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Installation

Sounding Out

CHRISTOPHER STEENSON REPORTS ON SONORITIES FESTIVAL – AN EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC AND SOUND ART FESTIVAL THAT TOOK PLACE IN BELFAST FROM 17 TO 22 APRIL. If someone asked you where they might find a week-long, international festival dedicated to the latest developments in experimental music and sound art, you might recommend somewhere like Berlin. But since 1981, when Sonorities was founded at Queen’s University (QUB) as a “festival of twentieth century music”, Belfast has been just the place for an exploration of all things sonic. This year’s Sonorities Festival, which featured artists from over 40 countries, made a conscious effort to be more inclusive and open to the general public. By

Landscapes of Potential

AIDAN KELLY MURPHY INTERVIEWS ÁINE MCBRIDE ABOUT HER EMERGING PRACTICE. Aidan Kelly Murphy: Prior to studying art, you obtained a degree in structural engineering. Was this something you had planned or was it something that just evolved? Áine McBride: It wasn’t some grand master plan. I dabbled in painting, knowing that there was something interesting there, but not knowing how to articulate it; being an artist was never framed as something I could realistically pursue. I was interested in looking at art and had friends who were artists so I had an idea of what was going on, but more from the periphery. About halfway through studying engineering, I knew

‘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

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

International Ireland

Ulster Museum, Belfast, 10 February – 3 September 2017 There’s an implicit understanding of the museum’s finite resources and loaded remit when viewing a permanent collection show. The limited pool from which these exhibitions are curated often leads to a loose circle being drawn around the works, its content used to simultaneously demonstrate and educate. It becomes a balance of signposting and illustrating, where singular artworks are laden with significance, denoting the development of an artist’s full career or even those of their peers. When seen repeatedly in different configurations, pieces can easily be experienced as historical artefacts rather than artworks. The spectrum of contact an audience will have with

Texture of a Medium

ALISON PILKINGTON LOOKS AT CURRENT PRACTICES IN IRISH ABSTRACT PAINTING. “We are all at present, far more divided, less empowered and certainly far less connected to the effects of our world than we should be. It is for this reason that I am deeply involved in the texture of a medium capable of universalizing so much lost intimacy.” 1 The term ‘abstract painting’ is historical and, over time, the parameters of the genre seem to have collapsed. It could be argued that to write about abstract painting as if it were a genre that has some significant position within contemporary art, might be a somewhat redundant inquiry. The term itself

Colourless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously

Project Arts Centre, Dublin, 21 April – 17 June 2017 ‘Colourless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously’ sounds like nonsense, and it is – a phrase coined by Noam Chomsky to be grammatically correct but semantically all over the place. In this ambitious exhibition curated by David Upton, five geographically diverse art practices explore ideas of transient or un-locatable meaning via their own un-locatable objects, objects rendered by impressions and residues, and images deviating between fact and fiction, movement and stasis. A story in the exhibition booklet describes the fate of Byzantine icons bought at a Turkish Bazaar in the 1920’s. Eventually ending up in the National Gallery of Ireland, the icons,

Snake

Clare Strand, Belfast Exposed, 28 April – 17 June In ‘Snake’ the image is an interloper. At first unwelcome, it is nonetheless invited into the artist’s life for the long term. Clare Strand’s repulsion with the animal has compelled her to collect snake imagery since childhood, from scrapbooking serpentine forms in the loosest sense, to collecting more specific images – half glamour, half family-album-style photographs – of women who hold and love them.

Into the Gravelly Ground

Janine Davidson, Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, 9 June – 8 July 2017 Janine Davidson’s ‘Into the gravelly ground’ centres on an unusual site at Turlough Hill, County Wicklow. Here, embedded amidst scenic walks, is Ireland’s only pumped hydro-electricity plant. The film work 53012762459 features this structure, its interior and exterior, its machinery and technology. Also depicted is another reservoir at this same location: Lough Nahanagan, which was formed during the Ice Age. Designed to impinge as little as possible upon the environment, the plant’s main station is buried out of sight behind the mountain. In Davidson’s 22-minute film, the structure is so sleek and streamlined that it appears almost tentative, partaking

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