November 17, 2011
Selected Works to Date
FRI 18 NOV - SUN 26 FEB 2012
FIRST FLOOR GALLERY, Draíocht
Opening Night Launch Speech by Des Kenny
Thursday 17 November 2011, 7pm
Caroline is a fellow member of the Graphic studio. She first arrived into the studio on receipt of a Graduate Student award. She has participated in many group shows run by graphic members and those organised by the Graphic Studio and Gallery. This is a selected body of work.
The opening lines of a poem by E.E. Cummins begin with:-
Dreaming in marble all the castle lay
Like some gigantic ghost-flower born of night
Blossoming in white towers to the moon
This imagery evoked by Cummins, would, I believe, find a home in Caroline’s work. Her works straddle that border between the conscious and unconscious worlds. They seem to act as a conduit to both experiences. They inhabit that twilight reality of our dreams, half forgotten, half remembered, full of portents and signs and if understood and unravelled would guide us through our daily life. They remain mysterious, the question of their meaning linger unanswered and that is their attraction. The riddle of their interpretation is different for each viewer. The works demand quiet reflection before they give up their secrets.
They have another innate quality that intrigues me; they seem, bound in silence.
E.E. Cummins denotes this state in his poetry as “silence in the rhyme”.
It is said, in music, art lies in the silence, between the notes. I never fully understood this notion of silence in visual art until I encountered three paintings on the same wall, in the museum of modern art in Rome. The three paintings were, a large CY Tyombly measuring 10feetx 15feet, another large painting by Anselm Kiefer of equal size and between these two works was a Giorgio Morandi about 18inches x 24 inches. It seemed a ridiculous combination to me, how could this small, quiet, Morandi compete with its large boisterous neighbours. This small Morandi seemed to emanate from its centre a serene truth. Its silence had a compelling power. A strength which seemed to beguile its neighbours and overcome its handicap in size.
Caroline’s work has a similar character; an atmosphere of silence surrounds her work, upon which the fulcrum of her art pivots. This feature of her work acts as a counterpoint and antidote to the boisterous white noise of today’s contemporary art world. This silence appears to slow down time to that focal point of our imagination, that internal realm, which is an integral part of our humanity.
“This body of work has been inspired by my ongoing exploration of physical, psychological and poetic space. I am interested in the delicate point where man and the natural world co-exist or in some cases collide. I strive to create places for poetic possibility, a space where time can be suspended; I extend to the onlooker a glimpse of intricate private worlds. Each narrative creates a dialogue between these internal and external conflicting worlds, thus providing a place to dream.” Caroline Donohue
Read more about Caroline here …
Desmond Kenny is an artist based in Hartstown, Dublin 15. He is a self taught painter, since he began making art in 1986 he has since exhibited widely in Ireland and abroad, solo shows include Draíocht in 2001, The Lab in 2006 and Pallas Contemporary Projects in 2008. His work is included in many collections including the Office of Public Works, SIPTU, and Fingal County Council. Kenny's practice also incorporates print making and he has been a member of Graphic Studio Dublin since 2004.
Des Kenny, Rosie Fay, President of Ireland Mary McAleese
November 16, 2011
In the lead up to the opening of Amharc Fhine Gall VIII - Unknown Knowns, curator Ailve McCormack talks to artist Lisa Shaughnessy about the work she is exhibiting.
Q: Can you tell me a bit about the work you’re making for this exhibition and can you talk through how you made some of the work?
The work I am exhibiting for ‘Unknown Knowns’ concerns itself with the physicality and materiality of the artists materials, primarily paint and materials concerned with the painting process. Within my practice, the work explores the historical and conceptual meanings of painting within a contemporary context.
For this exhibition I have honed in on the ideas of manipulating such materials in a way which is somewhat unintended or ‘unknown’. This is done by removing the materials from their traditional backdrop and manipulating them by means such as pouring, spilling, containing, layering, pushing and pulling. In doing this, new forms and structures are created, which examine and blur the boundaries between painting and sculpture.
As well as adapting new methods for this body of work, I have introduced some other materials such as polyurethane foam and polythene sheets. The polyurethane foam is sprayed on various surfaces to mimic tensions, shapes or textures. It is then manipulated and coated as the volume increases and the material expands.
In this exhibition I will be showing some of these foam and polythene sheet pieces as well as some polyvinyl and pigment pieces.
Q: You have recently moved towards a layering of the paint and building up form with this new body of work, what instigated this move?
I think it was more of a natural progression within my practice really. Previously, I had rolled, cast and smoothed out flat plains of paint, however as my work develops so too do my ideas. It had become my intention to introduce new dimensions and elements to the work, building up and developing innovative forms and structures.
As an example, paint is mixed, thickened or thinned, poured and is left to dry. The paint forms a thin film of skin which is then used as a base to layer fresh paint, this process is repeated numerous times to build up form. As this is being done the different strengths of material are forced to interact with each other, constructing and deconstructing the painting in the process, creating new forms, textures, layers and shades.
Q: You used to work with a florescent colour pallet, what made you move towards the more muted tones you’re now using?
The decision to move into more muted tones, (blacks, whites and varying shades of grey), was one that I have been contemplating for a while now. Florescent colours had been present within my practice for a long time and I felt as though it had come to a point where deeper, more muted colours would allow the work to progress, shifting the focus and tone somewhat.
The darker, more muted colours simplify the aesthetic of the work, allowing the viewer to see more clearly the workings of the material itself. Occasional flashes of florescent colour are still present within some of the new work.
Q: Your work is quite ambiguous yet stages of artistic processes can be seen, are you interested in representing the artists process through your work or is this something that happens naturally because of the nature of your work? Do you feel that your work is prescriptive or does it mostly allow the viewer to bring their own meanings to it?
When people view work, they will make of it what they will. Whether they read the information that goes along with it or not, everyone will have their own perceptions and ideas about what the work is, what it does or what it means. This is something that I have to recognise and be aware of as an artist.
As my work is centred upon the materiality and physicality of the artist’s materials, there is an underpinning element present that deals with the artists processes. This came about originally as I became interested in investigating the artists relationship with their practice, the materials they use, their concepts and their processes of creating art.
Within my practice I explore different methods of creating work and manipulating materials. The processes that occur are essential to the outcome of the work. I find that the aesthetic nature of my work lends itself to ambiguity and I rather enjoy that element.
Q: You’ve said that your work deals with “historical and conceptual meanings of painting and sculpture within a contemporary context.” Can you expand on this with reference to a specific work?
Generally when people think about painting, they think about traditional methods such as representational, religious or classic motifs, oil on canvas etc. As too with sculpture, it can be more concerned with traditional materials such as wood, marble, bronze etc. and not really associated with painting. By freeing the paint from the traditional constraints of the canvas and placing it on the floor, I am allowing it to interact with its surroundings, thus the work takes on a three dimensional persona.
As the paint is being used in a three dimensional way, it takes on a sculptural form. As mentioned in the curatorial statement for the exhibition, with this blurring between the boundaries of painting and sculpture, “what the viewer felt they knew about these materials becomes a little less certain but the fundamental qualities of the materials are still apparent. These known and familiar materials have been manipulated in such a way as to render them initially unknown.”
I am interested in allowing the audience to see the workings of paint, not just as a flat material used to paint pictures, but as a material and artwork in itself. My practice plays with ideas of presenting these materials and unconventional artistic processes as the focal point of the work in a contemporary context.
To see more of Lisa's work visit her website:
November 14, 2011
In the lead up to the opening of Amharc Fhine Gall VIII - Unknown Knowns, curator Ailve McCormack talks to artist Sally Anne Kelly about the work she is exhibiting.
Next Ailve will be talking to Lisa Shaughnessy.
Q: Can you tell me about the work you have made for this exhibition?
For this exhibition I am showing a selection of photographs from two new projects, ‘The Hunted Self’ and ‘The Detached Other’. Although they ended up in very different places both works are focused around the same ideas and themes.
One can see the inner hidden self as a double, capable of being projected through various media and platforms for constructing ones own identity, and perhaps splitting off from the subject and becoming its own being. The work in this exhibition explores these hidden selves. I am interested in the instability and inter-changeability of the self and the interior power struggle between these various selves.
Q: “Ideas about the uncanny” are something you refer to in your work, can you expand on this?
I have long been interested in unsettling, frightening ideas and a specific branch of these which Freud refers to as ‘the uncanny’, that which disturbs identity, system and order. I am interested in the uncanny as a sensory feeling with a physical reaction. The uncanny is related to what is frightening, a feeling of dread and uncertainty and is often seen as something familiar that has been altered somehow, made strange through the process of repression.
For me some of the most frightening aspects of the uncanny involve ideas concerning the double.
Q: You work a lot with identity and the ‘double’. Can you tell me a bit about this and where this came from?
I am currently preoccupied with exploring ideas about who we are, who we think we are, who we become, who others think we are, and who we present ourselves as being. These projected versions and the various representations of the self through the multiplication of identity and the double. I looked at the double and the other as a psychoanalytical subject. Before it is possible to discuss the double or the other, one must understand what this double is a reflection of. If I am talking about the other, then what is ‘the own’?
For me the double can refer to a representation of the ego that can assume various forms such as a shadow, reflection, a doppelganger or a distorted representation of the subject. I also think of the double as a version of the self, leading me to interests around multiple versions of the self and how we project these various selves around us through our actions and various media.
I think a lot about the instability and inter-changeability of the subject and all these alternating versions of the subject. The work in this exhibition looks at ideas around the possibilities of these interior selves coming out as alter egos and as an interior power struggle with this distorted version of the subject that can take off and being its own uncontrollable being or the idea of being controlled by another being within yourself.
Q: You talk about the “interior power struggle between these various selves”. How is this represented in your work?
When thinking about these various inner and projected selves I became interested in the power struggle between them. I’m interested in the idea of hidden selves fighting back against the ‘original’ and if it’s possible to even know the difference between them.
Dual consciousness and the splitting of the personality can be seen as an extreme form of the double. One thinks about the splitting of consciousness, the possibility of the darker parts of the consciousness breaking off from the subject in the unconscious but eventually reappearing as an evil double who wants to kill the original.
I’m interested in seeing this from the viewpoint of the ‘other’ or the double or whatever you want to see it as. Stories told from the viewpoint of this character are very interesting to me. I like setting up scenarios where these ignored characters come forward in different ways, sometimes aggressively, or just making their presence known.
Q: You work across various different media - film, photography, sculpture and theatre and performance art - can you talk a bit about how each of these media relate to and facilitate your work?
I find working collaboratively and in a wide variety of media an interesting way of pushing my practice forward. Seeing the various possibilities open to me and working with a wide variety of people gives an amazing influx of new ideas and things to try. My practice moves between photography, film, performance and theatre. I find that this helps me to avoid getting stuck in a rut with my work. If something’s not working it’s easy to let it go and move on with another project. Exploring my ideas through a variety of mediums forces me to look at them through new eyes, different constraints and possibilities.
More of Sally-Anne's work can be seen on her website
November 11, 2011
In the lead up to the opening of Amharc Fhine Gall VIII - Unknown Knowns, curator Ailve McCormack talks to artist Andrew Carson about the work he is exhibiting.
Next week Ailve will be talking to Sally-Anne Kelly and Lisa Shaughnessy.
Q: Can you tell me about the work you are exhibiting in this exhibition?
The work in this show stems from my research into the ways in which we engage with each other and our surroundings through digital environments and text-based communications, and the effects these have on social paradigms and our perceptions of reality. There will be two new works in this show, one small video piece, and a larger installation. It’s a bit of a new departure for me aesthetics wise, and one of the first times I won’t be working with text itself.
Q: Your most recent work is inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead – what drew you to this book?
For as long as I can remember I’ve loved Ancient Egypt, and have been dipping in and out of reading the Book for years, but never really found a way I could in anyway link it to my art practice. About this time last year however, I just happened upon one chapter from it, “The Chapter of not dying a second time in Khert-Neter” and the spark was born. It’s been a lot of fun to make this work, as it finally combines two of my biggest passions in a way that is, for me, quite natural.
Q: Your current series of work is inspired by a chapter from this book that is concerned with the survival of the soul through the afterlife, how do you interpret this through your work?
The book itself was intended as a guide for surviving the passage through the underworld, and this particular chapter was designed to give the deceased the tools to ensure their soul lives on, through the dispersement of elements of the self amongst the cosmos. I began to see links between this concept, and our contemporary uses of social media sites, particularly Facebook’s decision in October 2009 to allow for the retrieval and download of a user’s entire account. For me, that opened up a world of unseen links between Egyptian afterlife beliefs, and the parts of ourselves we present online in public forums.
Q: You use a quote from the book within this series of work; "I have hidden myself amongst you, oh imperishable stars", which relates to “exploring online realities and virtual immortality”, can you explain this in more detail?
That quote comes from the afore-mentioned chapter that was the catalyst for the work. I really liked the poetic phrasing of one particular translation, and thought it best summed up my research and outputs from the series. I was looking at Facebooks memorialisation policy at the time, and found it really interesting that even after a user has passed on, the data and memories they uploaded to the site, lived on as a sort of shadow-self. This, coupled with other media sites generally used, such as Twitter, Google+ etc, allowed for a semblance of immortality, one that was not dependent on the continued existence of the physical self. The Egyptian concept of death did not only consist of the physical act of one’s body dying, but death in the Egyptian sense was also a separation from one’s social context, so for example, a person ostracised from the community, or left bereft of loved ones, was for all intents and purposes considered dead themselves. In contemporary terms, these perpetual online effigies circumvent death-by-social-exclusion.
Q: You have said that your work is inspired by a combination of “Eastern spiritual and philosophical thought, Structural and post-structural linguistic theories, folk and pop music, and 1960's psychedelic culture.” How do each of these influences manifest themselves in your work and can you expand a little on one or two?
I like tying different strands of inquiry together in my work, most of which stem from my own personal interests. Spiritualism holds a big attraction for me, especially Eastern forms, where the emphasis seems to be more based around personal enlightenment and betterment. The likes of Buddhism and Hinduism for example are appealing not only for their thoughts, but also for their rich visual history. There’s a sense of community, or greater belonging in a lot of religious identities, and that’s something that really attracts me to them. Similarly, I find music an almost infinite source of inspiration, in its use of language and poetry, alongside melody to create a lovely dynamic between being both intensely personal and emotive, and somewhat universal. In terms of manifesting these in my work, I often use particular songs, or lyric snippets to spark off a certain collective consciousness in the work, or to make immediately relatable to the viewer, whilst also utilising it to create an insight or frame of reference for the work and ideas I want to put forward.
You can see more of Andrews work on his website
Further Detail about Amharc Fhine Gall VIII can be found here
October 4, 2011
More voting please ... the Better Together Campaign has launched today and last year Draiocht was shortlisted ... maybe we can do even better this year and win 3000 euro ... click to vote for our video please ... every day until 11 November ... Draiocht's Video
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