9th September - 1st October 2011.
Erica Hoyne graduated from DIT with a BA Fine Art in 2011. “In March 2010 it was reported that over 350, 000 houses and apartments in Ireland were vacant at this time. This is a staggering 17.6% of the entire housing stock in Ireland. This figure includes vacant houses available for sale, vacant houses available for rent, vacant houses that are not on the market, apartments, holiday homes, abandoned properties and ghost estates. My practice looks at post Celtic Tiger Ireand after the collapse of the Irish property market and how this has lead to the thousands of abandoned buildings all over the country. Through sculpture and photography I have used language to represent the state of these vacant buildings and used select words to portray a message about the current housing crisis of Ireland today.”
Lisa O’Donnell graduated from GMIT in 2010 with a first class honours degree in Fine Art and was awarded Paint student of the year. She was previously a member of Art Space Studios Galway and starts her MA in Fine Art at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London this year. O’Donnell’s work is influenced by the barrage of mass media imagery encountered both consciously and unconsciously in everyday life. This imagery contributes to her work on a daily basis as she continuously picks up bits of fabrics, materials, clippings and objects that she is drawn to and that often make it into her final pieces. Her work depicts different recognizable elements somewhat abstracted through the attributes of the paint medium into a strange and unreal space, reflecting a certain place hovering between a form of reality and a created environment. O’Donnell emphasizes the notion of these spaces as produced rather than presenting overtly realistic interpretations of her subject matter. The idea of illusion and decoration within painting is a central theme through this body of work, as the artist plays tricks with the mind’s eye juxtaposing hand crafted fabrics with a painterly materiality, teasingly inserting paintings with the pictorial plane, and realistically rendering a house sucked into an abstract land of stripes and over exaggerated colour.
Myra Jago graduated from NCAD with a BA Fine Art in 2009 and a MFA in 2011. Jago has previously won a site-specific ELIA commission in Brussels and exhibited in The Central Bank, Dame Street. Jago works mainly in oil, watercolour, pencil and sculpture and her practice centres on ideas about how we negotiate the world. “We straddle the seam between choice and spontaneity, never totally taking charge as our evolutionary hardwiring lingers below the surface. The curious lure of the mirrored image - a blue sky reflected in a street puddle for example - converses with an innate sense rather than the conscious mind. Painting itself can be described in these terms, where space is created out of the flat surface. I use mirroring, where a thing appears apart from itself, to describe this dichotomy. This elusive subject matter has generated tangents of investigation and discovery into the realms of contemporary art, neurology, psychology and physics. I have utilized books as metaphorical motifs to describe this set of circumstances. The hinged seam of the book complies with a subversion of both function and meaning. By mirroring the image in the open book, staging with lighting, photographing and finally painting the still life, the object traditionally associated with information and learning assimilates a new irrationality within its primary form. Instead, images roll into and out of one another, in a loop-like system, similar to the indiscernible division between our voluntary and involuntary thoughts and actions.”
David Upton graduated from Crawford College of Art and Design with a first class honours degree in Fine Art in 2011. For his degree show Upton won the Cork Film Centre award for the best use of the moving image, The Crawford College of Art and Design’s Photography Internship Award and the C.I.T. purchase prize. Upton’s practice is concerned with the implications of new information technology and how it is changing the way we, as a collective society, view ourselves and the world around us. Upton works in a variety of lens-based media, some of which are now obsolete, and he aims to slow the consumption of information and to reassess the value that it holds in the digital age. Earthstation was filmed at a 32-meter diameter trans-Atlantic communications satellite dish in east Cork, which was launched in 1984. Put offline in 1997, it has recently been modified with radar to serve as a space telescope in conjunction with Blackrock castle observatory. The piece illustrates a newspaper article from 1988 that describes the appearance, location and capabilities of the dish and promises to bring Ireland into a bright new future. Jack Machachev, who is a recent immigrant to Ireland from the Ukraine, narrates the piece, which weaves together Ireland’s once expected future, its present state and seeds for its progress.
Dee O’Shea graduated from Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork in 2009 and completed a MFA at NCAD in 2011. O’Shea has been invited as a visiting lecture to Crawford College of Art and Design later this year. Originating in the concept of the uncanny, O’Shea’s work focuses on interior architectural spaces and structures and how architecture itself can create a sense of unease. Memory and fiction merge to create an unfolding, adjustable space, distorting reality. O’Shea invents, constructs and stages small-scale architectural models that are often suggestive of the domestic or institutional. The models, which are temporary, are constructed with wood, card, wallpaper, tiles and other household materials. The work manifests through the photographing and filming of the models, creating illusions of real but illogical space. The photographs often render the scale intangible and the moving image uses theatrical and dramatic lighting to unsettle, turning everyday spaces upside down. The work is influenced by surrealism, the writings of new world authors such as J.G. Ballard who illustrate architectural space as psychological and metaphorical, and by the documentation of disused post modern buildings around Ireland. The installation of Locus Ad Absurdum, with its obscured viewpoint, allows one viewer at a time, creating an intimate yet incongruous relationship between inside and out, place and placeless ness.
Mara Sola graduated from GMIT with a first class Honours degree in Fine Art in 2010. She has exhibited as part of the RDS Student Art awards and as part of the Art of Nurture group exhibition at the Hugh Lane Gallery Dublin, both in 2009.Sola works mainly in painting and drawing and her practice centres around the idea of place, where the everyday meets the uncanny. Sola presents images out of context, familiar subjects are portrayed in a new land where there is no dividing line between the real or surreal. Sola draws on her own personal experience of cultural displacement (being originally from Spain) and uses found imagery, old photographs, memories from childhood and dreams as source material for her work. She is also informed by a love of poetry and magic realism literature and uses these to visualise and recreate invented places. Much of the work presented here comes from a recent project where the artist spent time drawing in the Zoology department in the NUI in Galway. Sola completed a few sketch books with drawings of animals that she saw there, and from those quick sketches went on to make these paintings in varied materials on mixed surfaces. The paintings are not direct representations of the animals in display cases or in their natural habitat, but rather place them in an imagined environment, giving the pieces an ethereal quality.
Patrick Hough graduated from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin with a first class Honours degree in Fine Art Media in 2011. Last October he was short listed for the Emergent Photography Prize in Lleida, Spain and in March was awarded funding for continuing projects in Morocco under the Thomas Dammann Memorial Fund. He begins an MA in Fine Art Photography at the Royal College of Art, London this year. In his practice Hough utilises photography, video and sound to explore the ideas relating to the ‘Hollywoodisation’ of history or the conflict between cinematic representation and historical fact. He predominantly makes work at sites where cinematic illusion and past reality blur, where representations of history have gained their own reality. For this body of work Patrick travelled to the town of Ouarzazate, Morocco, a site that has become known as a “Third World Hollywood”, where the film industry has created a bizarre landscape of film sets left abandoned throughout the area. The three photographic images presented here on their own act as a separate statement about representing history and culture in cinema, but in dialogue with each other form a discourse on representation itself. The film sets range from recreations of ancient Egyptian architecture, to an American gas station and an image of a version of Mecca. These photographs are representations of representations, a circular statement on the act of interpretation through art. The images are produced in a manner intended to reference the European Romantic paintings of classical ruins. Those works showed the decay of monuments of ancient civilisation, while these particular pieces show the decay of monuments to capitalism. Underlying this set of images is the uncomfortable subtext of the current cultural-political climate of North Africa and the Middle East