Curated by Sara Muthi
MAKING ART: Sculpting is the fifth and final in a series of exhibitions at Draíocht (2018-2023) which explores a specific visual art discipline, its materials, processes and varied manifestations in contemporary practice. This exhibition focuses on expanded notions of sculpture from four mid-career Dublin based artists; Bassam Issa, Sibyl Montague, Alice Rekab and Marcel Vidal, spanning sculpture, painting, text and textiles.
Material parables explores the stories that materials tell. The expectations and relationships our bodies have with physical matter - that which takes up space and can be weighed - ranging from the natural to the synthetic. The soft materials featured are light, supple and delicate while the hard materials are bold, sharp and strong. Each artists’ material choice and scale further speaks to each of their conceptual concerns, ranging from personal identity to the social and political. The proximity of these objects and processes juxtapose the various identities of sculpture today.
“Contemporary sculpture equips our understanding and experience of the world through material. Whether the ‘things’ you find on or around you are 3D printed, synthetic textiles, clay from the earth or recycled wood, sculpture expands the textural pallet through which we understand the world.”
Sara Muthi, Curator / Writer
Bassam Issa works across digital animation, painting, sculpture and textiles, creating visions of resistance, transformation and queer possibility. Recent solo exhibitions include: ITS DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE! TAKE THIS at Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2022), I AM ERROR at Gasworks, London (2021), and De La Warr Pavilion, Sussex (2022). Recent group exhibitions include Queer Embodiment and Social Fabric at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2021-2022), LIAF Biennale, Lofoten, Norway (2022) and Transmediale, Berlin (2021).
Sibyl Montague's practice includes sculpture, assemblage, video and installation. Recent exhibitions include 'Claí na Péiste ' (Worm's Ditch), Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin, (2022); Fashion Show: Clothing Art and Activism, Glucksman Gallery, Cork (2022); The Narrow Gate of Here and Now – Social Fabric, Irish Museum of Modern Art, (2021-22); 4Ever Chemical screening with AEMI, Project Arts Centre, Dublin ( 2021); The Law is a White Dog, Curated by Sarah Browne, TULCA, Galway Arts Centre (2020).
Alice Rekab’s practice is concerned with expressions and iterations of complex cultural and personal narratives. Rekab takes their own mixed-race Irish identity as a starting point from which to explore experiences of race, place and belonging. Recent Projects include Mehrfamilienhaus, MUSEUM VILLA STUCK, Munich (2023); FAMILY LINES Project, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2022); Mountain Language, Galway Arts Centre (2022); Concealed in the half-light, Catalyst Arts Centre, Belfast (2021).
Marcel Vidal is a multi-award winning artist honored with the RHA Hennessy Craig Award, the Golden Fleece Award and the Arts Council's Next Generation Award (2019) and received a Fire Station Artist Residential Studio (2020-2023) and Tony O'Malley Residency (2023). His work is featured in the book "100 Sculptors of Tomorrow" by Thames & Hudson. Vidal is represented by Kerlin Gallery and had his first solo exhibition; Stuck on Dawn with them in 2021.
MAKING ART: Sculpting will be accompanied by a programme of engagement for young people in our 'Space to Explore - Response Space' in the First Floor Gallery.