Date(s) - 03/05/2019 - 28/06/2019
11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Temple Bar Gallery + Studio
staring forms is a group exhibition that brings together four individual artistic practices that engage with space, interiors and sites using distinct voices and methodologies. The exhibition takes as its starting points the structures, ornamentation and navigation of internal domestic and public space. These ideas were developed through discussions around a collection of shared texts, selected by each artist in response to the initial exhibition proposal, that resonate with their distinct practices.
The texts, which include critical, philosophical and political essays, fiction and poetry, give an insight into each artist’s approach to research, and provide a broader frame of reference for the exhibition. Frequent individual and group studio visits invited further conversation and reflection between the artists at all stages of development and, as a result, this exhibition has been guided by the shared sensibilities of the four singular practitioners.
One of the key early phrases that sparked discussion is a passage from T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’, which gives agency to the decorative features of the poem’s setting as witnesses to the events unfolding in the room:
And other withered stumps of time
Were told upon the walls; staring forms
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.
The draft manuscript of ‘The Waste Land’ vigorously annotated by Ezra Pound and Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot, became a further visual and conceptual guide for the exhibition. The prominent redactions, notation and meticulous edits of the poem call attention to the written word as a visual form. The structural reconfigurations of the work, heightened by the agitated combination of Eliot’s mechanical typed text with Pound and Haigh-Wood Eliot’s pencil annotations, relate to the architectural modifications proposed by the artists for the exhibition.
The compatibility of materials informs a crucial equilibrium throughout staring forms. Each artist uses idiosyncratic combinations of industrial construction materials with hand-worked techniques and components. The conversation between different materials and processes speaks both to the familiar and comforting interiors of rooms as well as the robust structures that contain them. This spatial discussion invites consideration of the internal mindset of the artists’ creative processes in relation to the world in which these ideas inhabit. The internal dream and external reality is a dialogue assuredly conveyed in Marion Milner’s book ‘On Not Being Able To Paint’:
I could tell myself that we cannot help but dream, completing in imagination the pattern of our necessarily fragmentary experiences of the external world, we cannot help working over in our imagination what happens to us, creating internally the ideal wholeness of what the experience might have been; just as we continually complete the wholeness of the unseen three sides of a cube and recognise it as a solid in our everyday experience of perceptions.