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Career Development

Finding the Line

JOANNE LAWS INTERVIEWS THREE EARLY-CAREER ARTISTS ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES OF MAINTAINING A PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE AFTER COLLEGE. Joanne Laws: What were your priorities and expectations upon leaving art college? Cecilia Danell: I graduated from GMIT in 2008 with a BA Hons in Fine Art Painting. I was pretty young at the time, having gone straight into college in Ireland after secondary school in Sweden. Despite being awarded GMIT Paint Student of the Year, and feeling committed to pursuing a career as an artist, I have to admit that I knew very little about the realities of life after college. It was terrible timing, as the recession hit Ireland with full force

Critical Exposure

JOANNE LAWS PROVIDES SOME PRACTICAL ADVICE ON HOW TO GET YOUR WORK CRITIQUED AND WRITTEN ABOUT. As Features Editor of VAN, one of the most common requests I receive from artists is: “Can you review my exhibition?” Often these pitches arrive at short-notice and contain sparse information about the exhibition in question. All VAN writing proposals are discussed during bi-monthly editorial meetings and only five exhibitions are reviewed in the Critique section of each issue. We try to cover a range of media, venues and geographical regions, as well as giving coverage to artists at different career stages. Artists, curators and gallery directors are advised to submit details at least

Take Your Passion (and Make it Happen)

PÁDRAIC E. MOORE REFLECTS ON HIS EXPERIENCES OF WORKING AS AN INDEPENDENT CURATOR. My curatorial career dawned in my early twenties, when I began organising exhibitions and events in various spaces across Dublin. I had just completed a BA in the History of Art at UCD and was about to embark on an MA, eager to apply my knowledge and enthusiasm. I’ve always been a voracious exhibition attendee and from my late teens onwards I had the opportunity to meet numerous artists and curators. These experiences shaped a nascent inkling that I wanted to work with, and alongside, artists in a role that would enable me to inhabit and contribute

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

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

Material Uncertainty

WITH NEWLY COMMISSIONED WORK FOR EVA INTERNATIONAL 2018 ON THE HORIZON, MATT PACKER SITS DOWN WITH JOHN RAINEY TO DISCUSS THE TRAJECTORY OF HIS SCULPTURAL PRACTICE. Matt Packer: Can you describe how your background in the medium of ceramics continues to inform your work? John Rainey: Production and imitation are aspects of the ceramic discipline that continue to be particularly important within my work. However, my curiosity about how things are made, and my compulsion to physically produce things, predates my training in ceramics. For me, processes and skills feel very enabling. I have a need to constantly examine and improve on this technical capacity, which is what drives me

Tactile Simulations

SARAH HAYDEN INTERVIEWS PÁDRAIG SPILLANE ABOUT THE TRAJECTORY OF HIS PRACTICE AND HIS RECENT EXHIBITION,  ‘WHAT PASSES BETWEEN US’, AT SIRIUS ARTS CENTRE. Sarah Hayden: For several years, your practice has tended towards three dimensions, and yet it maintains a preoccupation with surfaces. How do you conceive of this development and how does it interact with your interest in interrogating ‘depthless’, two-dimensional images? Pádraig Spillane: My interest in surfaces centres on how they can be reordered. This can involve searching the innards of materials, or cutting and tearing printed matter, to examine how things look and feel in proximity to each other. The images and objects I use – whether

University of the World

PÁDRAIC E. MOORE INTERVIEWS VIVIENNE DICK ABOUT HER FRIENDSHIP WITH NAN GOLDIN AND THEIR CURRENT EXHIBITIONS AT IMMA. Pádraic E. Moore: Your exhibition ‘93% STARDUST’ runs concurrently with Nan Goldin’s ‘Weekend Plans’ at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). Perhaps we can discuss the milieu yourself and Nan once shared and the parallels between your work? Vivienne Dick: I met Nan just after she arrived in New York. We hung out together throughout my time in the city and shared several interests, particularly music. There are parallels in our early work – we were always aware of that, even at the time. We were tuned into each other’s aesthetic

A Sense of Stillness

JOANNE LAWS SPEAKS TO JOHN HUTCHINSON ABOUT HIS 25-YEAR DIRECTORSHIP OF THE DOUGLAS HYDE GALLERY. Joanne Laws: Your vast contribution to the Irish visual arts is fondly conveyed in a series of thoughts, reflections and tributes by artists, colleagues and friends. How do you feel about these comments? John Hutchinson: I found it a very strange experience. It felt a bit like reading my own obituary. But by and large they were lovely and very generous. Michael [Hill] and Rachel[McIntyre] put them together with a lot of work and I’m very touched and grateful for all their efforts.

A Séance of Objects & Images

SUSAN MACWILLIAM DISCUSSES HER TOURING SURVEY EXHIBITION ‘MODERN EXPERIMENTS’, WHICH WILL HAVE SHOWN AT F.E. MCWILLIAM GALLERY, THE HIGHLANES GALLERY, UILLIN: WEST CORK ARTS CENTRE AND THE BUTLER GALLERY BY THE END OF 2017. It’s a strange experience when works come back after an absence, materialising from their coffin-like crates or emerging into the light after a decade or more in darkness and obscurity. A survey show feels like a form of mediumship. Past worlds collide in the present. These worlds are made by me, fabricated in the studio by different versions of myself at different stages of my life. Some works ‘know’ other works, while others meet for the

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