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
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
JOANNE LAWS INTERVIEWS ELIZABETH MAGILL ABOUT HER PAINTING PRACTICE. Joanne Laws: Can you describe your studio setting and your painting routine? Elizabeth Magill: My studio is in a complex with other artists run by the organisation ACME in East London. It’s a 700-square-foot white cube with light coming in from the south and looking onto Mill Row, a narrow one-way street shadowed by a four-storey brown brick and grey concrete block of council flats, built in the 1970s. I’ve been here for a long time, so I’m used to this view. I like its low-level visual interference. I also have a smaller workspace on the Antrim coast, but when I’m
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.
JOANNE LAWS INTERVIEWS ALISTAIR HUSDON, DIRECTOR OF MIMA AND CO-DIRECTOR OF ARTE ÚTIL. In 2014, Alistair Hudson was appointed director of Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima), part of Teesside University. From 2004 to 2014, Alistair was deputy director of Grizedale Arts – a contemporary arts residency and commissioning agency in the central Lake District in rural Northern England. In keeping with the principles of Arte Útil, mima describes itself as a ‘useful’ museum, established through ‘usership’ rather than spectatorship.
We work exceptionally hard in the arts. Whether working day in, day out in studios, travelling the length and breadth of the country, grant-chasing, freelancing or maintaining real jobs at the fringes of day jobs, we move mountains every day. While critical reflection is an inbuilt methodology of what we do, how often do we actually pause to reflect on our progress or marvel at our achievements? As the final Visual Artists’ News Sheet of the year, this issue is positioned to consider recent developments across our sector, while assessing some of the challenges that remain.
JOANNE LAWS INTERVIEWS SARAH BROWNE AND JESSE JONES ABOUT THEIR ONGOING PROJECT ‘IN THE SHADOW OF THE STATE’. Joanne Laws: Perhaps you might explain how your collaboration came about and introduce some of your initial ideas in developing this major new project? Sarah Browne/Jesse Jones: We’d known each other’s practices for many years and felt that at some stage we would find the right opportunity to work together. In 2014, we started discussing a potential collaboration with Patrick Fox (then Director of Create), and later Rachel Anderson (then producer/curator at Artangel, London). We attempted to identify the greatest urgencies for us as artists at that time and felt there was