The Visual Artists Ireland ‘Show and Tell Evening’, provides artists with the opportunity to give a presentation on their practice in an informal setting where they can network and meet people with similar ideas and interests. We are now inviting artists, curators, etc. to attend this free event.
The presentations will be fast paced, with a limit of 10 slides / images per speaker. The images will change automatically, giving the speaker a few seconds to talk about what is on the screen. This ensures that an equal amount of time is given to each image. There will be a maximum of 10 speakers asked to present. Speakers must be current members of Visual Artists Ireland.
The deadline for submissions is 5.30pm, 6 November 2012, and a reminder will be sent on October 30th. The event will be held at Visual Artists Ireland, (Ground Floor, Central Hotel Chambers, 7 – 9 Dame Court, Dublin 2) and will be followed by a wine reception.
There are a few presenter places left at this event. To register to present at the event please visit: http://visualartists.ie/education-2/current-programme/?ee=97
If you are interested in presenting please email your selected images to firstname.lastname@example.org Please register for the event online before emailing your images.
For any other information, please email: email@example.com
In/Visible, a print media installation by Canadian artist, Eva McCauley.
“In/Visible” explores the process of memory and recollection, with work inspired by the artist’s recent residencies in Cill Rialiag on the rugged coast in the southwest of Kerry. She has been invited to be artist-in-residence there again in June 2013.
The show features larger-than-life faces, that look like ghostly apparitions, printed on transparent fabric scrims, that co-mingle with ephemeral sky/water photo-based images in the exhibition.
This exhibition is currently installed at the CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery, Crawford College of Art & Design, 8A Wandesford Quay, Cork until September 15th, 2012.
There is a catalogue in the works, which would include installation shots from the In/Visble exhibitions at the Limerick Printmakers Gallery (Aug/Sept. 2010), Aetery Gallery (September 2010), Wandesford Quay Gallery (Aug/Sept 2012) and subsequent exhibitions that are to take place in Ireland
(The artist is returning to Ireland in the summer 2013 to attend another artist residency in Cill Rialaig, as well as pick up the work from her show, In/Visible)
The exhibition is an insntallation. Twenty transparent silk-like fabric scrims (each 42″ by 8 feet) have been printed with images that started out as hand-pulled prints, and were subsequently digitally captured, enlarged and printed on the fabric with a large-format Aquajet printer. The veil-like scrims are hemmed with a dowel inserted on the top, and suspended from the ceiling of the gallery using fishing line. Because of their transparency, you can see through them, which creates a multi-layered, ephemeral environment. One of the gallery visitors, who attended the opening, described it this way: ” The silk hangings pervade the gallery space without taking up any physical room at all, infusing the space in a very gentle way–powerful and ethereal at the same time. I took one to be a cloudscape and only in conversation with a young art student did we both tumble to the fact that it was a portrait of a girl.”
All of the images are suspended from the gallery ceiling, and require a minimum of 100 sq feet.
The work is technically easy to install,only requiring fishling line and hooks that screw into the ceiling. The work is also very easy and inexpensive to transport, as the thin light fabric folds into a very compact package (a small box), which would be simple to ship.
In light of the theme of the exhibition “In/Visible”, it seems appropriate that the artist (who resides in Canada) would not be physically present at the opening reception, but will be there “virtually” via Skype. This was done very successfully at the Wandesford Quay Gallery opening on August 24th, with the artist able to observe the opening, converse with the vistors, listen to the opening remarks and also give a short talk.
No artist fees or administration fees are required for this show, and the artist would be available to do artist talk via Skype.
The only cost associated with the exhibition (in addition to the minimal shipping cost) would be the cost of the open reception (rfreshments) and the cost of printing and distributing invitations. (Since invitations have already been designed for the Wandesford show, it would be possible to reuse the design)
The work is available from September 16th, 2012 until December 2013.
For more information, images and/or reviews, please contact the artist:
Canadian phone: 001-519-576-1056
In keeping with Visual Artists Ireland’s policy we require venues or events to pay artist’s fees for exhibitions.
ARTISTS: Paul MacCormaic and Una Gildea
A double solo show of 24 2-d small scale works consisting of paintings drawings and collage.
Theme: Familiar is about how the impact of the mass media and social networks have changed the meaning of Familiar and what it is to know somebody. Following celebrity culture and taking images from advertising where the viewer is a global family of images blurs the notion of close friends and family. Una Gildea tackles the idea with a series of intimate portraits completed in a colourful naive style where real family are mixed up with celebrities. Mac Cormaic uses advertising imagery and packaging that comes into the home to become ubiquitous and familiar.
SPACE: This will fit into a small area, Ideally 4 x 5 meters.
OUTREACH: none in place but both artists are keen to talk and do workshops.
Artists Fees required: In keeping with VAI policy, an artist’s fee is required
CONTACT: Paul at 083-3303299, Una firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Convergence: Literary Art Exhibitions’
Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast
16 June – 6 August 2011
Curated by Dr Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes, ‘Convergence: Literary Art Exhibitions’ attempts – and I would argue, succeeds – in exploring the way(s) in which many contemporary artists appropriate from; and are inspired by, various works of literature. It considers the many relationships between art, literature and exhibiting, opening up potential ways of thinking about and / or of seeing these relationships. The narrative is of a cyclical nature, reflecting the process of making work from work, which in turn gives rise to other work and so on.
The exhibition is divided into four rooms, with an additional two reading spaces, and two more separate works – one of which, by Michalis Pichler, serves as an introduction to the exhibition, as a kind of prelude or prologue. The second, by Eric Zboya, emphasises the cyclical nature of the show, joining beginning and end and signifying a visual invitation to start again. Another element of the show was simple shelf in the foyer housing the sort of tourist material often associated with visiting literary monuments or museums, highlights the distance between that kind of material and the conceptual works in this exhibition.
The first work encountered is a Michalis Pichler’s Un Coup de Dés jamais n’abolira le Hasard (2009) – a musical piece represented on video. The title refers to a visual poem by Stephane Mallarmé, which had been made into a new work by Broodthaers, blacking out the words into a graphic pattern. Broodthaers’ piece in turn was reinterpreted by Cerith Wyn Evans (who has work in another room), who cut out these black lines. Finally (or maybe not) Pichler has mounted these cut out pages on an automatic piano mechanism, essentially making the poem a piece of music. This intriguing and satisfying piece exemplifies the kind of layering and multiple readings of work which underpin Convergence.
There is a quiet logic to the layout of the show, relationships which link one room to the next or refer back to other ideas already expressed. The tendency is to lose yourself minutely in each individual work and come back to the space to realise the broader connections between that piece and others in the room, an overview of how things fit together, a sort of micro and macro view. Julie Louise Bacon’s intriguing works, Lonesome No More (Or An Homage to Kurt Vonnegut) and The Twins (both 2011), reflect this double perspective on the world through her two viewfinders, one of slides of the New York skyline, the other of the earth from space. The jigsaw puzzles of war-torn remains in Afghanistan are re-assembled as swirls on the wall, reminiscent of galaxies in space or being sucked into a vortex. A looking from without and within. Vonnegut’s black humour is reflected in the afghan carpet with motifs of tanks and guns and the twin tower plinths on which the puzzle boxes sit
Several trains of thought run through this exhibition, which sometimes accentuate the separate rooms, sometimes override the distinctions between them. The concept of monument is teased out in several of the works, especially those of Sean Lynch and Andrea Theis, exploring how writers or works of literature are honoured, questioning how the canon is understood, challenging that and re-interpreting it. These explorations highlight the need for multiple readings of work, that no single interpretation should or could be absolute or final. A piece of work made from or inspired by a writer or work of literature may after all be the most appropriate form of tribute. Monuments imply fixed, final, dead. That cannot be said of literature which is renegotiated, reborn with each new reading, encouraging critical consideration of the world we inhabit, when we re-emerge from this other space.
Re-writing, close reading, drawing practice, inscribing and writing by artists: all are represented. The relationship between writing and art has a rich and broad base and although it is not new, as evidenced by the various generations of artists (and writers) represented (and referenced) in this exhibition, it owes much to the work of writers, artists and even composers from the 60s and 70s, including John Cage, James Joyce, Stephane Mallarmé, Kurt Schwitters, among many others, who were then beginning to explore interdisciplinary practice. Curators such as Harold Szeemann have explored this area, but only in the last few years do we see these references to literature curated into international and highly regarded exhibitions. What was once considered sterile or non-political is now being appreciated for its depth and breadth, its ability to consider the human condition, how we think, how we communicate with each other. The relationship of language to human existence is central and in my opinion this exhibition, which brings such a diverse range of works and artists together with this central concern, is an important one. It is an exhibition which demands time, but one which is dynamic, inspiring and long overdue. You will want to see it a second time.
‘Convergence: Literary Art Exhibitions’ is on show at Limerick City Gallery of Art during September 2011.
‘Kozo’, currently showing in the Kerlin Gallery, comprises a body of work created by Richard Gorman on textured paper, handmade by the artist himself in Japan, after which the show is titled. “Just buying the paper doesn’t seem to be enough. I like to give value to the object I’m going to paint.”1
From a visual point of view, there are two distinct parts to the show. Three of the gallery walls are filled with a sequence of 19 works, each featuring a unique combination of coloured shapes. The final wall displays 40 works of equal size, but with a strictly muted and limited palette, which are combined to create one large piece.
Unframed and lightly pinned to the wall, my first impression of these 19 individual works was of a progression of dynamic, coloured shapes, hovering along the perimeter of the space. The palette varies, alternating between strong, bright colours, more muted colours, and the potential in juxtaposing the two. In Slice Blue, the more active yellow and orange shapes advance towards the viewer, compared to the more recessive blue and green shapes, creating a sense of balance. Having also previously worked in oil, Gorman’s use of gouache here adds a richness and weight to the coloured shapes.
Within the boundaries of the paper, these shapes overlap into a series of singular compositions. K Flick fans out like a rather fantastical pack of cards, while in Slice Blue a green ball squeezes against a blue capsule shape which is partly covered by a yellow half-capsule, all contained within an orange background. Intricate in arrangement, portraying Gorman’s sense of spatial and compositional awareness, a number of works also exude a certain playfulness. There is no apparent pattern to the sequence of images, which become an experiment in the limitless potential combinations.
In some of the works, upon closer inspection, the under-drawings become visible, and it is interesting to note that the coloured blocks do not always adhere to the preliminary drawing; perhaps a first layer has been covered over by a later one so that none of the colour remains, only a suggestion of the shape. Regimented as they may seem, it becomes apparent that the process is still organic and that the works may not always have been fully imagined before
Gorman began working on them. The unique combinations of geometric shapes – both curvilinear and angular – ensure distinct overall contours in each work. In Lime Lean, an almost traditional ‘X’ made of capsule shapes is thrown off balance by a more angular shape imposed on top, creating an asymmetrical contour and slight visual imbalance.
This approach recurs throughout the sequence, where the ends of shapes are unexpectedly chopped off, leaving a hard edge. The negative space created between the bold shapes and the boundary of the paper effectively assumes almost equal importance, becoming a secondary shape in itself, and momentarily allowing the coloured shapes to emerge as more three-dimensional forms.
At first, All Wall – created by pouring dyed paper pulp into moulds and onto freshly made wet paper – seems somewhat at odds with the rest of the show, perhaps a little overpowering after the intimate close up viewing of the smaller pieces. However, on closer reflection, the maze-like effect of the combined works becomes equally engaging as the eye is drawn to the white spaces between the shapes, trying to find a logical route through them, and invariably reaching an impasse. This alternative way of considering the spatial dimension between shape and paper’s edge opens a dialogue between All Wall and the gouaches.
Contemporary Irish art is not without its abstract painters. While the work and surrounding literature of many artists still evoke the subtle influence of, for example, landscapes – Sean Scully and Felim Egan, amongst others – Gorman’s works are distinctly non-objective, existing in their own reality. Released from relating to anything else, the works become purely a celebration of expression through the fundamentals of colour, line, and shape in the space they co-inhabit.
‘Kozo’ offers the viewer a visual treat. The sequence of gouaches displays a consistency in approach but without repetition. Each work merits close inspection regarding its particular compositional attributes, while the handmade paper is itself an important feature of the show, culminating in the prominent All Wall. The visual elements and their compositional arrangements are the subject of the show, and we need not look beyond them, but merely enjoy them for exactly what they are.
lives and works in Dublin. She has worked in Talbot Gallery & Studios and the Oisín Gallery, as well as having curated independently, and currently manages 9 Bond Street Photographic Studios. Her writing has featured in Paper Visual Art Journal and Circa online.
1.C Dwyer,‘The Art of reinvention’,The independent,15 January 2012
‘Fish Flesh and Fowl’ at the Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast is a retrospective of Dermot Seymour’s painting, spanning four decades. The show is large, with over 50 paintings and to see his work en masse in this way, it is hard not to be impressed by his singular, unchanging approach to the subject matter: the politics and culture of Ireland.
The politics of Northern Ireland has shaped much of the identity of the arts scene there since the 1980s, and Seymour has managed to carve out a particular niche within that canon. His detached, starkly realist style of painting, populated with animals and headless figures tottering precariously on precipices, sit somewhat uneasily with Northern Irish political artwork. The curator, Jim Smyth, remarks in the accompanying catalogue:
“In the sense that Seymour considers painting to be a means to an end, a way of transforming ideas into tangible form, he stands outside the mainstream tradition”.1
Seymour himself sees his work as closer to the tradition of magic realism, which would seem a much fairer assessment than the largely conflicting critical responses to his work, which have situated him within the realms of photorealism, surrealism and even postmodernism. Echoes of Frida Kahlo’s straightforward representational approach to imagery is evident in much of Seymour’s work. Yet, where her work focuses on the deeply personal, Seymour’s cool detached eye never seems to turn towards the self. His personal vision charts the world around him, the politics and landscape of Northern Ireland in the 1980s and the 1990s examined with unflinching rigour.
For this exhibition, the curator has examined what he considers the four distinct phases in the development of Seymours’s work. The first phase is the early works that explore ‘the troubles’ and the conflicting identity of Northern Ireland, as seen through the eyes of a young man from the working class, loyalist Shankhill Road community. The second phase – from the mid 1980s to the early 1990s – explores the political landscape of Northern Ireland, which perhaps to an outsider, is a bewildering and densely tangled affair. As Smyth says
“It is the juxtaposition of symbolic images, historical references a rag bag of illusions, an upended cabinet of curiosities that draw the confused viewer into these paintings”.2
One particular painting from this era, View from a helicopter with sophisticated surveillance equipment, is a particular comment on the British military presence in Northern Ireland. The image is split between a close-up of a woman’s legs and an aeriel view of fields. This impossible dual perspective could be read as a metaphor for the convoluted politics of Northern Ireland. The third phase of Seymour’s work sees his move from Belfast to the rural west of Ireland. Here the paintings explore wider issues of man’s inhumanity to man with themes of war and politics set in a wider context, albeit through twilight zones populated with animal and bird metaphors and allusions. His more recent phase, in particular the ‘Eyed’ series, focuses on portraiture. Through it, he has explored the corruption and excesses of Irish society and politics under the ‘celtic tiger’. Portraits from politics and media, such as those of Brian Cowen and Irish footballer Roy Keane, sit happily beside all manner of beasts and fowl. In one particular painting, from the series ‘Hiberno God’, a baboon stares wistfully out of the frame, not at us the viewer but beyond, perhaps at the world at large or his place within it. His eyes glint with an uncanny humanity that is absent from many of the human faces.
The exhibition is collated from both public and private collections with contributions in the catalogue from Ireland’s leading literary figures, Seamus Heaney and Dermot Healy. The show will travel widely in Ireland and also to the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris.
Many critics have commented on the literary nature of Seymours’s work and his work has graced the covers of literary anthologies. But perhaps it is best to let the pictures be pictures and express something in that way, rather than be reduced to language. Seamus Heaney says of the work, “What I admire about Seymour is that he has no obvious design upon me but leaves me alone with things that are entirely persuasive in their own right”3
One of the more recent paintings, Hiberno Head, expresses something of what Heaney describes. A headless figure presents a fish to us – the viewers – from a twilight landscape. The image is in one way powerfully literal, but also expresses something nameless, something beyond words. Heaney writes: “His [Seymour’s] technique in the immediate painterly sense seems to me unquestionable, but he has a technique in the more important sense that the poet Patrick Kavanagh once assigned to it , when he defined it as ‘a method for getting at life’. And the fact of the matter is that getting at life is extremely difficult”.
1 Jim Smyth Dermot Seymour ,‘Fish, Flesh and Fowl’: A Retrospective, 2011, 11
2 Ibid. 12
3 Seamus Heaney on Dermot Seymour 2011
FROM afar, on a window, the drawing looks like a tribal pattern of circles and white contour lines. It is so smooth it could be a transfer or a large window sticker. When I come up close I can see that it was not made by a machine – as I had initially thought – but by hand with an ordinary white paint marker. Thus begins my experience of Niall the Buitlear’s show ‘Out of Order’ at the LAB in Dublin; an exhibition that presents a body of work that operates on two levels: from a distance and up close and personal.
Entering the main gallery I encounter what feels like the heart of the exhibition, a series of dark small-scale sculptures, carefully displayed inside three glass vitrines. They seem like solid, heavy objects, perhaps made of clay or ash and perfectly geometric, though with slight variations in height, shape or width. They resemble miniature buildings, slightly alien, with expertly twisted turrets and towers, or a series of experiments of someone trying to build a new contraption.
Viewing these works at close quarters, one can see traces of the artist everywhere, in the silver working lines of a pencil or on a small edge where one strand of paper (for they are made of ordinary black paper) meets the next. It’s enjoyable to see this indication of process, the slight irregularities. De Buitlear has stated that, “the [works] are not perfect or geometric, that is not their purpose. If they were, that would be something a computer could do” (1).
The other work downstairs consists of a series of framed drawings with white lines on the same black paper. At a distance they look like ground plans or maps and at the same time remind me of Mayan or Aboriginal art, the primitive patterns evoking something mysterious. On closer inspection the lines are slightly transparent and not so rigid. It is hard to gain access to the meaning behind this work, because it is so focused on the surface, as if the artist was totally absorbed in the process of making.
On the walls in the upstairs gallery hang another set of drawings, black ink on white paper in the shape of cartoon speech bubbles. They are based on a misreading of a photograph of a three- dimensional sculpture, pictured from above so that,
to the artist, it appeared to be a drawing. From afar the drawings look almost tangible yet after zooming in they become interesting in their unevenness, the overlap of marker on marker, the slight quiver of a line. I’ve started to look for these marks now, minuscule signals of the artist.
In an interview conducted after I’d seen the exhibition Niall and I briefly spoke about the type of art some men make, ‘macho’ art, the art of biennales – shows of power and might. This work isn’t about making grand, sweeping statements. It doesn’t talk about war, poverty, sex, love, lust or desire. All the works in his show are small, quiet, refined even, a continuation of previous work. Niall didn’t want to make large works with a ‘wow’ factor, the kind of work people enjoy purely because of its scale or complexity.
I asked Niall if he avoids direct references. He stated there are no obvious reference points, rather, there is an elemental aspect to this work that could relate to a number of things: minimalism, aspects of craft, design and utilitarian objects. But also symbolism, the occult, Neolithic stone engravings, ancient Irish mark-making – “The process is to discover something rather than to project something out, so it’s bound to hit on similarities to other things.”(2)
The works in this show focus on the act of making – so much so that the materials, unlike some of Niall’s earlier work, cease to talk about the outside world. They become tools of expression and of process, functional and formal, as if they exist only to give shape to drawings and sculptures. Niall agreed, “now it’s just about materials from an art shop, so that the other elements can take over” (3).
This work is undoubtedly about process – and it is highly personal; the artist followed a nearly instinctive and subjective path, each piece referencing a specific thing, an earlier work perhaps, or a chance encounter. It might have been a challenge for some visitors (who didn’t get the chance to interview the artist after seeing the show) to fully experience these nuances in the work – to get into them, so to speak. What remained for the viewer were marks, traces, echoes of the artist’s physical presence on the outside surface of works that describe an inner world.
1. In conversation with the artist.