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2019 02 March/April

March/April Issue – Out Now!

The March/April issue of the Visual Artists’ News Sheet is out now. In columns for this issue, Sarah Durcan outlines her ongoing research project, ‘The Memory-Image’, as well as a related screening event at the Irish Film Institute in January. Sara Greavu discusses the evolution of CCA Derry’s dedicated reading group, booksvscigarettes, which aims to bring concentration and care to a range of texts, through the attentive act of communal reading. The Skills Column for this issue comes from James L. Hayes, who discusses experimental casting processes, technologies and materials, as well as the most recent iteration of his ongoing ‘Iron-R’ project. Reflecting on the many uncertainties currently facing artists

The Truth of the Encounter

JOANNE LAWS INTERVIEWS NICK MILLER ABOUT HIS PAINTING PRACTICE AND HIS CURRENT EXHIBITION IN LONDON. Joanne Laws: The term ‘Encounter Painting’ is commonly associated with your work. I guess this relates to things happening in your daily life and how you respond to them?  Nick Miller: Not really, it’s more formal than that. Back in 1988, still in my late-twenties, I had a kind of eureka moment about what art could be for me while on a residency in Dublin Zoo. I began to draw from life again, facing the otherness of animals in captivity. It became about meeting and holding contained energy through the act of drawing. It coincided

Time Tries all Things

CHRIS HAYES TALKS TO GRACE WEIR ABOUT HER CURRENT EXHIBITION AT THE INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS, LONDON.   Fight with Cudgels (c.1820–23) is a painting by Francisco Goya that depicts two men duelling, and with each step, slowing sinking further into the mud below them. Their supposed opposition is a misreading; their struggle is not between two distinct forces, but a situation which they create together and for each other. “With every move they make,” wrote French philosopher Michel Serres, “they are gradually burying themselves together.” The image appealed to Serres as a metaphor for a relationship between two things, in this instance, that of people and the threat of climate

Drawing de-Centered

MELISSA O’FAHERTY AND KIERA O’TOOLE DISCUSS THE IRISH CONTEMPORARY DRAWING COLLECTIVE, DRAWING DE-CENTRED. Diverse-nomadic-open-provoke-interim-decenterd-trail-liminal-sift-provisional-testing-scratch.  Drawing de-Centred is an artist collective and online platform for exploring contemporary drawing practice and research. In 2016, six professional Irish artists, whose practice is rooted in drawing, first met at a peer critique event, organised by Visual Artists Ireland and chaired by Arno Kramer. Kramer is a visual artist, curator and founder of Drawing Centre Diepenheim in The Netherlands, who champions contemporary drawing in all its diversity. One of the many outcomes of this serendipitous encounter was the establishment of a drawing-focused platform, titled ‘Drawing de-Centred’ (DdC). The title of the collective originated from the

Universal Credit

ROB HILKEN OUTLINES THE CHALLENGES OF THE UNIVERSAL CREDIT SYSTEM FOR ARTISTS IN NORTHERN IRELAND.  Artists in Northern Ireland are being challenged by a range of uncertainties. Brexit is casting a looming shadow, but with so many unknowns about the nature of any withdrawal agreement, it is very hard to put plans in place that will mitigate against potentially negative impacts. But even before Brexit comes into effect, there is another issue that is already having a significant impact on the livelihoods of artists in Northern Ireland – that of the United Kingdom’s new benefits scheme, called Universal Credit. Universal Credit is the new ‘simplified’ benefits system that combines Jobseekers

‘Lectus’

MART Gallery, Dublin10 January – 14 February 2019 This is the third year of MART’s Exhibition Award, in partnership with CIT Crawford College of Art & Design (CCAD) and Fire Station Artists’ Studios (FSAS). Curated by Deirdre Morrissey, ‘Lectus’ platforms the work of Èanna Heavey, Sarah Diviney (both CCAD graduates) and IADT graduate Emma McKeagney. On that day in January when winter finally decided to bite, the 12-foot red doors of the Fire Station Gallery gaped open. In its jaws, a yellow bathtub, half full of cloudy murk, sits almost fallow but for a motionless floral dress, stained with an indistinct darkness. This is the sculptural residue of Diviney’s performance,

Shane Keeling ‘BAD-MAN Oh Man’

Wexford Arts Centre14 January – 16 February 2019 Wexford-born emerging artist, Shane Keeling, recently graduated from the National College of Art & Design with an honours degree in Glass & Ceramics. As recipient of NCAD’s 2018 Ceramic Residency, Keeling has developed a new body of mixed-media works which aims to generate dialogue on mental health, suicide and the stigma surrounding these conversations. Curated by Lisa Byrne, Keeling’s solo exhibition at Wexford Arts Centre is not just about the art – the artworks presented are certainly not unremarkable, but perhaps more importantly, they provide a vehicle to explore the artist’s very timely concerns.  Through the material processes of making, breaking, mending

Gerry Davis ‘Procession’

Galway Arts Centre 11 January – 8 February 2019 ‘Procession’ is a powerfully evocative exhibition by Limerick-based painter, Gerry Davis, which generates extensive narratives. In this respect, the work demonstrates how aesthetic experience transcends language. The exhibition comprises a new body of realist paintings that address timeless and contemporary issues pertaining to the function of art. Each painting poses questions about the nature of looking, as well as the interconnected roles of the artist, the viewer and the wider public.  In some of the paintings, there is an atmosphere of solitude and depravation. For example, Studio Space 4 details a dated studio, which appears to be lacking in central heating, as

Liam Crichton with Autumns ‘Stereo Object’

Void, Derry12 – 26 January 2019 Along the Grand Promenade of Derry’s City Walls stands an empty plinth, which became an empty plinth long before it was fashionable to be so. It is what remains of the monument to Governor George Walker, hero to Unionism, which for its atavistic sins was ‘blew up’ by the IRA in 1973. It’s said that hundreds of Bogsiders collected the far-flung debris as souvenirs of the war on triumphalist art. Where are all the bits of Governor Walker now? An installation by artist Liam Crichton and musician Autumns (AKA Christian Donaghey), titled Stereo Object, enacts a symbolic séance on his remains, with particular interest

‘Surveillé·e·s’

Solstice Art Centre, Navan 12 January – 1 March 2019 The exposé of Cambridge Analytica last year showed us how we are complicit in our own surveillance. It’s no longer just footage from omniscient CCTV that tracks us; self-authored social media data is also capable of being harvested, hacked or stolen. And thanks to unscrupulous but canny work of electioneers, the world now has Trump and Brexit to deal with. As the wordplay in the title suggests, the current exhibition at Solstice surveys surveillance-related art from multiple perspectives.  The show originates from Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris – Ireland’s cultural outpost in Europe – and is curated by centre director and Belfast