Written in Water, Shone in Stone, Lost in Light

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Richard Proffitt

Written in Water, Shone in Stone, Lost in Light

August 10th – September 9th, 2017

Opening reception; 6pm Thursday, 10th August

Written in Water, Shone in Stone, Lost in Light is comprised of work in various media – installation, painting, digital collage and audio, forming a constellation of thoughts and ideas that relate to perception and awareness. Richard Proffitt is interested in the transition between personally significant events and those that express aspects of a collective consciousness. In the written pieces that form part of Proffitt’s practice, he traces a process whereby thoughts and observations become recurring memories, replete with symbols and metaphorical meaning. Within his drawings, the natural world is transformed into a realm of psychedelic journey in which knots in the bark of a tree can take on a peculiar anthropomorphic appearance and mountains from afar can appear as towering deities.

There are numerous references to gateways, portals and paths, inferring a journey – a personal journey perhaps – or one towards expanding consciousness. In his installation particular materials are imbued with a certain power to act as potential talismans, esoteric objects that help to guide the way and to ward off evil. Proffitt’s work seeks out universally relatable symbols, ideas and attitudes which act as unifying forces within society. The audio aspect of the work forms an important part of the exhibition, encompassing elements of psychedelia, folk, drone and ambient music.

Proffitt considers symbols and allegories that cleave to the collective consciousness, he does this by referencing both myth and folk legends as well as their contemporary counterparts such as alien visitation and abduction narratives. This alludes to a phenomenon whereby popular culture is often assimilated and recounted as personal experience and vice-versa. Within Written in Water, Shone in Stone, Lost in Light, Proffitt works across a number of media, drawing on a wide variety of source material to create a body of work that considers the role of esoteric symbols in both personal and universal experience.

Written in Water, Shone in Stone, Lost in Light will be accompanied by a vinyl LP of 7 songsThe vinyl, titled Ending Time, will be available for purchase at the gallery; the limited edition features 180g vinyl, digital download code, poster, 12 page booklet featuring extra artwork alongside texts by Mary O’Halloran and Michael Hill and is limited to 50 copies. The regular edition features 180g vinyl and digital download code.

Richard Proffitt (Born 1985, Liverpool, UK) Lives and works in Dublin. Recent solo exhibitions include Hold The Candle To Your Eye/Light the Criss-Cross On Your Chest, Sirius Arts Centre, Cork (2016), Wild Cries of Ha-Ha, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin (2015), Eternal Spirit Canyon, The Joinery, Dublin (2013) and Saguaro, part of BAM BAM BAM, Wolstenholme Creative Space, Liverpool, UK (2011). Selected group exhibitions include Golden Record, Galway Arts Centre, Galway (2017), Ritual Play, Verkstad Konsthall, Norrkoping, Sweden (2016), Between Seeing and Blindness, Tactic, Cork (2015) and A Modern Panarion, The Hugh Lane, Dublin (2014). Proffitt has also taken part in art fairs and residencies including CAVE Art Fair, Liverpool, UK (2012) and Mobile Research Station, Skulpturen Park, Berlin, Germany (2009). Proffitt’s work has also been featured in numerous publications including To Seek Where Shadows Are, Edited by Padraic E. Moore and designed by Peter Maybury to coincide with A Modern Panarion, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin.

Atonal Supersound

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Kathy Tynan

Atonal Supersound

July 6th- August 5th, 2017

Kathy Tynan’s eye for idiosyncrasies and her ability to distil an essence from daily encounters lends her paintings a profundity that is interspersed with self-reflexive humour. Each painting captures a moment in which a feeling or mood prevails. In the making of these paintings, Tynan proffers a world in which chance encounters and oddities are elevated through their representation. In recent work, Tynan has referenced her painting practice as part of a routine and within Laughter in the Blood, the artists own studio becomes the focus of analysis. In this painting the artist’s supplies – turpentine, brushes and ink are laid out on a frugal looking table. A bundle of brushes with split hairs peak tentatively over a laptop. On the monitor a talking head, subtitled in French, speaks of introspection in a spell of melancholy shoegazing. To the right of the table, near the skirting board, a scrunched leaf of paper torn from a ring-bound notebook politely beseeches the studio occupants, ‘please don’t unplug’.

In Clarice Lispector’s mystical novel, The passion according to G.H, the protagonist becomes preoccupied with the interior of her own apartment and remains there for the duration of the story. In her rigorous questioning of every aspect of her immediate reality she begins to dissolve its solid materiality into an array of psychical absurdities. While much of Tynan’s paintings follow a similar tact of dissecting the seemingly mundane, she also references the Brazilian writer directly in her painting, Thick and Black Roots of the Stars, in which Lispector’s words appear scrawled across a wall. In the painting, grey skies loom over a church and its grounds but the focal point is the richly embellished wall. Across its cement surface, alongside Lispector’s lines, there are messages to missing family members, initials in bubble font, proclamations of eternal love and witty quips. On this graffitied wall, marks made by many different hands are presented together in the composition.

Such a device harks toward the latent impulse within people to make a mark, to give visual expression to a thought. This concept crops up time and again in Tynan’s paintings, posing questions on the nature of institutionalised art production and on the divide between various forms of artistic expression. In her paintings, which revel in the colour, texture and surface possibilities of paint, Tynan reflects on inconsistency and imbalance. Her paintings are often witty and playful but also inquisitive – imbued with their own revelatory purpose. Together the paintings in Atonal Supersound converse with and often contradict one another. They exist as counter points reaffirming the idea that meaning is both deduced and created. It is somewhere between these two activities that Tynan’s work gathers its momentum.

Kathy Tynan (b.1984) lives and works in Dublin. She graduated from the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) with a BA in Painting in 2008 and an MA also from NCAD (2010). Recent group exhibitions include Hands Laid On with Aileen Murphy, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin (2016), There Are Little Kingdoms (2016), Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, What Is And What Might Be, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda (2015) and The Sky Is All Changed, Hendrons Collider, Dublin (2014). Tynan’s work is held in public collections including the Office of Public Works as well as private collections in Ireland and abroad.

Crooked Orbit

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Diana Copperwhite – Crooked Orbit

1st June – 1st July

‘As is well known, the word ‘orbit’ refers to a set route or path around a given point: we on earth orbit the sun, just as the moon orbits us. Perhaps less known, though, is that the word is etymologically coupled with a distinct sense of the optical: from a fourteenth century French word for ‘eye socket’. Seeing, in this understanding, is always underscored by a sense of movement or voyaging: when we look at someone or something, we simultaneously tread a track around it. Perhaps we come close to this object, but we don’t get to touch it.

I kept this double meaning in mind when thinking about Diana Copperwhite’s recent paintings. In this latest exhibition, Crooked Orbit, these are large and at least initially discordant works. It seems as though no colour has been left aside, from lurid fuchsias and cobalt blues, to neon yellow and swatches of minty green. Recurring throughout the canvases, there is also a gradient effect achieved by loading the brush with different shades of paint; and this has a consequence of suggesting that these paintings have almost outgrown the tools of their creation, those tools then being forced to convey, through colour, as much as they possibly can. Sometimes these gradient interventions are vertical and regular; at others, they are less uniform, cast in a halting semi-circle or upturned ‘u’. Throughout, they act to create the impression of space within the paintings: in one, a narrow swathe of grey, pink and white, has the look of an outstretched arm, a slight sag in the middle where the elbow could be; in another, a flat vertical plane of what looks like four gradient drags cuts a dint of architectural space. But, even when working in unison, each of these is just one gesture, loaded to capacity and worked until it dissipates, the paint run out or stopped short from further decline. Representation is at most, never quite; cast as it is though a series of distinct marks, the whole remains fragmentary, gestured towards but never quite pinned down’.

Extracted from Awkward Angle of Perception, by Rebecca O’Dwyer. The full essay will be available at the gallery from June 1st.

Diana Copperwhite (b. 1969, Ireland) lives and works in Dublin and New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Driven by Distraction, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2016), Depend on the Morning Sun, Thomas Jaeckal Gallery, New York (2016) and A Million and One Things Under the Sun, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin (2015). Selected group exhibitions include Last Picture Show w/Mary Heilmann, Chris Ofili, Danny Rolph, Vanessa Jackson, Elio Rodriguez, Jill Levine, Rebecca Smith, Thomas Jaeckel Gallery, New York (2017) and Virtú, inc. Picasso, Giacometti, Henry Moore, Elizabeth Magill and Sean Scully at the Hunt Museum, Limerick, Ireland (2017). Copperwhite’s work is held in numerous public and private collections including: the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Arts Council of Ireland, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Office of Public Works, Contemporary Irish Art Society, Highlanes Municipal Art Gallery, Mariehamn Stadbiblioteque, Aland (Finland), Dublin Institute of Technology and The President of Ireland.

Rebecca O’ Dwyer is an Irish art writer, critic, and PhD candidate at National College of Art & Design, Dublin. Her writing has been published in Paper Visual Art Journal, Enclave Review, Frieze, Eyeline, Fallow Media, and the Visual Artists’ New Sheet, amongst others, and she has written catalogue texts for artists including Kathy Tynan, Fergus Feehily and Barbara Knezevic. She is a previous winner of the VAI/DCC Critical Writing Award, and the editor of the online art-writing platform, Response to a Request, which was launched in August 2016.

Rectangle, a written thing

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Sonia Shiel

Rectangle, a written thing

May 4th – May 27th, 2017

Rectangle, a written thing, 2017, is presented in four ensembles. These painted works conjure theatrical tropes without motion, containing performative moments within the stasis and composition of painting. Such poles of action and inaction, recurring throughout the installation, are echoed in an accompanying script. This written thing provides a space to situate the work in a critical context by exploring its own real and imagined materiality – and it tells the story of an artist who, in being mistaken for a tree, learns what it is to be expressive.

Sonia Shiel’s work examines her protagonists’ attempts to survive the odds of nature and the illusory world around them, through laws of their own making. Many of her works engage with each other symbiotically or con/sequentially within mixed-media installations, creating surreal narrative sequences. Often taking the form of scripted video, audio and live performances, Shiel’s works synthesise object, image and sound in self-reflexive stories of construction, exploring how real things in the world can simultaneously declare themselves fabrications and yet compel a shared make-believe.

Sonia Shiel is currently the Arts and Humanities’ Artist-in-Residence at UCD for 2017 and a recipient of the DLRCoCo and the Arts Council Visual Artist Awards for 2017. In 2014/2015, she completed the Art & Law Fellowship Program at Fordham Law School, the International Studio & Curatorial Program, in New York, and an artist’s residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, with Arts Council Project Award support. Recent readings and performances include Temple Bar Gallery and Studios and ArtBox. She has had recent exhibitions at Rua Red, The Crawford Gallery, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, The Lewis Glucksman Gallery and the ISCP, New York, among others. Shiel has been the recipient of the Tony O’Malley and Hennessy Craig Awards, having had solo exhibitions at the Butler Gallery and the RHA Gallery I and II, which included a major publication and a collection of essays. Her work features in many international public and private collections, including the Arts Council, The City of Frankfurt, and the OPW.

Aspasia – An Influential Immigrant

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Margaret Corcoran

Aspasia – An Influential Immigrant

March 23rd – April 22nd, 2017

Aspasia was an influential immigrant to Classical-era Athens. She was the lover of the statesman Pericles and yet famed in her own right as an intellectual. As an outsider to the culture she entered, she thrived despite its restrictive citizenship laws.
Corcoran’s large, highly colourful canvases are bold and assertive, while the works on paper are sensitively rendered and acutely observed. She brings together an unlikely grouping of references celebrating love, creativity, ceremony and independence of thought.
The artist depicts figures such as Aspasia, Eileen Gray and D.H Lawrence alongside Sudanese courting couples and Bhutanese royalty. Their coexistence as subjects in the exhibition traces an idiosyncratic and tangential body of research that incorporates references to colonialism and to a striving for human dignity and equality. Aspasia – An Influential Immigrant celebrates unexpected congruence in the lives of people divided both historically and geographically.
As a complement to the wide-ranging subject matter, Corcoran utilises varying scales, techniques and paints to identify affinities and universal motifs in seemingly disparate lives.

A recent review of the exhibition in Frieze magazine can be read here.