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May/June Issue – Out Now!

The May – June 2018 issue of the Visual Artists’ News Sheet is out now and available in galleries across Ireland. This issue has a timely focus on several important exhibitions currently showing in galleries nationwide. On 13 April, the 38th edition of Ireland’s contemporary art biennial, EVA International, opened in various venues across Limerick city. EVA will run untill 8 July with several off-site projects also taking place in IMMA. Mary Conlon interviews EVA 2018 curator, Inti Guerrero, for this issue, offering insights into Guerrero’s curatorial research and exhibition-making strategies. Meanwhile, a number of exhibitions and projects are currently taking place across Ireland to celebrate the diverse career of

2018 03 May/June

Dismantling the Monolith

MARY CONLON CATCHES UP WITH INTI GUERRERO, CURATOR OF THE 38TH EVA INTERNATIONAL, CURRENTLY SHOWING ACROSS MULTIPLE VENUES IN LIMERICK CITY. Mary Conlon: In developing the 38th edition of EVA International, you have replaced the standard ‘monolithic’ biennial model with a more complex ecology of exhibitions. Can you explain this curatorial strategy? Inti Guerrero: It is a proposal that corresponds to the simultaneous multiplicity of perception that audiences today have developed, alongside the advent of social media. In other words, in a biennial imagined as an ecology, people can navigate back and forth through entirely distinct bodies of work and different constellations of meaning, and yet not feel the need

2018 03 May/June

Archaic Language

BRENDA MOORE-MCCANN OUTLINES THE EXHIBITIONS AND PROJECTS TAKING PLACE NATIONWIDE TO CELEBRATE THE DIVERSE ARTISTIC CAREER OF BRIAN O’DOHERTY. Few would disagree that Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland is one of the most distinguished and significant artists of his generation to come out of Ireland onto the international stage in the last fifty years. Born in Ballaghaderreen, County Roscommon, his influence is felt on both sides of the Atlantic since his (voluntary) exile to New York in 1957. His extraordinary career, which spans many disciplines and uses different heteronyms1, has been puzzling to some and inspirational to others. As a pioneering conceptual artist, he produced such seminal works as the first conceptual

2018 03 May/June

Face Value

PÁDRAIG SPILLANE REPORTS FROM BERLIN’S TRANSMEDIALE FESTIVAL 2018 Transmediale Festival 2018: ‘Face Value’ took place from 31 January – 4 February at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. Bearing name changes over its thirty years, transmediale continues to examine and advance understandings regarding how societies absorb technologies. This 31st edition employed the familiar blunt phrase ‘face value’ – the apparent or supposed worth of something – to position multifaceted assessments of relationships with technologies and the influence they have on current cultural and political trajectories. As stated on the festival’s website, transmediale 2018 aimed to “take stock of current affairs, to recognise things for what they are before saying how

2018 03 May/June

The Shape of Thought

JOANNE LAWS INTERVIEWS ALISON PILKINGTON ABOUT THE METHODS AND INFLUENCES UNDERPINNING HER CURRENT BODY OF WORK. JL: Your paintings seem to combine abstract, diagrammatic and figurative approaches. Are you conscious of having a particular aesthetic in mind, when you embark on a painting? AP: My aesthetic approach or painting style has evolved a lot over the last ten years or so, particularly since embarking on a practice-based PhD at NCAD, which I started in 2009 and completed in 2015. During this time, I made quite a deliberate break from gestural abstract painting. I think I felt the need to free myself up from a particular style of painting. It is

2018 03 May/June

‘Paintings (Uillinn Series)’ / ‘Metamurmuration’

Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre 3 March – 10 April 2018 Featuring: David Quinn and Joanna Kidney David Quinn’s show at Uillinn consists of two artworks, Uillinn Series One to Nineteen (2018) and Zero (2018). The former consists of 19 small abstract works on paper and wood, composed of gesso, oil-based pencil and oil bar. All are uniform in size and are hung at eyelevel on two opposing walls of the James O’Driscoll Gallery. Their location is not best served by the open plan setting, as sound from the reception area spills into the gallery. This highlights a common dilemma within contemporary publicly-funded art galleries: demands for public accessibility, interactivity and inclusiveness

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2018 03 May/June

Dorothy Smith ‘Land Marks’

RHA Ashford Gallery, Dublin 15 March – 22 April 2018 I moved house recently and, in the process, became acutely aware of our perceived ownership of spaces. As I emptied one house of our family’s possessions, our hold on it began to drain. And as we began to fill the new house, our presence began forcing out the previous occupants. Before I turned the key of our old house for the last time, I was left in a space emptied of our things but was also conscious that some of our memories and traces would remain. This often-indiscernible line that exists between physical structures and our relationship to them is

2018 03 May/June

Anthony Mackey ‘Angles: Perspective from the Margins’

Gallery of Modern Art, Waterford 8 – 26 March 2018 The French novelist, Gustave Flaubert, an exponent of literary realism, once stated that “the artist must be in his work as God is in creation, invisible and all-powerful; one must sense him everywhere, but never see him”1. Anthony Mackey’s first solo exhibition accomplished this with consummate skill. His site-specific installation for GOMA employed various mediums and artistic methods to explore social issues of the marginalised community in which he lives and works. The mixed media installation – comprising drawings, printmaking and video – was presented across two gallery spaces, with local people being an integral element. No titles, details, pricelist,

2018 03 May/June

Like Me

The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon 10 February – 31 March 2018 Featuring: Alice Hanratty, Kian Benson Bailes and Eleanor McCaughey ‘Like Me’ is a show which demonstrates the continued relevance and vitality of painting and drawing. Amongst other things, the three artists explore relationships between two-dimensional artworks and architectural space, while art of the past acts as a source of joy and inspiration, rather than as a ‘dead hand’, stifling creativity. Alice Hanratty’s newly-commissioned work, Procession, is a frieze of head-and-shoulder profile portraits, based on Cinquecento paintings, such as Piero della Francesca’s The Duke and Duchess of Urbino (1467–72). The works, which form a continuous frieze around The Dock’s central hall, are

2018 03 May/June

Shane Berkery ‘Contemporary Paintings’

The Molesworth Gallery, Dublin 1 – 24 February 2018 The title of Shane Berkery’s latest exhibition imparts little more than an implied focus on recent work, spotlighting where he is in his developing career through paintings that reflect his influences and interests. Dublin-based with Irish-Japanese parentage, Berkery eschews an overtly conceptual approach to his practice, and so may also be commenting on what contemporary art can be. The 11 canvases fall into two broad groupings, one with images of young ‘contemporary’ subjects, the other drawing on black and white photos relating to his Japanese heritage. Dating from the 1950s and ‘60s, these are characterised by informal poses and the clothing

2018 02 March/April

Painting as Solidarity

JOANNE LAWS SPEAKS TO BRIAN MAGUIRE ABOUT HIS CURRENT EXHIBITION, ‘WAR CHANGES ITS ADDRESS: THE ALEPPO PAINTINGS’. Joanne Laws: ‘The Aleppo Paintings’ depict the crumbling buildings of the war-torn Syrian city. Can you describe your motivation for this work? Brian Maguire: I was very interested in the Syrian Civil War. I was reading texts by Patrick Cockburn, which made me think about how the Irish Civil Rights Movement was militarised and sectarianised. It became about Catholics and Protestants and was taken over by the military, yet it began as a civil rights movement, just as the rebellion in Syria began as a peaceful movement and very quickly became militarised by

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2018 02 March/April

Leaving Little Trace, But Whispers…

REBECCA O’DWYER DISCUSSES HER ONE-YEAR PUBLISHING PROJECT, RESPONSE TO A REQUEST. Response to a Request 1 was an online publication I started in July 2016, and which came to an end, for the most part, in June 2017. Over the course of its brief run, I somehow managed to convince the following people to write for it: Kathy Tynan, Kevin Breathnach, Niamh McCooey, Nathan O’Donnell, Lizzie Lloyd, Adrian Duncan, Joanna Walsh, Ian Maleney, Susan Connolly, Jonathan Mayhew, Darragh McCausland, Emma Dwyer, Sam Keogh, Sue Rainsford, Michael Naghten Shanks, Suzanne Walsh, Ingrid Lyons, Sabina McMahon, Eimear Walshe, Dennis McNulty, Fergus Feehily and Niamh O’Malley. However, as I prepared for the belated closing

2018 02 March/April

Spatial Assemblage

KIAN BENSON BAILES DISCUSSES HIS SCULPTURAL AND DIGITAL FABRICATION METHODS. I became interested in identity politics in second year of my Visual Arts Practice degree at IADT Dún Laoghaire. Terms like ‘appropriation’ had begun to penetrate the pop culture sphere, which caused me to evaluate the work I was making in terms of my own cultural perspective. My practice has become an extension of the types of socio-political commentary that have become increasingly prevalent throughout the internet via social media and the public sphere. The internet is a particularly pertinent platform because it offers itself as a vehicle for research, while also providing its own kind of spatial interventions. Historical

2018 02 March/April

Archival Gesture

CHRIS HAYES DISCUSSES THE EVOLUTION OF ‘PERIODICAL REVIEW’ – A LONG-RUNNING CURATORIAL PROJECT BY PALLAS PROJECTS/STUDIOS. To write about the Periodical Review – an annual exhibition, now in its seventh iteration – is to repeat and confront the curatorial project’s own questions and provocations. Hosted, organised and partially curated by the not-for-profit artist-run space, Pallas Projects/Studios in Dublin, Periodical Review aims to enliven the practice of contemporary exhibition-making by reimaging the gallery space as a magazine. The exhibition title, in itself, echoes this publishing endeavour, suggesting something occurring at regular intervals. Periodical Review offers a unique opportunity to look back on the preceding year in Irish art, by showcasing artworks

2018 02 March/April

Push and Pull

RHA Ashford Gallery, Dublin, 19 January – 11 February 2018 In a TED talk entitled ‘How architecture helped music evolve’, the musician David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) suggested that the relationship between architecture and music is directly formative. Byrne argued that the spatial and architectural features of a venue specifically influence the sonic and acoustic characters of the music performed there. In other words, American punk band, Black Flag, are to the small hardcore club what AC/DC are to the open-air area. If we imagine visual art to be engaged in a similarly formative relationship with its venues of display, it is interesting to consider whether Niall de Buitléar’s exhibition,

2018 02 March/April

Black & White

Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, 13 January – 25 February 2018 Does a ‘feminine aesthetic’ exist? It’s a divisive hypothesis (and a possibly unanswerable question) that came to mind upon viewing Jane O’Malley’s exhibition, ‘Black & White’, at the Butler Gallery. The fifty pieces shown included several etchings and aquatint prints, as well as sketches in an array of media, including chalk, Conté crayon, pastel, oil, pen and ink. As the title implies, this body of work is monochromatic, although a couple of pieces display slight intrusions of yellow. O’Malley’s ease with her wide range of media is immediately apparent. Lines are loose, fluid and used sparingly but effectively. There is a pleasing

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