What Passes Between Us

Sirius Arts Centre, 3 September – 15 October 2017

Pádraig Spillane’s exhibition of new work, ‘What Passes Between Us’, is presented across two galleries at Sirius Arts Centre. Four upright, mild-steel, modular frames, approximately adult height, stand in the centre of the floor in each space. A single sheet of clear PVC is cast across the top of one of the frames, while several wall-mounted digital prints complete the presentation. Two specially-commissioned electronic and vocal sound pieces – composed by Simon O’Connor and sung by Michelle O’Rourke – are transmitted into the galleries from speakers situated on the floor.

The minimalist presentation suits these light-filled spaces. In the centre gallery, four wall prints depict intense close-ups of the human palm, with the thumb and wrist areas merging. Titles for these digital collages, including Palm Animator (2017) and Palm Merging (2017), seem appropriate. The images are mirrored and repeated across a brown background, conjuring various grid formations. The overall impression is that these compositions are highly controlled and provocatively sensual, whilst also feeling slightly strange. There is a hint of something less than comfortable afoot, involving some sort of modification or restaging of bodily elements.

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Gut Instinct: Art, food & feeling

Marina Abramovic, Sonja Alhäuser, Domestic Godless, Elif Erkan, Fiona Hallinan, Siobhan McGibbon, Abigail O’Brien, Thomas Rentmeister, Neil Shawcross, Glucksman Gallery, Cork, 25 November 2016 – 19 March 2017

THIS exhibition, curated by Professor John Cryan, Chris Clarke and Fiona Kearney, draws on research by Cryan and colleagues at the Anatomy and Neuroscience department of UCC, in order to “explore how digestion relates to our mental and emotional states”.

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I Have Nada So Far But I Remain Optimistic

David Fagan, Tactic, Cork, 23 June – 20 July 2016

Sometimes I find it interesting, on my first encounter with an exhibition, to pretend I am illiterate.

A brightly lit, concrete-floored rectangle. A white sentence on a red floating partition. Three separate clusters of green glass beer bottles. On one wall, a black and white photograph of four suited and bespectacled persons unknown; on the opposite, a colour photograph of two men in a pub, one to the rear, one to the fore. A pedestal upon which a ticket and ticket receipt are propped, another sentence in the crook of the wall, this time in red. A video, one moment showing a solitary trolley outside a squat, brick building against a blue sky, the next showing the same scene on a TV screen inside a living room – net curtain, radiator, fireplace – and a tune burbling up from inside the video, a soul song from the 1970s. As the screen blacks out it throws its chorus to a speaker in the ceiling: “Have you seen her? Tell me have you seen her?”

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Re-Interrogating Criticism

EMMA DWAN O’REILLY REPORTS ON ‘THE VALUE OF CRITICISM’ SYMPOSIUM, WHICH TOOK PLACE AT THE LEWIS GLUCKMAN GALLERY, CORK, ON 26 FEBRUARY 2016[i]

 In Ireland, practices of art criticism have continued to develop in a changing landscape. Although things remain unsettled with regards to establishing publications and securing funding, there exists a vibrant energy around writing on art in Ireland in recent years. New publications, writers and editors have emerged with fresh initiatives and ideas, and there has been an increased interest in developing new spaces, publishing platforms and audiences, and in cultivating alternative approaches to writing about art.

 ‘The Value of Criticism’ symposium examined the role of art criticism and the critic in determining both the historical and economic value of art. The role of the critic in the changing landscape of art criticism and publishing was also explored, with particular focus on how writers, editors, curators and broadcasters approach and evaluate their subjects and influence public understanding and appreciation of art.

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Artist-Led Island

CHRIS HAYES, CO-DIRECTOR OF ORMSTON HOUSE, LIMERICK, DISCUSSES THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF ARTIST-LED PRACTICE AS AN INSIDER.

Sample-Studios is an artist-run space in Cork. To celebrate its fifth birthday Artistic Director, Aideen Quirke, organised a three-day festival of events. As part of the festivities a panel discussion titled ‘Artist-Led Island’ tackled the topic of artist-led spaces in Ireland. The panel included Moran Been-Noon from Platform Arts Belfast, Lisa Crowne from A4 Sounds in Dublin, David Dobz O’Brien from the National Sculpture Factory in Cork, Gavin Murphy from Pallas Projects in Dublin, Shelly McDonnell, Communications and Advocacy Assistant at VAI, and myself, representing Ormston House in Limerick.

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