Category Archives: 4. Exhibitions and Inspirational journeys

No Shade in the Shadows, Colin Crotty, Sirius Arts Centre, 14th May

No Shade in the Shadows, Colin Crotty

The paintings in this well presented show had a dream-like timeless quality, yet still felt current and contemporary.  Flashes of pastel colour and subtle iridescent paint skillfully floated like gossamer layers, seemingly hovering just above the canvas surface.  Areas of precise detail were balanced with expanses of colour and painterly marks that felt like a notion being formulated or a musing on a lazy sunny afternoon.  There is a gentle tension in this  ‘something about to be realised’ and ‘timeless musing’, both in the subject matter and the treatment of the paint.   They are skillful and a delight to behold.

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Glasgow International 2016

We disembarked, slightly groggy from the earlier start to a baltic Edinburgh from whence we journeyed to Glasgow (bus delays notwithstanding!)  After a reviving breakfast, we began our Glasgow International exploration in GoMa.   This venue hosted 2 artists – Cosima von Bonin (Who’s exploiting who in the deep sea?) and Tessa Lynch (Painter’s Table) and was part of the Director’s Programme.

 

Cosima von Bonin – Who’s exploiting who in the deep sea?

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Tessa Lynch (Painter’s Table)

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The sheer scale and quirkiness of von Bonin’s work was intriguing and incorporated a variety of media.   While elements of Tessa Lynch’s  work was interesting to me on an aesthetic level, I wasn’t particularly gripped by it.

Next stop on our whirlwind of art exploration was Tramway.  This venue hosted 5 artists and was also part of the Director’s Programme.   According to the festival guide ‘works by the five artists focus on ideas of production, manufacture, material culture, design, history and labour, which all in turn reflect back out upon the city…’  The five artists were Akexandra Bircken, Sheila Hicks, Lawrence Lek, Mika Rottenberg and Amie Siegel.

 

Mika Rottenberg -NoNoseKnows (2015) and Squeeze (2010)

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Alexandra Bircken – Trolley I annd Trolley II (2016) and Combinations (2016)

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Sheila Hicks – Mighty Mathilde and her consort (2016)

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Martin Boyce

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Amie Siegel – Provenance (2013)

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This was a varied show with many strong pieces but the stand outs for me were Mika Rottenberg’s -NoNoseKnows (2015) and Squeeze (2010).  These bizarre and incredibly well edited video pieces were thoroughly gripping and immersive.  The venue itself was of interest, with Amie Siegel’s video installations receiving a generous and evocative cavernous dark space.

 

Next stop on our whistle stop tour was the Centre for Contemporary Arts.  While there were several artists and group shows in this venue, the stand-out artist was Pilvi Takala.  This quirky and highly amusing video pieces completely enthralled me and left me with huge respect for her ballsy approach to social and ethical issues.

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At this point Trish and Ailbhe had to leave us for a pre-arranged meeting.  Myself and Vicky decided to visit the Reid Gallery as part of the Glasgow School of Art, as it was very close by.  This work hosted the work of two artists – Serena Korda (Hold fast, Stand sure, I scream a revolution) and photographic work by Christina McBride (light becomes silence).

I was intrigued by the installation/sculptural pieces by Serena Korda and found them to be a good balance between the aesthetically pleasing and conceptually interesting.  The hanging ceramic mushroom bells which were ‘conducted’ by the disembodied ceramic heads were enhanced by the mystical sound/music from the provided headsets.  There was also a ‘research’ room which gave another layer of meaning behind the main installation work.

 

Serena Korda (Hold fast, Stand sure, I scream a revolution)

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At this point I headed to the hotel to check in and I was quickly on the art trail again.  I visited a number of smaller venues including Mark Smith (Pussycat) and Emily Mae Smith (Honest Espionage)

 

Mark Smith (Pussycat)

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Emily Mae Smith – Honest Espionage

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Our little posse regrouped and after some well needed sustenance, we continued onto an evening event – Materialia by Heather Lander and Simon Harlow.  This consisted of an installation of hanging transparent sheets which acted as a conduit for a holographic effect light show.  This piece closely resembled my concerns with light and the mysterious.  I found it both intriguing and inspirational.

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At this stage, we were all pretty much exhausted so headed to our respective hostelry establishments.

 

Day 2 – Tuesday

The next day began in the beautiful settings of the Glasgow Botanical Gardens.  We ventured into the glasshouses and were transported to, not only another climate, but another state of mind.  Nature far outshone the artwork insitu as part of the festival

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And so began our epic trek around Glasgow.  We made our way to the Kelingrove Art Gallery and Museum.  All agreed that while the setting and the building were awe inspiring, the actual work listed in the festival guide was wholy underwhelming

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Whilst there I took a quick look at their permanent gallery and museum displays.

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We stopped in at the Hunterian Art Gallery to visit ‘The Dead Teach the Living’,  a group show by Damien Hirst, Scott Rogers and Catherine Street.   This exhibition explored the synergy between art and science and included Damien Hirst’s Necromancer, 2007 and objects from William Hunter’s 18th century collection.  I enjoyed the aesthetics of this show and was intrigued by the scientific type displays.

 

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A human eyeball

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The Necromancer – Damien Hirst

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After this pit stop we proceeded to Kelvin Hall.  After navigating crumbling corridors we were led to a large open room which hosted the large hanging paintings by Helen Johnson.  Each large piece had it’s own style and contained ‘story’.  As a painter, it was refreshing to see these impressive contemporary paintings holding their own in the festival.

Helen Johnson – Barron Field

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And then up a dilapidated stairway to another impressively large room to the work of Claire Barclay (Bright Bodies)

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Feeling heartened by the caliber of this work we went on a trek through the backstreets to the SWG3 Gallery. This post-humus solo show by Don Levy featured rarely before seen film and video pieces.  I was completely blown away by the aesthetic of this work and was completely enthralled to the point that it was difficult to tear myself away.  This is an artist that I want to research some more

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We strolled from the backstreets back through the impressive Kelvingrove park to a beautiful building – The Common Guild.  Spread over two floors was the work of Akram Zaatari.  This was a combination of intimate and intriguing video pieces,  drawings and photographs.  The quality of the work was impressive and the subject matter affective.  I was quite taken with this work.

Adam Zaatari – The End of Time

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At this point we realised the time and made a frantic dash to Glasgow Sculpture Studios.  After managing to acquisition a cab, we arrived with 4 minutes to spare!  Needless to say, we didn’t have a huge amount of time to spend with the work but managed a cursory viewing.

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We were all feeling pretty exhausted at this stage but decided that the proximity of The Glue Factory warranted it a visit.  This venue hosted several artists working in a variety of media.   While I felt some of the work was interesting, the general consensus was that the work was not fully resolved and that the building itself outshone the work.

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At this stage we were thoroughly done in and decided to meet up with Julie and Angela who had just arrived that day.  After a quick bite to eat, we sojourned to The Old Hairdressers, which was a pub with a cinema space upstairs.  Vicky and myself tottered up the stairs to Fantom Cinema.  An hour of hilarity and entertainment ensued after which I was definitely done in and headed back to my hotel.  The next day we managed to squeeze in a final visit to the Reid building as Ailbhe and Trish had not seen the work of Christina McBride and Serena Korda.  Afterwards a quick canter brought us to the bus station and the end of our Glasgow International experience.

 

It was a whirlwind of art and events.  I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and feel it will take some time to filter in all the information!  There was definitely some stand out pieces for me including Materialia, Don Levy, Adam Zaatari, Serena Korda, Pilvi Takala and Mika Rottenberg.

Art and Situation with Lucy – Trip to Crawford Art Gallery – April 12th ’16

Situations with Lucy – 12/04/16

Visit to Crawford

Martin Healy – A moment twice lived
4 March–7 May 2016

The exhibition, displayed over two floors, includes a number of new photographic and sculptural works and a key new single screen installation entitled, A moment twice lived (2016)The film’s circuitous narrative makes reference to JW Dunne’s writing, in particular the book An Experiment with Time (1927), by way of a curiously overlooked painting in the Crawford Gallery’s collection by Nathanial Grogan
During the course of the film, a voice-over periodically refers to dreams and experiences of temporal dislocation that raises questions about our perception of reality and relationship to the physical world.
– information from http://www.crawfordartgallery.ie/Martin_Healy_Twice_Lived.html

 

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After a meander through the ground floor with its offerings of photographic and sculptural work by Martin Healy, we ventured to the top floor to the top floor to sit awhile with the video piece ‘A moment twice lived’ (2016).  Afterwards we settled into the adjoining room to have a discussion about these works and their affect.  There was a vast array of responses to the work, varying from exclamations of detritus to finding the video piece in particular visually beautiful and affective.  What follows are some points raised during this discussion

  • Max – found the video a prime example of rubbish; He felt the artist used modernist techniques which are now uber academic and cheesy He thinks the whole thing was a box-ticking, academic exercise.
  • Manuela – Found it clean-cut and hyper staged
  • Jackie – felt that in this enforced scenic stillness that the actors couldn’t stay still (hand jerks etc) which came p against the cleanness of the aesthetic
  • Helle – Why this woman (actor) and why the younger woman’s voice
  • Lucy – Preferred the filming of the painting
  • Lucy asked – Does this piece question film or art
  • Max – John Luc Goddard – Passion, 1982, – about the idea of painting. This was more disruptive and questioning
  • Vicky – liked the shots of the old people from behind
  • Max – found it very banal.
  • Linda and myself found the piece beautifully shot and quite affective in parts
  • We had a discussion about remembering flashes of dreams and how things are lost and found in history
  • Affective time = time that we experience and this cut with our own experience.
  • Brian form MA:AP 2014 will be able to tell us more about the intention of the artist with this work.

We then relocated to the Harry Clarke room to continue our discussion about Affect theory

We briefly discussed the course timetable and came to agreement about assessment dates which are as follows:

  • Tues May 3rd – Placing Practice presentation to Jesse
  • Mon May 9th – Studio assessments
  • Tues May 10th – Situations Presentations
  • Tues May 17th – Blog (80%), initial 1,000 words (20%). Starting the Chris Clarke from Glucksman in the afternoon

What follows are bullet points of notes on our discussion about the Affect theory essays

  • Vicky – Read the Susan Best piece: – The piece looked at interpretations of ruptures as blasting new paths for feminism. They became the operating factor – that rupture or cut is related to feminine thinking, which is not necessarily gender specific
  • Helle – Read the Edward Casey piece. – It states that a piece of art has 3 components -1. The Affective, 2. Perceptual qualities and 3. Import or meaning; the narrative
  • Can you have affect without all your senses?
  • People disagree about what affect actually is
  • Cat and Jackie read Massumi – The Autonomy of Affect
  • Language is redundant when it comes to affect
  • In the snowman study they were measuring pleasure as opposed to what was remembered
  • Story of the missing half a second – you cannot experience things in the exact moment they happen because you have to process them cognitively
  • Merleau Ponty – The theory of Perception – We think that our brain is in control, but is it really? Our body has knowledge that doesn’t have rational input – body memory – LOOK INTO THIS FURTHER FOR MY WORK
  • Max – Read Seigworth: Affect arrives from the inbetween-ness.  It is prove of the body’s on-going emersion.  Internal/external = gets broken down a lot – READ THIS ESSAY
  • Barthe – wrote a series of essays after his mother died. He talked about remaining neutral – not taking a fixed position on something – incremental shimmer – LOOK INTO THIS FURTHER FOR MY WORK
  • Me and Manuela – read the Introduction piece. Manuela was struck by the Snowman ad study.  I read a passage that summed up a lot of the conversation we were having around the various essays
  • Lucy – talked about the relationship of breathing to looking
  • Tina Kinsella will be visiting us at the end of May. She lectures affect theory in NCAD, UCD, DIT, etc.  She has a background in the classics and feminist theory
  • Bracha L Ettinger – psychologist/artist/theoretical writer – LOOK INTO THIS FURTHER FOR MY WORK

Swimming to Inishkeel – Malcolm McClay, CIT Wandersford Quay Gallery, April 8th

After a grueling hour and a half of dealing my broken down car in Friday rush hour traffic, I finally managed to make it the opening of Malcolm McClay’s show in the Wanderford Quay, albeit 40 minutes late.  It was very gratifying to be in the presence of the physical work which Malcolm had talked about previously.  There was a wide variety of media, from large photographs to video pieces to instillation and interactive pieces.  It was a interesting mix of the serious and more playful aspects of his work.  The visual language that he uses and the ‘story’ of the work is both interesting and profound as well as  accessible and intriguing.

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Cork Experimental Film Society – Triskel, April 7th

Max, a fellow MA student invited us to the opening of the show in his quiet and humble manner.  On climbing the stairs to the top of the Triskel and through a set of doors, I was greeted with a room with 4 large  screens playing movies by the members of Cork Experimental Film Society.  3 were individual efforts and the 4th was a collaborative piece.  I slipped on a pair of headphones and spent time with the collaborative piece.  It was a cacophony of various images spliced together to bring the viewer on a surreal journey into the bizarre and intimate.  After some time, Max announced that they were going to screen a further number of collaborative pieces.  I settled down to these 3 pieces.  The 3rd, in particular was transportative and meditative, again carrying me on a surreal and dream-like journey of sound and imagery.

This show will have further screenings and live events which I hope to interact with.

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2116 – Future Visions – The Glucksman, March 2016

This dynamic and diverse exhibition showcases the work of 16 Irish artists and their vision of Ireland in 2116.  Media used covered a whole gamut of possibilities (which is quite fitting, considering the subject matter!), ranging from painting and drawing to installation and video.  The work itself varied from representative to conceptual while all sitting comfortably together in the space.  This is a show that deserves a re-visit to enable one to  sit with the works in solitude, allowing  their  narrative to speak to you.  This is especially true of the spectacular meditative  video installation by Ailbhe Ni Bhriain

 

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Grace Weir Exhibition – March 2016

On a crisp sunny saturday morning I ventured up to Dublin to visit the Grace Weir exhibition in IMMA.  I was struck by the aesthetics and concerns of the work, and how there is a cross-over in terms of the lines of inquiry which are quite similar to my own.  The work took many forms, including video, audio, sculptural, experimental print, installation and interactive pieces.  I found it incredibly inspiring, and slightly disconcerting in that she has covered many of my concerns!  Guess I have to find my own slant to the topics!

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When I alighted from the Gallery, I was greeted by the most beautiful light of the setting sun.  To me, they look almost astronomical in nature, which was quite fitting, considering I had just absorbed myself in the work of Grace Weir!
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Hold the Candle to Your Eye/Light the Criss-Cross on Your Chest – Richard Proffitt – Sirius Arts Centre, 11th March

This work felt like a visual and aural representation of the musings of the artist, Richard Proffitt, and his deep inner pysche.  In a very honest and confident way, he presented us with installations loaded with ritualistic meaning and drawings that have a doodle feel to them, which were scratched into blackened tayto bags.  He recited a prose that had a universal appeal about the struggles of the lineal stage of life.

5 of us masters students banded together to buy his record, and I was more than thrilled when I unpacked it back in the space.  The vinyl itself is a thing of beauty, etched into a transparent disc.  The compositions are intriguing  and  meditative and transportative.

Impromptu Trip to St Annes – 23/02/16

When we alighted (pun intended!) from Cork city Goal and our musing on Betham’s Panopticon, a crisp Spring day of dazzling sunlight greeted us.  Linda suggested that a few of us take a trip up to the deserted part of st. Annes, so Cat, Jackie, Linda and myself ventured to that  building on the top of the hill that looks imposingly down on us mere mortals, insisting on giving us a lesson in dichotomy.  It did not disappoint.  It’s elegant dilapidation offered up gifts as well as awe in the quickening  twilight.

 

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Cat discovers an old record player

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20160223_161936a relic of this imposing building’s imposing past

 

The church to the back of St Annes

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Let there be light!

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one word speaks volumes

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The adventurous Linda
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Illuminating
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Odd symbol of work in this jewel of dilapidation