Archive for June, 2010

Fine Art MA by Research Exhibition

Friday, June 18th, 2010

The first exhibition to open at the gallery is the Fine Art MA by Research Exhibition. The opening is on Friday 18th June at 5.30pm and a warm invitation is extended to all those interested. The exibition  is a showcase of works by Liz Cullinane, Mags Geaney & Rosanne Lynch. The exhibition is open daily to the public from Saturday 19th June to Saturday 26th June and Monday 28th June to Thursday July 1st  from 10.00 to 18.00 .

Artist Statements

The research investigates the career of the Irish painter Mary Swanzy. It extends the exhibition record and biographical history of her life; evaluates her early work in the context of the development of Modernism in Ireland in the 1920s and analyses the later paintings in the broader British and European sphere of Surrealism. Initial research used a genealogical model to extend and test earlier work by J. Campbell (1986) and F.Brennan (1989). Birth records, wills, census returns and archives were searched and many small details emerged which substantively enlarge the fund of knowledge of Swanzy’s social background. The socio-political history of the period 1900 to 1926 in Ireland in combination with her biography was used to analyse the developments in her work, which is largely un-dated before 1938. In researching and evaluating Mary Swanzy’s career, many of the issues around National identity and the influences of the more immediate nature of family have been considered. The interviews undertaken with the small number of people remaining who knew ‘Miss Swanzy’ have brought the academic research into sharp focus of the life actually lived and the times in which many of her paintings were created.

Rather than referencing the discarded wardrobe as relic, I re-invigorate and re-animate my mother’s clothes using my own body assuming a series of contemporary fashion poses. Through manipulation of fashion imagery of clothing worn by waif-like sixteen year old models and its inherent seductive power, there is an interplay on the discordant imagery of a seventy seven year old’s clothing. Through my attachment to the memories contained within these clothes I explore the ageing process, the fragmentation, construction and deconstruction of self. Depriving a body of its clothes alters the story of the clothes. These dresses, coats and shoes contain the imprint of the life story of the body and the dreams and desires of a now disembodied woman. Looking through a celebratory prism of joy and its expression through dance and upbeat music while wearing the clothes merely accentuates their haunting quality. Though my intention is to enliven these clothes the action evokes a deep sense of loss.

I am intrigued by the quality that is ‘photographic’, and by how the photographic process affects the looking. I explore the photograph, as object, as image, as representation, as illusion, as statement; it’s physicality, surface, matter and suggestion. A photograph is something you might imagine you can enter into, but it is a surface and pushes you back. Uncertainty interests me. I like not knowing, and the understanding held within that unknowing. I am interested in the possibility of a quality of silence and internal conversation when you encounter artworks. This body of work presents a sustained investigation of light; light that has no material substance and is illusary. This investigation focuses on the (im) material; through it I observe how light moulds and moves, light defining the planes and how our reading of a subject can be altered by its interaction with light - sometimes dramatically. Enquiry is what I am presenting, an opportunity to bring the viewer into the enquiry. To find an answer was never my intention.