The multidisciplinary show, which is part of the 30th Galway Arts Festival, includes work by Eileen Graham, Jennifer Hutton, Maev Lenaghan, Padraic Conway, Paula Henihan, Rocky Meaney, Ursula Kelly, Sandra Bunting and Shane Crotty. Audiences can expect a few surprises as this group of artists respond to the theme of conflict in fresh and sometimes frenetic ways. The unexpected collide as the artists expand our understanding of the notion of conflict. The exhibition creates an artistic arena where both traditional and contemporary practices are knitted together with surprising fluidity.
Quiet, reflective digital prints engage in visual dialogue with provocative and often disturbing installations. Pale and haunting etchings softly echo the sentiments of overt performances. Conflict, which is curated by Denise McDonagh and Alan O’Connor, gives Lorg members a platform to explore the breadth of their artistic practices. The result is a visually interesting and emotionally challenging exhibition of site-specific installation, film, performance, printmaking and poetry.
Galway based artist Eileen Graham explores the delicate tension between life and death, the ultimate human conflict, through the medium of etching. Graham humorously presents the viewer with visual puns and contradictory terminology.
Collaborative duo Jennifer Hutton and Ursula Kelly’s site-specific installation, titled “Caveat Emptor”, negotiates the volatile exploitative world of conflict diamonds. Their encompassing installation, not unlike the topic, is both seductive and disconcerting.
Maev Lenaghan’s intaglio prints navigate the ambiguity of perception. Her etched snapshots of facial expressions challenge the conflicted differences between intention and reception.
Artist Padraic Conway’s digital prints become a conceptual springboard for the viewer. His depictions of “functional kitchen utensils as landscape” entice the willing onlooker to reflect on the war-associated meanings of his work.
Paula Henihan has created postcards based on the conflict between the human body and mind. The text on Henihan's work is an adaptation from some of C.S. Lewis’s writings in "A Grief Observed"
Rockey Meaney’s collaborative multimedia performance, which will take place at the opening of conflict (20th July 7pm), promises to be spectacular. Entitled “Collaborations and Upheavals”, the work explores the conflict and friction that exists between the creation of mechanical music and live action drawing. This enacting of the mechanical vs. the organic is not to be missed.
Sandra Bunting’s work is based on her regular visits to Poland. She uses simple yet striking visual symbols to represent the conflict between the people’s stark histories and their new dawning hopes.
Shane Crotty’s digital prints are concerned with war, current affairs photography and propaganda. His focus is on history’s propensity for repetition. Together, these artists bring the viewer on an explorative and expansive journey that imbues the notion of conflict with new meaning.
The Whiteroom Gallery is situated in the Liosban Industrial Estate, Tuam Rd. Galway. “Conflict” will remain on display for the duration of the Galway Arts Festival. (16th – 29th July) All welcome.