Sean Lynch: Dear JJ, I read with interest

22 March - 21 April 2012

The Kevin Kavanagh Gallery presents Sean Lynch’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, consisting of five artworks involving photography, slide projection, sculpture and a freely distributed publication.


A story can be told and described so many times until it begins to narrow down to a particular narrative and content. Lynch investigates the loose ends of this process: footnotes that tend to get lost, misplaced or unnoticed, eradicated from popular consciousness. His work points the existence of such material within a flexible public sphere, as a disparate series of objects and narratives swaying between the anecdotal and objective-informative.


Photographs detail 28 Angelsea Street in Temple Bar, focusing on architectural ornamentation on the building’s facade where the stonemason’s skill of vermiculation is evident. Here, irregular holes have been carved, intended to resemble the process of worms eating their way through the building until it collapses into rubble. This symbolic digression of all that is built will fall into ruin might be viewed in light of the building’s current tenants, the Irish Stock Exchange.


Dear JJ, I read with interest… is an ongoing investigation undertook since 2006 by Lynch in the Kerry Mountains to find a monument to Flann O’Brien. A sixteen-minute slide projection show in the gallery details ongoing progress. Another photographic series details the current condition of a large abstract sculpture by John Burke, found upside down in a hole on the edge of Cork City in autumn 2011 after being removed after from a nearby housing estate following protests by residents. In addition, a free publication details public interaction with a varied collection of Dublin’s public monuments and sculptures.

48 bricks arranged in various sculptural forms obliquely reference an incident in the centre of a traffic roundabout in Wexford town on 1st March 2008, where stack of paving bricks were covertly removed from the ground and neatly piled on top of each other on a Saturday night. The scene was photographed and appeared in the Irish Daily Mirror later that week, with an accompanying editorial endorsing it as an unusual and successful piece of public art. The event, which went unnoticed in any local or national art criticism, marks a significant editorial shift in the Mirror’s stance on the use of bricks in art. In 1976 the paper famously led with the headline WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH, reacting angrily to the Tate purchasing Carl Andre’s brick sculpture Equivalent VIII for their collection.


Since his 2010 debut solo exhibition at the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Sean Lynch has exhibited at the Camden Arts Centre, London, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt am Main, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, Catalyst Arts, Belfast, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, amongst others. In addition, Me Jewel & Darlin’ is a public art project by Lynch commissioned by Dublin City Council located on O’Connell Street, and in late 2011 he curated A Rocky Road, an exhibition examining the history of modern art in Ireland at the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork. In 2012 he is resident at the Gasworks International Residency Programme, London and continues to lecture on MAVIS, MA in Visual Art Practices, IADT, Dun Laoighaire.


Sean Lynch was in conversation with Eamonn Maxwell, director of Lismore Castle Arts