started horse riding at an early age. Wallinger has a life long fascination with horses – one that crosses his passion with his practice. ‘Horse’ the exhibition we curated together explored the representation and role of the horse in contemporary society, considering its profound relationship to man through countless generations .

Featuring twenty-eight artists, ‘Horse’ combined work from historical collections, an open submission call and invited artists. The exhibition featured a wide range of themes such as the suffragette movement, the traveler tradition and horse identification through a myriad of mediums including film, photography, sculpture and painting.

Maolíosa Boyle, Director, Void, Derry

Maolíosa Boyle: Where did your love of horses come from?
Mark Wallinger: It is one of those passions that happen at such an early age one can only figure out why later in life. I remember running home from infants’ school to see Arkle win the 1964 Cheltenham Gold Cup. So I was maybe six years old. I have always loved horses and racing and find them extraordinarily beautiful. Lester Piggott was a hero and the relationship of jockey to horse has magic for me as well. When Piggott was on a great horse like Nijinsky in the 1970 King George, it was as if the horse made its own serene progress to the winning post. I have a video of Piggott in slow motion, which demonstrates his otherworldly balance on a horse at full gallop – he is absolutely still. (more…)


VAN May/June 2015: ‘Capturing Passing Moments’ by Kevin Killen

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Kevin Killen ‘Certain Moments’ installation view, University Of Ulster Gallery Belfast (5 March – 2 April 2015)

KEVIN KILLEN DISCUSSES THE WORK HE MADE FOR THE EXHIBITON ‘CERTAIN MOMENTS’ AT UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER GALLERY (5 MARCH – 2 APRIL), WHICH TOOK PLACE DURING THE ULSTER UNIVERSITY FESTIVAL OF ART AND DESIGN.

My interest in working with neon started during my time at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design, University College (1996 –1999). I’d moved to a busy college town from the countryside, so I really noticed the continuous flow of traffic and especially the noise and lights that came into my student house at night. I experimented with ways to capture passing moments, by visualising the nocturnal sounds and lights that invaded my space. Neon seemed an ideal medium to do so. It processes an ability to encompass both speed and stillness. Likewise neon light can be either quietly seductive or loud and overwhelming – and it has strong links with pop culture, glamour and advertising.

During and after my studies I was reliant on getting neon pieces fabricated by industrial makers. As a consequence, I did feel I was missing out on a proper understanding of the full scope of the medium in both practical and theoretical terms. I’d found that when dealing with neon workshops, the available options were often both expensive and restricted. The commercial makers always came up with barriers to making the pieces I really wanted to make.

(more…)


VAN May/June 2015: ‘Shadow Carrier’ by Brendan Fox

Less Greater Equal, film still (3), Brendan Fox

Brendan Fox Less Greater Equal film still

BRENDAN FOX DISCUSSES HIS PROJECT ‘LESS GREATER EQUAL’, RECENTLY SHOWN AT THE NAG GALLERY, DUBLIN (6 – 20 MARCH 2015). 



I consider the gallery space a platform from which I converse with viewers. Both curatorially and from the perspective of a visual artist, I regard ‘Less Greater Equal’ as a personal conversation. This project is a departure from my previous work, as I found myself assuming the role of both subject and auteur. In 2014 my life changed irreparably. The year encompassed the breakdown of a 10-year relationship, losing my home, my father’s cancer diagnosis and my spiraling into depression. This was compounded when I experienced a homophobic attack. During this period there was also a constant barrage of wimbeldon-esque media coverage relating to the forthcoming marriage referendum. In the seemingly endless rounds of media discussions, it’s too often insinuated that LGBT people are ‘other’, peripheral or otherwise not quite part of the cogs of society.

I found myself questioning everything, embarking on an existential quest of sorts, searching for a personal context and a means of re-establishing my own identity. ‘Less Greater Equal’, although politically motivated, is also concerned with the idiosyncratic nature of sexual identity and the repercussions of growing and existing in a socio-political landscape where one is perceived as lesser. 

The tension between our inner and outer selves encourages artifice in our behaviours.
 Carl Jung refers to this facade as the persona: “… a kind of mask designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual”. (1) We all struggle with identity. We are fragile. It is through the sharing of our narratives and vulnerabilities that we can truly understand both ourselves and the ‘other’. “Everyone carries a shadow,” Jung wrote, “and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is”. (2) (more…)


The Arts Council of Ireland’s Collection is Now Available Online

Arts Council LogoOn Thursday 21st May the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphries, launched the Arts Council’s collection on-line. The public now has on-line access to over 1,000 works purchased by the Arts Council since 1962. If you know of a publicly accessible institution that would like to borrow a work from the collection find out more on the collection page at artscouncil.emuseum.com