Friday, October 24, 2014

Heaven and Sea






I think I will start documenting the clouds. I get overwhelmed when travelling by the sky and the clouds that form there. I always see the most beautiful ones when driving. I have always envied the great artists who could paint the clouds such as Turner, I will never be able to do this, so will have to be content with the instant image a photo can make.


'Between the Heavens and Sea we are home.' 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lets be Frank…..


A little appropriation, a photo I took out of a magazine with some added text and a bit of old photoshop…

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Anthomania (LIPS)

Here is one of my publications for LIPS, Limerick International Publishers Salon.
Anthomania, an extravagant fondness for flowers, is a small round book made up of photos and drawings of flowers and such.
I have a love for unusual and interesting sounding words, this little book I hope is just a beginning of a future project. It will be for sale at LIPS which is hosted at Ormston House Gallery in Limerick.
I can't remember exactly what order they went in the book but I think the order below is pretty close, starting from front cover to back, photo, drawing photo then drawing.















Ugly Hound (LIPS)

Ugly Hound is a small pen and watercolour handmade book on 6x4 watercolour paper with japanese binding, created for LIPS, Limerick international Publishing Salon. It will be for sale for this years LIPS event hosted at Ormston House in Limerick.
Pictured below in order from the front cover to the back inside cover.















Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Photo Alliance Fauna Competition

Great news! My work was selected out of two thousand entries by the photographer William Wegman in conjunction with Photo Alliance.
 Fifty of us will have our photos exhibited  at the Smith Anderson North Gallery in San Francisco.
The exhibition is entitled Fauna, we had to submit up to five photos that corresponded to the below statement; 

'Wild or domesticated, we share the world with animals. For some, as a source of inspiration, delight or companionship and for others as something else entirely.
Whatever the connection, a broad range of interpretations in photography is invited for entry, including documentary, expressive or experimental. Submissions may be depicted in any style and represent any species, whether real or of the imagination.'
My photo that was selected was 'Little Brother,' from the series, 'Little Brothers and Sister.'
I am delighted by this news and hope it will be one of many international exhibitions and a great start to a successful artistic career. It is a great honour to be chosen and I hope my photo is received well.
Right now I am in the process of getting it printed and framed so It will arrive in time to be hung. Unfortunately the turn over from acceptance letter to exhibition hanging is very small so I was unable to have the photo processed in its true form via the darkroom, so instead it will be printed digitally. I am sure this will be just as acceptable.
I look forward to sharing updates on this exhibit which will be on view at Smith Andersen North in San Anselmo, California from October 25th thru November 21st 2014. Selected works will be posted on the PhotoAlliance website and a ‘Best of Show’ winner will be awarded a full scholarship to the 2015 PhotoAlliance Our World Portfolio Review.
All proceeds from this juried show will go to support PhotoAlliance. PhotoAlliance is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to supporting the understanding, appreciation and creation of contemporary photography
Keep an eye on my blog for further updates and please see the Photo Alliance website for updates and more information as well by clicking here.
'Little Brother'

Dorothy Cross - Eye of Shark

A couple of weeks ago a friend and I took a road trip to Lismore to see a newly commissioned work by Dorothy Cross, titled Eye of Shark. It opened in conjunction to her exhibition, View at the Kerlin gallery in Dublin. Unfortunately the work was not exhibited in the castle itself but in the small chapel called St Carthage Hall, in the centre of the town hidden behind the heritage centre.
It was a lovely installation, very interesting but you would want to have other plans for your day if you were to drive all that way to see it.
The installation consisted of nine re-claimed cast iron bathtubs which were arranged in lines down the centre of the church.

These bathtubs were not the sort you would find out in the fields as make shift water troughs or that you would find in an ordinary old house. These tubs had a sense of grandeur about them, in their heyday they would have bathed the sort of persons depicted in films such as the Great Gatsby.
They were beautiful and deep, you could get lost in them.
I would love to know were she found them, I assume they were remnants of the burnt out manor houses of Ireland.

Each tub was lined with gold along the scum line, where the dirt normally accumulates, this suggested an alchemical transformation from dirt to gold. A line from the press release for the exhibition illustrates this so beautifully,
'This line of gold lies at the place where air meets water and beneath the surface of water, 
below the depths, is home to shark.'

The bathtubs or 'congregation' are facing a small opening in the far wall which has been sealed with an opaque red glass, 'a gilded vessel'. The literal eye of a shark is housed within, gazing upon the congregation, yet hidden from view.
The title of this exhibition, Eye of Shark, takes reference from many sources including Macbeth (…in the cauldron boyle and bake, eye of newt and toe of frog…), the Eye of Providence (the all seeing eye of God) and the fear of the unknown that is invoked in us by the presence of the shark.

As in her exhibition View, Surrealism and the concept of the found object were very strong in this exhibition. It shows that you don't need to physically make something to express an idea but can use what is already in the world around you, this form of creation is just as successful as if you painted a picture. Turning to the everyday can only bring art and life closer together. 
The artist Annette Messenger said that, 'Mostly I believe an artist doesn't create something, but is there to sort through, to show, to point out what already exists, to put it into form and sometimeS reformulate it…..' - Annette Messenger, Word for Word, 2006 (The Everyday, Documents on Contemporary Art)

I do not think this installation would have worked anywhere else except in a church. The presence of being in a mediative building forced one to whisper and to observe quietly. Taking in everything the work had to offer, the bathtubs could have almost been human, kneeling in quiet contemplation or prayer. Again Dorothy Cross has out done herself and inspired me to make work and be more observant of the objects and world around me. 
Unfortunately my photos are not very good, I think its time for a new camera. I am trying to take less photos now and taking more time to look at works and to take them in. Now I'm just taking photos as documentation or observations of texture or the way works are hung. When I get a bit braver I will go back to sketching things out in my sketchbook as I find this exercise allows things to stay in the mind better and you tend to take more in, even if it takes more time to get through a gallery.
Please see what photos I have below.


The tiny entrance to the chapel, easily overlooked by the untrained eye.


 

View of the bathtubs facing the small window that housed the sharks eye.





Details of the bathtubs


The pink tub which was one of my favourites, its hard to see in the photo but the gold and pink were really something.





Lismore Castel



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Article on 'Your human faces are showing.'

I was asked to right a small article about the screen-print I did of an old photo of the Limerick foxhounds for the online magazine/blog Fox Hunting Life created and edited by Norman Fine.
I was faltered to be asked and It is the first bit of writing I have had published. You can view a preview of the article by clicking here. Or you can just read the full version below, or if you subscribe to the blog you will also be able to read the full article.

'I am a visual artist who works in a variety of media such as photography, printmaking, collage, embroidery and paint. I do not like to restrict my ideas to a specific medium.My work draws from dreams and memories, linking the spiritual, human and animal worlds together with an underlining narrative of innocence and the uncanny. The work arises from the self, drawing from my past, while trying to take control of the present. I also work a lot with vintage photographs and text combining them to create new narratives. The piece, 'Your Human faces are Showing,' is a 7 colour limited addition screen print, approximately 11.4 x 8 cm. The print is slightly off register so they are not all exactly the same, which is called a print variable.The print is based on an old photo my grandmother took of the County Limerick Foxhounds. The piece started out as a doodle in my sketchbook a few years ago, and stayed that way until my last year of college were I attempted to make it into a print. The drawing is relaxed, almost comical, I wasn't worried about it being exact or anatomically correct, this relaxed idea towards the drawing I feel is what makes it a success.  In this piece you will see that the hounds faces are not right, they are warped and a bit deformed, their features are morphing into a human form.I have always appreciated the foxhound as an individual, knowing each of their personalities and what makes them tick. To me hounds are like children and anyone who has grown up and lived in a kennel with a pack of hounds will understand and appreciate this. I wanted this to come across in the work, I want people to realise and appreciate the individuality and how human and loving hounds can be. Without the happy individuals, that you understand, respect, and appreciate as much as your own children, you cannot and will not have a happy and successful pack of foxhounds.  I do not solely work with the theme of the foxhound or fox hunting but because it is a major part of my life and who I am it always continues to appear in my work.I have just recently graduated from Limerick School of Art and Design were I received a first class honours degree in Printmaking and Contemporary Practice. I am continuing to make work but hope to go on and receive my Masters in the arts.'