Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin, 10 June – 7 August
‘Two Birds/One Stone’ is an absorbing exploration of materiality. Janet Mullarney has chosen works by a wide range of artists from the last two decades which explore the complexity, tactility and associative power of materials. The exhibition features work by Cecily Brennan, Dorothy Cross, Maud Cotter, Aleana Egan, John Gibbons, Tony Hill, Mary Kelly, Alice Maher, Eileen McDonagh, Locky Morris, Paul Mosse, Helen O’Leary, Niamh O’Malley, Adrian Paci, Rachel Parry, Alan Phelan, Kathy Prendegast, Linda Quinlan, David Quinn, Eddie Rafferty, Charles Tyrrell, Michael Warren and Daphne Wright.
Continue reading “Two Birds/One Stone”
John Byrne, The LAB, Dublin, 24 June – 10 August 2016
The official 1916 commemoration on Easter Sunday was a conservative if dignified solution that marked the de facto centenary of the foundation of our state. Designed to avoid controversy or soul searching, the event sidelined years of colossal social and economic upheaval in favour of a traditional military parade by the Irish Defence Forces. And they did it very well. In contrast, but arguably hidden safely in the margins, John Byrne’s exhibition ‘Would You Die for Ireland?’ is part of the LAB Gallery’s series of exhibitions supported by Dublin City Council’s Commemoration Fund, which asked artists “to consider what contribution we might make to future readings of the Easter Rising”.
Continue reading “Would You Die for Ireland?”
Victoria J. Dean, Niamh O’Doherty and Laura Smith
Galway Arts Centre, 22 January – 26 February 2016
Boundaries and partitions are staple themes in Irish cultural production. Over the last 100 years the Irish have struggled with the realities of a physical border, alongside metaphysical, social and political divisions. In this centenary year, such themes convey the complexities of our national identity. The three artists in this exhibition all explore aspects of what borders mean in relation to the passage of time.
Continue reading “On the Border Between Time and Loss”
Sean Lynch, LCGA, 21 January–24 March 2015
“Man was born naked, without claws, unable to run fast, with no shell or natural armour. But he could observe nature and imitate it. He saw how water ran down the side of a hill without sinking, and then invented a roof for his house. Soon more houses and villages appeared, and more stones were needed. Mighty tools and machines were invented. Demand increased. My chisel got harder, my hammer heavier. Villages turned into towns…towns into cities…stone…rock…next stone…next rock.”
Sean Lynch, script excerpt from ‘Adventure: Capital’
Lynch’s project ‘Adventure: Capital’ traces a journey around Ireland and Britain following the personified spirit of architecture and sculpture “from myth to modernism”. Using narratives, sites and objects, Lynch enacts a unique form of cultural anthropology and investigates art, form, function and worth. From Greek river gods to public art, via abandoned quarries and a traffic roundabout, the scale of materials and research is exhaustive.
Continue reading “Adventure: Capital”
Bridget O’Gorman, The LAB, Dublin, 29 January–12 March 2016
In 2015 Bridget O’Gorman was invited to respond, in collaboration with research partners and institutions, to the 1916 Rising in its centennial year. So began 12 months of site visits with historian Brenda Malone at the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks and a collaboration with writer Sue Rainsford. O’Gorman’s response is the first in a series of such exhibitions commissioned by The LAB, a gallery which regularly facilitates cross-disciplinary collaborations.
Continue reading “In the Flesh”
David Lunney, Eight Gallery, Dublin, 29 January–7 February 2016
Eight Gallery is housed in a large room on the first floor of a Georgian mansion on Dawson Street. Natural light enters through the grimy panes of three tall sash windows overlooking the street. A redundant chandelier shines weakly from the ceiling rose. Things Made for Drawing is a small, formally cohesive show, its eight works placed sparingly around the jaded but elegant room. There are six wall works in two sets of three, their titles, Three Rock and Kilmashogue, referring to well-known locations in the Dublin Mountains. Each of these sets has a causal connection to one of the two remaining works, a pair of squat, jerrybuilt structures standing apart on the grey painted floor.
Continue reading “Things Made for Drawing”
Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, 17 December 2015–16 February 2016
In ‘She Devil’, two video projection screens fill the huge darkened warehouse space of Golden Thread’s Galleries One and Two. This doesn’t mean, however, that there are a small number of artworks on show. Between them, these two screens play a continuous loop of 15 video works. The ‘She Devil’ project has been presented, with different content but in a similar format, in Rome and Bucharest.
Continue reading “She Devil”
Niamh McCann, VISUAL, Carlow, 3 October 2015–3 January 2016
The core work in ‘Just Left of Copernicus’ is a large geodesic structure installed in VISUAL’s main gallery. This is a challenging space, but the work is big enough to successfully withstand compression by the room’s engulfing depth and volume. It is inspired by the work of Buckminster Fuller, a pioneering engineer/designer who patented geodesic building design in 1960 in an effort to achieve cheaper, faster and more efficient home building. McCann’s motivation for making this work seems ostensibly to come from nostalgia for the ‘modern’ period, when civil innovation was understood as a means to better the conditions of man. This ties into her collaboration with Limerick Fab Lab, one of many fabrication laboratories (see also WeCreate and Workbench) providing the public with an environment in which to design, make and construct pretty much whatever they choose.
Continue reading “Just Left of Copernicus (The Roof of the Story)”
Kathryn Elkin and Seamus Harahan, CCA, Derry,
10 October–28 November 2015
CCA’s latest show explores the temporary nature of exhibition alongside residual cultural processes. It activates the build-up to an opening performance, or the post-processing of creative method, and the legacy left by those actions. The first collaboration is founded in Irish folk music. Artist Seamus Harahan formed the group ‘Trees Prosper’ with Patrick Morgan, Christina Anna Morgan and Sara J. Barry, who, in this venture, collaborated with established traditional singer Len Graham. The musicians worked toward the opening-night performance Along the Faughan Side, and their chairs remain in an arc in the space as a part of the recorded and exhibited rehearsal process.
Continue reading “Kathryn Elkin/Trees Prosper & Len Graham”
Paul McKinley, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, 20 November–19 December 2015
Hanuman is the Hindu monkey-god, a follower of Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Shiva, and a warrior credited with the ability to slay thousands of demons. The exploits of Hanuman are told in the epic poem the Ramayana, a 24,000 verse composition regarded as a great work of Indian literature.
The warlike god also lends his name to the latest solo exhibition from British-born artist Paul McKinley. This new body of work draws on the events that took place towards the end of the brutal Sri Lankan civil war, which lasted from 1983 until 2009, and on its folklore of gods and monsters.
Often free from inhabitants, McKinley’s work uses landscape and the natural world to explore the nature of mass killing and genocide, attempts to eradicate entire races or tribes of people. Even the works which don’t directly reference these themes still radiate an aura of discomfort, a suspicion that there is something dark and unwelcome concealed in the lush vegetation and bucolic landscapes scrutinised in his beautifully rendered drawings and paintings.
Continue reading “Hanuman”