By Jack Popeley and Cáitríona Murphy
The second ever Dublin Gallery Weekend took place last week and thecity.ie reporters visited some of Dublin’s artistic gems.
Temple Bar Gallery+Studios
Thecity.ie’s gallery weekend tour began in the Temple Bar Gallery+Studios space. Barbara Knezevic’s piece Exquisite Tempo Sector is being exhibited here until January 2017.
The piece was made by using many vastly different materials including (but not limited to) “acrylic perspex, bottled water, clamps, electric cords, heat lamps, Irish sea water, LED television, rapeseed oil, rock salt, soil, soya wax, tripods, photographic paper, polyurethane foam etc.”
With this myriad of materials Knezevic conveys the importance of the force of time and “the influence of human, material, geological and ecological duration is present throughout” according to the gallery.
The piece takes up most of the space in the gallery and as the gallery outline, it is displayed in this way so the visitors of the gallery are immersed in the piece. “This display invites a relaxation into the seduction of viewing.”
The Library Project
Next door to the Temple Bar Gallery+Studios you will find The Library Project where HALFTONE print fair has been taking place which is hosted every year at The Library Project.
As you can see in the slideshow the walls of the Library Project were covered by prints created by more than 55 artists and the gallery received applications from artists in the fields of fine art printing, illustration, design and photography.
The HALFTONE print fair is an initiative of PhotoIreland and is hosted at The Library Project and Black Church Print Studios.
HALFTONE looks at how different printing processes coexist in a diverse range of contemporary artistic and creative practices, celebrating the printed matter in all its forms.
Graphic Studio Gallery
Right around the corner Maser’s new solo exhibition is being displayed at the Graphic Studio Gallery. Because of the volume of work that the exhibition as a whole required, Maser teamed up with the Graphic Studio and members of the studio helped Maser to create his work.
At a lunchtime talk hosted by the Graphic Studio Gallery, two of the members Ailbhe Barrett and Aoife Scott showed attendees how Maser’s exhibition was created and they demonstrated the different printmaking processes that he undertook to make 17 different pieces. These artistic processes include “woodblock, etching, photopolymer and carborundum,” Ailbhe said.
And Aoife added: “Usually with the visiting artists they use one technique to make a body of work so it might be woodblock or it might be etching but we kind of threw the rulebook out with Al and decided they would use a combination of techniques.
“So the studio has literally been a Maser factory for the past year. Everyone has been involved, it’s been good fun. It’s inspired a lot of us.”
As you will see in the images in the slideshow above Maser employed a bright colour palette. “He used eight colours and black to create these pieces but it’s amazing the colours that we got when they all overlapped and the amount of colours that we ended up with,” said Aoife.
“And a big part of it was keeping the negative spaces really clean. We couldn’t let any ink or anything drop in the blank space of the pieces.”
As the studio outline, the artists at the studio had a big part to play in the creation of this exhibition but “although we printed all of the prints everything had to go through Al (Maser) and he basically said yes or no to everything.
“We may not have been able to print something for a few days because we would have to get in touch with him. He knew exactly what he wanted and it really came together as an exhibition in the end,” said Aoife.
The last stop for the day for thecity.ie was the MART gallery in Rathmines and here we found a collective called We Occupy Space exhibiting in the gallery.
The collective is made up of four artists, Yelverton Freeman, Kate McElroy, Ciaran Nash and Isabella Walsh and in the pictures above you will see some of their work.
When talking to Kate McElroy about the group she explains that they formed in Limerick when they were exhibiting in gallery called Occupy Space. “[We] lost the space three days into a exhibition, so we starting finding other disused spaces around the city [and]from that four of us applied for this show in the MART.
“So We Occupy Space is kind of an ever-changing entity and we decided to work together as an artist collective,” Kate said.
Kate has two pieces in the exhibition in the MART, and the first is called Dissolve 1, Dissolve 2. She explained how the work was created: “[They’re] two photographic pieces printed onto tracing paper. And so the images are really faded, they’re kind of dissolving or blending in with the background.
“This piece is about times of transformation or change, so there’s a little bit of struggle and a sense of resistance. It’s it’s about those moments where you’re changing or where you feel at one with your environment.”
We Occupy Space say that “their work is drawn together with the idea of a journey, be it physical or psychological” and for Kate’s second work Efforts Against Entropy she decided to do a durational piece to reflect this.
Using ceramics she wanted to symbolise “self growth and that kind of feeling of being limited but trying to push yourself,” she said. Over the course of the weekend Kate took balls of clay and “started to push them so the clay starts to kind of crack and to break and to stretch, and then push it until I feel like it’s going to break and then I leave it.”
And so the process of this durational piece is integral to the idea and what it is supposed to symbolise. Kate is displaying the effort and energy that we put into ourselves and we force ourselves to grow by pushing our mind to its limits.
Above you will find images of the first day of this process. In the next section of this article by Jack Popeley you will see the next step of the process and images of the performance piece by Kate McElroy.
At the MART gallery on the second day of the Dublin Gallery weekend we returned to the MART to talk Ciaran Nash about his piece ‘Occupy Something, Somewhere’ which you can see in the slideshow above. “I was kind of meditating on what Occupy Space was and what it could be and also what it wasn’t. I tried to get as many things as I could that made some narrative sense,” he said. Nash then rearranged them to speak a message that he wanted to say, but also to keep it broadly objective.
You will also find in the slideshow above the next process of Kate McElroy’s durational ceramic piece. And we then watched Kate McElroy’s performance piece which tied in with sculpture work, entitled ‘Efforts Against Entropy’. The piece, like a lot of McElroy’s work, explored the state of the individual, looking at the highs and lows of the self while also examining feelings of oneness and disconnection.
It was altogether quite a moving piece, silencing the audience and keeping us glued to the performance.
At the NCAD Gallery, a collection created by Vukasin Nedlejkovic called ‘Asylum Archive’ was on display. The exhibition covered three main topics:
- Children in direct provision
- Deportability or deportations within the Direct Provision system and,
- Institutionalism or looking into Direct Provision as the continuation of confinement in Ireland e.g. Magdalene Laundries, mother and baby homes, industrial schools etc
It was composed of photographs, recordings and artifacts gathered by Nedeljkovic during and after the three year period he spent in Direct Provision. “When I was living there, as a coping mechanism, I started taking photographs of my environment, [and] throughout the time I also wrote a Direct Provision diary.”
In 2009, Vukasin Nedeljkovic was given permission to stay in Ireland, where he continued collecting artifacts and taking photographs formulating it into the ‘Asylum Archive’. “It’s a project that I initiated and I’m really pleased to be showing it here in the NCAD Gallery.”
The archive aims to shed light on the living conditions for asylum seekers in Ireland and the bleak places in which they are kept. “These localities are often hidden from public view, they are located at the outskirts of our society, people living there are ghettoised, institutionalised and are removed from the rest of society, living in extreme poverty, with €19.10 a week. We really need to do something about this.”
Project Arts Centre
At the end of the above slideshow is ‘The Wild’, an exhibition of artistic work created by those at the heart of the Project Art Centre. On display were a multitude of works using different mediums to create a truly varied experience. In the slide show, you can see among others: Megan Kennedy’s ‘Tasting Blue’, a live performance with Raymond Scannell, Dylan Haskins’ ‘THIS AREA IS A SOCIAL SPACE’ banner and, Oisin Byrne’s ‘Utopians and and and Visionaries’.
The Wild has a varied, cumulative and unpredictable form that “alludes to the anthropogenic idea of ‘the wild’ as something that resides within us, that we are part of, as opposed to something that happens outside the human experience of the world, the great wilderness out there beyond us.”