Altered Light

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January 12th – February 11th, 2017

Kathlyn makes detailed and idiosyncratic sculptures from a range of found and collected materials, often repurposing objects, salvaged and procured. Many of the structures appear shrine-like, maquettes that look like reliquaries to house treasured or sacred items. Altered Light presents a series of objects that have been transformed; they have borne metamorphosis through artistic intervention.

Many of these artworks offer us a glimpse into a world of making. They are the physical manifestation of thinking and dreaming through assemblage. Within these sculptures the external world and its structures mingle with the internal world of ideas. The work is buttressed by an instinctual understanding of architecture and carpentry. Kathlyn’s fluency with the handling of materials enables her to think through making and to project dream like structures directly from the inner eye into physical existence – she is a maker who thinks and dreams through the act of making.

Altered Light comprises a number of assemblages that are quiet and unassuming though powerful and resilient. This exhibition is the first solo exhibition of work by Kathlyn since 2011. Her work has often gone under the radar though not for her contemporaries. She has worked confidently over the years, untroubled by the flotsam and jetsam of art world trends. Within these strange objects is a world of ritual and respect that centers on the positive, regenerative aspect of destruction.

This is a particularly exquisite exhibition as the creation of these works span decades. Some works the artist has been developing gradually for years, some have been at stage of completion awaiting a final unknown component and others have been constructed in bursts of enthusiasm for fleeting thoughts. Kathlyn resurrects forgotten items and bestows on them a sense of renewed relevance. She gives them a second life.

 

For further information regarding the exhibition please contact ingrid@kevinkavanagh.ie

only connect

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January 5th – 8th, 2017

Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present ‘only connect’, a two person exhibition of work from emerging artists Ali Kirby and Christopher Mahon.
The immediacy and ubiquity of digitized connectivity has revolutionized ways of interacting socially, romantically and in relation to inhabited spaces both public and private. Boundaries morph and fragment; between people, work, leisure, public and private space. Action, and experience, is fragmented.

Through a use of both traditional fine art techniques and materials, and those traditionally associated with architecture and building, Kirby and Mahon quietly underline the primal nature of, and need for, material connection: with our environment, and with others.

Through reliance on solid material and subtle architectural interventions, the seemingly paradoxical suggestion is made that to connect more, connect less: ground bodies – and all they can do – in visceral sensory experience.

Only connect!….Live in fragments no longer”

Ali Kirby (b. Dublin, Ireland) graduated in 2014 with first class honours in Fine Art from LSAD, specialising in Sculpture & Combined Media. Kirby is the recipient of the Fire Station Artist’s Studios Sculpture Workshop Award & Bursary 2016 and the RHA Studio Residency Award 2015. Recent exhibitions include all shimmers here (2016) MART Gallery, Dublin, Describing Architecture – Memory and Place (2015) City Assembly House, Dublin, the 185th RHA Annual Exhibition (2015) Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Periodical Review #4 (2015) Ormston House, Limerick, Periodical Review #4 (2014) Pallas ProjectsDublin, Essays for the House of Memory (2014) Ormston House, Limerick, Single Channel (2013) Chartier Arts Venue, Connecticut, USA, Undertow (2012) the LAB, Dublin and Undertow (2011) Ormston House, Limerick.

Christopher Mahon (b.1988), recently completed an MA in Art and Research Collaboration, IADT (2016). Recent exhibitions include Illusions of Beloved Objects, Basic Space (2016), This is Public and Sexy, curated by RGKSKSRG, (2016).

Slips and Glimpses

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Slips And Glimpses – Robert Armstrong & Anna Bjerger

November 17th – December 17th, 2016

Painters have a complex relationship with their source material. While it provides them with vital information and can often stimulate certain illuminating reactions within them, it can also act as a self-imposed limit, which, once introduced, must be escaped from. Slips and Glimpses, an exhibition of new work by Anna Bjerger and Robert Armstrong delivers moments of both vivid immersion and profound escape.

Bjerger’s paintings often reference found imagery such as old magazine clippings. While the figures and objects which populate her paintings may seem largely unrelated, they are connected by a curious sense of timelessness. Or rather, that they exist in a time to which they do not belong. Through her paintings Bjerger provides a home for these displaced images, while simultaneously pointing to their outsider status. Their treatment is at once tender and removed. Cotton, for instance, depicts the torsos of two children wearing white t-shirts. One of the children’s t-shirts appears to be spattered with blood. But on closer inspection, the spatters extend extra-diegetically onto the t-shirt of the second child in a manner that could only have been made by the external hand of the painter. This deceptively simple gesture creates a mysterious tension between the world within the painting and that without. Such devices serve to both disorient and intrigue, allowing us glimpses into moments of great intimacy, to which we remain none the wiser.

Similarly, Armstrong’s paintings act as a space in which time and reality are made lusciously slippery. Drawing on sources such as masterworks from art history, ancient archeological sites and biblical narratives, Armstrong’s worlds both collide and withdraw. The cloud, a recurring motif in paintings such as A Cloud for Sigiriya and Humility after MW will often act as a unifier of these many worlds, bringing together earth and sky, figuration and abstraction, past and present, by floating or resting gently in their interim. Armstrong’s paintings search through the unknowable terrains of the past. But through his energetic and gleefully inventive use of paint, it is always the unforeseen, the strange, the new that emerges.

This exhibition combines the practices of two greatly accomplished painters, whose mutual admiration and respect for one another and for their chosen medium is distinctly evident. Through their work, both painters offer a surface on which content and materiality is treated with equal importance. Within these paintings, the origin and its varying forms of transition can safely co-exist, undisturbed by the passing of time and its consequences.

Anna Bjerger (b.1973) lives and works in Älmhult, Sweden. She has recently held solo exhibitions in David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen, 2016, Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm, 2015 and Galleria Monica de Cardenas, Milan, 2014. Her works are held in many collections, including Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (DK), Moderna Museet (SE), Zabludowicz Collection (UK) and Stedelijk Museum, (NE). Bjerger is represented by David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen and Galerie Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm.

Robert Armstrong (b.1953) lives and works in Dublin. Armstrong is Head of Painting in the National College of Art and Design and is a Founder Member of Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin. Recent solo exhibitions include a presentation at VOLTA New York (2015), and Assumptions (2014) Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin.

Stephen Loughman – WI

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And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountain green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?

– from Jerusalem by William Blake

 

WI comprises a suite of recent paintings by Stephen Loughman that take vintage postcards
issued by the Women’s institute as their source material and subject matter. The use of such
postcards, which were bought in bulk at online auctions, represent a departure from Loughman’s
previous method of painting from film stills and yet the work retains a filmic quality. Images of
the English countryside appear lushly detailed though curiously deadpan and while the source
material documents picturesque landscapes, their corresponding paintings appear densely
ominous, as plotted points within a broader narrative.
A history of the Women’s Institute spanning over one hundred years includes the suffragette
movement which began in 1913 as well as their contribution to the war effort during both World
War I and World War II. At the beginning of the 1920s the institution adopted Jerusalem as their
anthem. Originally written by William Blake in 1804, the poem celebrates ‘England’s green and
pleasant land’ and centers on rural countryside as the utopian ideal.
Within WI visual motifs become apparent; tunnels, bridges and arches reference architectural
intervention in the landscape as churches and thatched cottages are depicted amidst verdant
forests and gardens. In an art historical context the depiction of the English countryside has long
been bound up with national identity, and has continually acted as a cypher for collective
consciousness. In her book Wanderlust, Rebecca Solnit wrote, ‘At the beginning of the eighteenth
century, English aristocrats had linked nature with reason and the current social order, suggesting
that things were as they should be. But nature was a dangerous goddess to enthrone. At the latter
end of the century, Rousseau and romanticism equated nature, feeling, and democracy,
portraying the social order as highly artificial and making revolt against class privilege “only
natural” (Solnit, R, 2014, p109).
Loughman’s decision to work with postcards made by members of the Women’s Institute
alludes to the social history of an organisation in which the word ‘domestic’ has been applied not
only to the home but to the home country and the idea of nationhood. By referring to such
source material, Loughman connects aspirations towards patriotism and religion with the English
landscape and in this way the use of such imagery alludes to class structuring and social order.
Through time spent with Loughman’s paintings, it begins to emerge that a history has been
obfuscated or perhaps veneered. These seemingly idyllic images appear constricted – imbued
with a sense of unease or discomfort. The implication of such a device within WI attests to
Loughman’s ability to connect the depiction of rural England with its simultaneous social history
and, as in the artist’s previous work, to modify or drastically alter the mood or tone of an image
through the medium of paint.

Disguise The Limit

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Nevan Lahart

September 8th – October 8th 2016

Opening September 8th at 6pm.

Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present Disguise the Limit, an exhibition of new work by Nevan Lahart.

The paintings in Disguise the Limit are serenely beautiful. Lahart pictures the vast expanse of the sky; initially appearing as traditional skyscapes, this contextualisation is swiftly derailed by the inclusion of strange and suspicious cloud formations. Jet streams left in the wake of unseen aircraft allude to nefarious activities and environmental interventions. Plumes, halos, and streams of condensation cling to currents at various altitudes to create an array of patterns in which peculiar anthropomorphic swirls occur and ominous shapes evoke changes in the atmosphere.

Through the medium of paint, Lahart illuminates the signs and signifiers in our immediate environment that often elude us. His work utilises a wide variety of materials to pose questions on topics that interest him. This recent suite of paintings, in which strange shapes appear in the sky incorporate his interest in alternative histories. Through the work, he emphasises the dynamic that exists between fabrication and fact. By considering Lahart’s practice in this context, it can be regarded as a means of discussing and challenging histories and mechanisms of power that are often determinately approved as fact.

Lahart challenges our propensity to form a consensus on events and thus relegate them to false history and through Disguise the Limit, he encourages us to question the avenues of information in which we blindly trust. Many of the installations and paintings within this exhibition urge us to consider other ways of knowing, other ways of coming to terms with the world around us. His work beckons us to pay attention to alternative theories and their potential to tell us truths that have been obscured in the past for reasons both benign and malevolent.