Pleasures and Days
Mark Beatty, Frederica Bastide Duarte, Ian Charlesworth, Paul Flannery, Roisín Lewis, John O’Connell and The Fold.
April 24 - June 09 2007
Dublin City Council is pleased to present Pleasures and Days, an exhibition of contemporary drawing. The pursuit of drawing as a means of exploring and recording time is the central theme of the exhibition, as well as in the work of its co-curator Brian Fay. Running in conjunction with Pleasures and Days, Fay’s own exhibition Some Time Now, also uses drawing to investigate and mark the passage of time.
Pleasures and Days features the work of 8 artists whose art practices, though different, are all in some way concerned with themes of time and duration through the medium of drawing. This idea manifests itself in the construction of the work, the use of technology and the depiction and recording of the images. Rather than providing a strict theme or authoritative survey, this exhibition acts as a loose framework, allowing the work to be read in one of many potential ways, both individually and as a whole.
The title Pleasures and Days is taken from an early collection of stories, essays, and poems by Marcel Proust that explore some of the central themes in his work of time, experience and memory.
Works presented will include drawings, video projection and The Fold publication.
Mark Beatty is a Dublin based artist, who’s work focuses on pen and paper, and is strongly dependant on the creation of lines, which grow slowly and organically towards and unknown outcome. The intention of such a timely linear process is too occupy the present with an activity, a practice. The resulting work becomes a document of Beatty’s handling of time. Previous exhibitions include the Square Root of Drawing at Temple Bar Gallery 2006 and Open Systems at the Green on Red 2007.
Frederica Bastide Duarte lives and works in Portugal and has exhibited widely there and in Ireland. The series of drawings exhibited in Pleasures and Days are based on bones she regularly found while walking in the Portuguese countryside. She later discovered that the bones were left over from feeding Gryphons, a species of bird of prey that is almost extinct.
Ian Charlesworth is based in Belfast and was chosen to represent Northern Ireland at the Venice Biennale 2005. In ‘Crossings’, the work exhibited in this show, a Celtic cross is drawn onto the surface of five Perspex light boxes with a cigarette lighter. Here the carbon deposits on the surface of the Perspex have a ‘deictic’ quality, as the marks are not erased and tonality is directly linked to the duration of the ‘gesture’.
For the past number of years, Roisin Lewis’s practice has focused on drawing. More recently she has been exploring ways of incorporating new technologies and traditional media. Familiar, everyday phenomena and the time and place in which the work is made often informs the context. Her drawings of the life span of flowers take several weeks to complete, and have unsettling obsessive and melancholic undertones. Lewis recent exhibitions include a solo show at the Old Museum Belfast, 2006 and group shows at Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane and the Original Print Gallery.
Cora Cummins and Alison Pilkington are co editors of the artist led publishing initiative The Fold. The second issue of this publication is based around the theme Clouds, and features a mixture of artworks and writings by Joy Gerard, Lee Welch, Niamh Looney, Dr. Yvonne Scott, Ciaran Walsh, John Gerard, Fiona McDonald, Karl Burke, Marcus Oakley, Anna McLeod and Jenny Brown. Copies of The Fold will form a stacked sculpture in the gallery, and be available free of charge at The LAB. The project is conceived as providing an informal, accidental and spontaneous way to encounter art.
Paul Flannery lives and works in London and recently exhibited at Bloomberg ARTfutures 2007, London and the Square Root of Drawing at Temple Bar Gallery 2006. His work attempts to explore the solitary practice of drawing. Using a narrative archipelago of imagined mythologies, invented interiors and maze-like housing projects, he explores intricate systems of social anxiety so that he might eventually establish a community of solitudes. Memories and personal experiences are assimilated into the wider political scheme of the drawing. Flannery endeavours to illustrate ways in which individual bodies, and the neurosis that govern them, can connect together and seek to relate within a communal whole.
For John O’Connell, artmaking is an attempt to form meaning from the vast incomprehensible world around him. He does this by creating microcosmic worlds in his drawings. These drawings become arenas where place is established, characters are developed and loose narratives are formed between the imagination and an intuitive play with found, often broken and overlooked material. O’Connell has recently exhibited at the Darklight Film Festival Dublin, the sculpture workshop Edinburgh, and Brazil in New York.
Exhibition will be launched by Dr. Mick Wilson, Head of Fine Art, D.I.T.
Some Time Now
While it is tempting to say 'not another drawing show!', Brian Fay has shown a continued commitment to drawing that goes beyond its current re-emergence in contemporary arts practice. This is displayed in the central role the media of drawing plays within his practice, and his co-founding of 'The Drawing Lab' with Suin Hanrahan at DIT.
In this his first solo show in Dublin at The LAB Gallery, he applies himself to the task of painstakingly tracing and interrogating the crazed surface of canonical paintings including those of Titan, Da Vinci, Vermeer, Corot, Malevich and Mondrian.
His 'crack drawings' and prints, which utilise conservators radiograph and X-Ray images of paintings as their source material, map the material degradation of works on canvas revealing their fragility and marking the friction of time and environment on these works. The conservator's nightmare becomes the subject, inviting questions about the material value of what have become iconic works of art, while also referencing our own temporality.
There is something more than meets the eye in this dedication to surface and sub-surface. Though the delicate use of line Fay invites the viewer to examine his drawings closely and then sends us pacing backwards in a game of hide and seek to discern a shadow of the original painting's imagery.
The choice of these paintings as subject matter also suggests a logic, tracing a path from the High Renaissance, (Da Vinci and Titan) to Modernism, (Malevich and Mondrian) mapping the evolving preoccupations of art, the historical development of modern Western vision and the various lenses both physical and ideological applied to this expression of culture. His employment of X-Ray and radiograph source material also references the use of technology and drawing aids in the works he is examining. His focus on paintings that span the emergence of perspectival drawing, Vermeer's use of Camera Obscura and the influences of photography and the moving image on early 20th Century works all highlight the sympathetic relationship between art and science as modes of enquiry. There is a particular irony in the observation of the effects of time on the works of Malevich and Mondrian, both of whom addressed the machine age and man's ordering of nature. As Fay reveals, time and nature have had the last mark, as it were. One series of prints 'Dust and Scratches, Buster Keaton One Week' applies this same approach to celluloid film. Its inclusion in the show disturbs the over all continuity a little, but it could be argued that film is logical ongoing area for enquiry as a time based media.
The accompanying group drawing show 'Pleasures and Days', which Fay co-curated with Sheena Barrett, adds richness to the central exhibition experience and contextualises Fay's own work within the broader contemporary use of drawing. The accompanying Sense of Time Seminar Series in collaboration with 'The Drawing Lab' provides another interesting entry point to this exploration of time. The exhibition sits well in yet another configuration of The LAB Gallery, which serves its remit well in being so adaptable to the presentation of a variety of media.