TAP is the title of an energetic exhibition of new works by artist Joe Hanly featuring a cacophony of 3D installations of 2D paintings and montages in the Gallery of The Complex. The works are essentially abstract but employ within their framework a hybrid mix of representational and nonrepresentational devices drawn from the everyday paraphernalia of living, dreaming, memories and the aleatory encounters of being in the world today.
I like to think of my works in terms of propositions as if to say to the viewer “Consider this and see where it takes you or indeed where you take it” in an endeavor to transcend the prevailing state of affairs and TAP into possibilities that may lie beyond. These works are not intended to be prescriptive or didactic in any sense but do however seek to be informed by encounters with an audience.
For The Complex, Joe Hanly’s anarchic approach to artmaking resonated on the first studio visit in early 2020. As one of the artists who set up Temple Bar Galleries & Studios, Hanly’s interest in creating a place for art and artists, as well as his interest in collaboration and history of instigating
experimental and multidisciplinary art projects, aligns with The Complex’s mission of bringing art to all people. He is most recently known for his full size upside-down Trees, one suspended down the foyer of Temple Bar Studios and the other in the Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda.
To tap into (something) is to access some large, abundant, or powerful resource, or to have a connection with (something). The non-traditional nature of The Complex’s gallery space confuses expectations of a white cube, offering an opportunity and a playfulness which compliments Hanly’s interests in the notion that there is an innate aesthetic faculty within everyone which is crucial to how we navigate the world. He experiments with the fraught relationships of different materials, paint, found objects, photographic images and the occasional three-dimensional form, testing the limitations for coherence and ambiguity.
It is from this kind of experimental and juxtaposing dynamic that much of Joe Hanly’s work is informed, in which objects, ideas and anything that falls within a capacity for human reflection, concrete or otherwise, can become legitimate devices in improbable abstract arrangements seeking to stimulate new readings out of unanticipated associations.
“Despite creating works overtly characterized by the diversity of their content, there is a type of ‘universality’ suggested by Hanly’s strategies – a universality that is nevertheless grounded in the expectation of endless difference”
– Declan Long, 2012
Joe Hanly (b. 1952, Dublin) is a painter, printmaker, and occasional installation artist living in Dublin who has exhibited extensively throughout Ireland since the early 1980s with solo exhibitions in such venues as Project Arts Centre, Limerick City Gallery, The RHA Gallagher Gallery, Butler Gallery Kilkenny, Model Arts Centre Sligo, as well as Temple Bar Gallery + Studios. His work is included in many private and public collections.
He lectured in Fine Art, at the Dublin Institute of Technology from 1984 until retirement in 2014 and at Dun Laoghaire School of Art and Design from 1981 until 1984. He co-founded No9 Screenprint Workshop in 1977 and was a founding member of Temple Bar Gallery + Studios in 1983 where he set up The Print Studio at TBG+S. Recent exhibitions include One of its legs is both the same, an exhibition of paintings at The Dock, Carrick-On-Shannon, Co Leitrim and TREE, an inverted tree hanging down through the Atrium of Temple Bar in Gallery + Studios, Dublin 2018. He also curated and participated in DISRUPTORS, an exhibition of artists around another one of Joe’s inverted trees at the Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda in May 2019.