Monday, 12 December 2011

Irish Graffiti, Is It Art?

When I started researching for this article I was not sure which way it would go as I had not really thought much about is Graffiti art a valid means of expression. Some of its of course is just tagging hence like many I tarnished it all with the one brush.

With the emergence of Banksy onto the British Art Scene many people have begun to see Graffiti art in a new light.
Ireland has always had Graffiti artists working not only in urban areas but has peoples attitude to Graffiti changed?

"New York is Killing Me" by ADW which only lasted a few days on Abbey Street Dublin

 Graffiti can be and is a means for artists to get their work viewed by a mass audience that otherwise would not step foot into a gallery, until recently would not have been shown in many galleries across Ireland. 

So what exactly has changed? for one graffiti has become more technically sound and have become more about what the artist wants to say rather than just a form of tagging, it has reached out to people and if it has become thought provoking well then its a valid piece of art.  

Which leads to the next point why are the councils spending so much in removing only some of the graffiti and leaving others? who decides if a piece is valid enough to exist? 

Graffiti is a way that artist express themselves hence I believe contributes to the Irish Art Scene in the same way that any exhibition does some pieces are gems waiting to be discovered while other pieces are like many paintings can brighten up a dull area

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Zin Taylor: Thoughts and Forms

Our current Artist in Residence, Zin Taylor, will give a talk in The Model on his practice on Wednesday December 7th at 6pm.

Zin has become known internationally for his elaborate installations encompassing elements of performance and sculpture along with drawing, printing, and video. Narration is an essential ingredient of much of Taylor’s multifaceted work, and his stories are often culled from the undergrowth of popular culture (more specifically underground music scenes) and contemporary art lore. Journalism, research, storytelling: not surprisingly, both the spoken word and the printed word figure prominently in Taylor’s practice and many of his installations have also been accompanied by publications and/or artist books.

The talk, as much as it will be about his work, will traverse a wide variety of influence, anecdote and past history to arrive at the basic principle behind what it is Zin Taylor does – the development of thoughts about a subject in to forms about subject.
For this he uses the term Growth to describe the additive qualities that occur when a subject is addressed with intent. It’s what he sees happening as the by-product of intentionality, a kind of phenomenological authorship.

Address a subject, and that subject grows. It takes up more space, occupies new areas, speaks to things it didn’t before – but always with a visual language of his own construct. There will be video, audio and some images. The work, often whimsical, funny and playful is a gateway to a deeper meaning.
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Monday, 5 December 2011

Returning Georgia Hopkins

“Returning” is an exhibition of works by local artist Georgia Hopkins. The paintings are atmospheric seascapes and landscapes inspired by the natural beauty of Cork and West Kerry.

Artist’s Statement
 I chose ‘Returning’ as a title for a number of reasons. Initially it was a literal, working title, as I would be returning to the lovely Alliance FranÒ«aise de Cork gallery of my first solo exhibition. As I thought more about it however, this title resonated on a number of different levels.
The very fact of having this exhibition necessitated my own returning: to the painting process, to the quietness of mind that that both allows & demands, and to my enduring source of inspiration, which is the wonder and beauty of the natural world. It is always a great pleasure to return to my inner connection with nature, to the universal energy, to the place in us all that makes us both unique in spirit yet connected with everything and everyone else.
From another angle, I see this now as a universal time of ‘returning’. I believe that our society is at a pivotal point, and that much of the way forward will involve a returning to traditional wisdom, to a stronger community-based approach to living, and to the core values and needs shared by all. Love and kindness are essential of course, and are hugely powerful forces. In keeping with the deep respect for nature that is behind all of my paintings, and being a life-long animal lover, I decided that this exhibition might also serve another purpose; to offer an opportunity to help and support some hardworking, invaluable local animal charities: The Cat Action Trust (C.A.T.), Dog Action Welfare Group (D.A.W.G.), and The Donkey Sanctuary. I hope that anyone who purchases a painting or print will be agreeable to a percentage being donated to these charities.
The works in Returning span a time period of several years, and people will see in these paintings a broad range of impressions, places, feelings, and points of inspiration. With all my work, whether landscape, seascape, abstract or expressionist, my starting points are always mood and colour, followed by form and composition. What I try to capture is a certain vitality, a natural, numinous energy, and to offer a glimpse of what is at play beneath the surface, beyond the horizon, and past the veneer of superficial reality. I hope when visiting you will be able to spend a little time with the works you like, and that you might find yourself sharing in the sense of wonder that inspired them. - GEORGIA HOPKINS

24th November 2011 – 6th January 2012 
Alliance Francaise Cork 

John Macormac Structure

 Structure is John Macormac’s new solo exhibition of recent works on card, paper and wood.
The title refers to the artist's interest in combining different elements and techniques to construct works that provoke a subjective sense of atmosphere, and a relationship of entities that coheres in the mind of the viewer.

The artist combines collage, oil paint, acrylics, emulsion, ink, spray paint, conte crayon, chalk, felt tips, pencil and anything else that appeals. Found photographs and fragments of text can be included because of a personal sense of meaning, or purely as passages of visual ‘noise’.
The work does not start with a finished image in mind. Rather it carries a sense of practical progression; each new area suggests the context and space for the next aspect of the piece. The artist will often work on several at a time. Pieces are often playful, while rough edges and accidents are encouraged. The work is in a constant state of evolution and reinvention. Layers are added and scraped back. Each finished piece displays evidence of this process of revision, editing and adding new elements until it feels right to stop.

Since graduating from the University of Ulster in 2003 with a First Class degree in Fine Art, Macormac has been working in Cathedral Studios in Belfast. He has participated in many shows including ‘Arrivals’ at the Ormeau Baths Gallery in July 2010 and a 3 person show ‘Graphic’ in the Engine Room in the summer of 2008.
He is a member of Cathedral Studios, a 6 person studio group based in Belfast. As a group they have been featured in late night art tours of Belfast art venues and exhibited in spaces as diverse as the Work Atelier SK Den Helder, Netherlands in 2007 and the Ulster Hospital in 2005.
The exhibition runs until the 29/01/12
Venue: Empress Gallery, Forsyth House, Cromac Street, Belfast, BT2 8lA.