Custom House Studios + Gallery are pleased to host “Refractions” by Gavin Mc Crea & John Murray. Exhibition runs from Thursday, 14th April until Sunday, 8th May 2022.
Gavin Mc Crea
Concerned with connections and human relationships with place, Mc Crea draws upon a range of embodied memory’s associated with place and movements established from a lifetime of immersion in the sea through surfing. Although practiced and honed, each new surf session challenges these embodied movements through ever changing factors, winds, weather, tidal ranges and wave sizes. Each session differing movements and responses are brought to the fore, whilst intuitively traversing the wave face. No two waves ever repeated across a lifetime, this much like the painting process, were no two outcomes can be repeated, differing stretchers, paint qualities, brush marks and mood. In creating the work, I am interested in the sense of place and space, encompassing both past, present, old and new.
Embodied movements are acted out in the form of painterly gestures, across often familiar re-contextualised materials. Spontaneous, unpredictable and at times violent, reminiscent of surfing, they are juxtaposed against methodically produced sharp edge chevrons and stripes, normally associated with barriers, fences, flags or obstacles, for Mc Crea they are embodied memories from childhood car journeys navigating border crossings and checkpoints.
Works created from these inter-connected realms, are produced first and foremost as paintings but when placed within the space, take on new forms and function as both object and painting, some are wall-fixed and others floor-resting or standing or self-contained, the interactions between traditional painting surfaces and ordinary hardware materials used addressing painting as an act of construction, as well as art object. The creation of obstacles and unexpected use of materials, are an attempt to surprise, elicit memories, invite interaction and ultimately immersion within the painting realm by challenging viewer relationships with the sculptural forms arranged within space. These forms suggestive of the checkpoints, barriers, the painting studio, the fascination of painting itself, and embodied connections and relationships with seemingly utilitarian materials.
Visual artist Gavin Mc Crea grew up in Sion Mills, Co Tyrone in Northern Ireland but for over 25 years has lived on the West coast of Ireland where he pursues his love of surfing and painting. He has a BA Hons with a 1st in Fine Art from IT Sligo, and was awarded The Hyde Bridge Gallery Graduate Award Solo exhibition 2017. Solo shows include Innermost Limits at The Hyde Bridge Gallery, Sligo, Intertidal at Ballina Arts Centre and Alley Theatre, Strabane and most recently Speed Power And Flow at Ards Art Centre, Newtownards. Recent group shows include Mind Breath Beat at 126 Gallery, Galway and Minecraft Show, through Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny.
My current work, including the four pieces for this show, is a visual remembrance of my time living and working in the Soviet Union. For these paintings, I have reproduced fragments of text and images selected from newspapers and magazines of the period and overlaid them with a less structured, more personalised layer that attempts to reveal the patterns and paradoxes — the warp and weft — concealed beneath the public surface.
John is a painter working and living in Dublin. He received his degree from IADT and has exhibited throughout the country in various solo and groups shows. He was named Irish Print Journalist of the Year for his reporting from Russia with The Sunday Tribune newspaper. He holds a PhD in Russian Linguistics and is a lecturer with the Russian Department at Trinity College, Dublin.