To all intents, constructions and purposes

To all intents, constructions and purposes.

Luke Sisk and Bren Smyth

CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery

4 – 12 September 2015
Preview: Thursday 3rd September, 6.00pm

The phrase “for all intents and purposes”, stems from the legal terminology ‘To all intents, constructions and purposes’, that was coined in the 16th century, giving king Henry VIII power to legislate by proclamation.

Singular control over the mental, physical and social spaces, a will to shape an environment against a false context, holding sway over faith and ethics.

A recognition of this corrupted legitimacy remains in the modern phrase, accepting that though one thing might seem for all intents and purposes to be so, further context may yet reveal it to be something else entirely.

Context is scale of reference, and it is in constant transition. As the observer, the self is context. When we observe a planet, we recognise that the same answer can be applied to the questions ‘What?’, ‘Where?’ and ‘When?’. When we observe an object in our immediate environment we recognise a difference between these answers. The ratio between the self and the immediate object is so much smaller that this difference has been given greater significance. Markers become essential in maintaining this significance, legislating by proclamation.

The work in this exhibition looks at physical markers in Cork city, exposing a transition in their context.

Luke Sisk’s continuation of an idea that began over two years ago, is a body of work focusing on the earlier uses of the CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery and studio complex. Revised Goad maps from 1915, which were used to document each building in the city for fire insurance purposes, show that the earliest documented use of this building in particular, was as a wool and fabric warehouse, run by O’Brien Bro’s Ltd.

Using the ceramic vessel as a way to trace historical and architectural elements of the building and the surrounding area, by sanding and filing outlines of building and street into the rims, and also by basing the shape on spools of wool. It is important that each material has a relation to the site, the use of slate and timber as a display reference the E.H Harte & Sons timber and slate yard next door.

Bren Smyth’s drawings look at the simple question of the natural in an urban environment, and pose the question ‘Can anything be considered unnatural?’. Exploring the argument as a binary imposition that avoids actual discussion on the possible nature of things.

The drawings are portraits of the city in parts, familiarities that intend to be more than they appear. Observed as objects, but adopting social symptoms such as embarrassment, awkwardness, confidence. There is give and take between tension and integrity, revealed and obscured, allowing the subjects to emerge from white noise as opposed to dead space.