In the Flesh

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.

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Things Made for Drawing

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.

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She Devil

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.

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Just Left of Copernicus (The Roof of the Story)

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.

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Kathryn Elkin/Trees Prosper & Len Graham

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.

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Hanuman

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.

McKinley online small 2The 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.

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Holding True Ground

Lisa Fingleton, Siamsa Tire, Kerry, 30 October–4 December 2015

The central work in ‘Holding True Ground’ is 30 Days of Eating Local Food. Located in the Round Gallery, the work takes the form of a diary, with each day unfolding through diagrams, notes, sketches and photographs. Day one includes a mind-map questioning the artist’s reasons for undertaking such a project. She quotes Gandhi: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.

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