May / June 2020 Issue of the Visual Artists’ News Sheet

The May/June 2020 issue of The Visual Artists’ News Sheet has been dispatched to VAI members nationwide. Given that all our gallery distributors remain closed, many of the articles have been archived on the VAN website (links below).

This issue was assembled remotely, with the editorial remit responding to the rapidly shifting scenario, as contributors began to frame their observations through the lens of the global pandemic.

On the May/June front cover is Áine Phillips’s recent exhibition, ‘Buttered Up’, at MART Gallery. This iconic image conveys the prescient realities of domestic entrapment that we are now enduring. Ensconced in a sink as ‘absurd hostess’, Philips greeted audiences by extending a buttery hand, with writer Katherine Nolan commenting on the “intimacy of the handshake, now under scrutiny since the introduction of social distancing measures”.

In a similar vein, reflecting on the comparative freedom of global travel that we enjoyed only a few weeks ago, Lívia Páldi describes the week she spent at the Dhaka Art Summit 2020 in mid February, as feeling like both a “mirage” and a “rare privilege”, in light of subsequent global restrictions and the “rush towards digital space.”

Among columns for this issue, Matt Packer presents a rejoinder to his ‘Internationalism’ series, outlining the impacts of COVID-19 on artistic mobility and the dissemination of work. Declan McGonagle describes the socio-economic impacts of the ‘selfish state’, while Ceara Conway discusses how the current scenario is affecting the mental health of artists.

The May/June issue also features a range of exhibition and project profiles: Anne Mullee speaks to artist Tom Flanagan about his ‘Folk Radio’ project in County Clare; Padraig Spillane reviews ‘Many voices, all of them loved’ at the John Hansard Gallery in South Hampton; Anne Tallentire and Chris Fite-Wassilak describe the development of hmn – a quarterly sound-based test centre event, running in various venues across London since 2015; while Valerie Byrne and Dobz O’Brien outline the evolution of the National Sculpture Factory.

In the May/June Critique Section, Colin Darke reviews ‘Dissolving Histories: An Unreliable Presence’ at Golden Thread Gallery; Alison Pilkington reviews Mairead O’hEocha at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios; while Emer Lynch reviews Vivienne Dick’s ‘New York Our Time’ and Ciara Nic Chormaic’s ‘Skin+Soul’ at Dublin International Film Festival.

As ever, we have also have details on upcoming VAI Lifelong Learning workshops, public art roundups, news from the sector and listings of current artist opportunities.

Read articles on Visual Artists’ News Sheet website here:

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