Posted on | April 25, 2013 | No CommentsIn the dark, flickering light of Patrick Jolley’s films, something gripping occurs. It’s not uncanny; it’s too active for that. It’s catastrophic. It causes an adrenalin rush with nowhere to go.
In his ten minute masterpiece Burn, the occupants of a house appear oblivious to the inferno all around them. In Here After, which was shot in an abandoned Ballymun flat, normally static domestic objects move and disintegrate with unexpected violence and energy. The mattresses that plunge through a hole in the roof crumple and bounce under their own spring-loaded weight.
Black and white film stills feature cobras on a bed in India and eerily frozen interiors captured in Finland.
This show was planned before Jolley’s sudden death, aged 47 while filming in Delhi last year and it includes the posthumously finished film, Sitting Room. He was an Irish artist of deserved international standing, already represented in the MoMA Collection in New York. His work induces an almost addictive feeling of slightly panicked, mesmerised inertia. It is intelligent, urgent, visually compelling art.
Limerick City Gallery of Art until 17 May 2013.
Here After (2004), Fall (2008) and Burn (2001) are on Vimeo. I’ve flagged them on my “likes” page here.
Posted on | April 25, 2013 | No CommentsDutch-born, Dublin-based artist Anita Groener has flooded the lobby of the Royal Hibernian Academy with pink light by placing rose tinted film over the windows.
The tiny paper cut-outs of her installation’s title piece (left) are silhouettes that reveal themselves as you approach. People are falling, kneeling, lying down, helping each other, praying and being alone. Nearly two thousand tiny individuals are trapped just proud of the wall, held there with pins.
Stand back and they form the population of a spot-lit planet, a floating sphere that points to man’s ultimate insignificance; step forward and they argue for the intimate importance of our presence in the scheme of things regardless.
Groener’s skill likes in balancing the interplay between two and three dimensional elements in her work. She has positioned Land, a flat, ink-dotted vista with a single pin flag in front of her video projection, Moon. Made a year apart, together these pieces echo and invert visual references to the moon landing.
This is thoughtful work about scale, physical presence and the nature of human endeavour.
Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin until 28 April 2013.
Posted on | April 15, 2013 | No CommentsThere is a hyper-real, almost psychedelic intensity to the paintings in Paul McKinley’s new show. Thick, impenetrable jungle scenes hang alongside painted aerial views in which jigsaw patterns form as cracks appear in pink or tangerine lava flows. Dramatic purple sunsets illuminate bodies of dark water, yellow-orange leaves glow against a clear blue sky.
The moss-draped boughs and luminous green undergrowth of Epiphytes and the feathery grasses and foliage of Middle of Gishwati imply a visual fascination with the verdant natural world, but each image tells another story too: all are based on photographs taken in Rwanda by a Trinity College ecologist.
Works in oil on canvas are offset by two black and white drawings of a coolly observant chimpanzee and a fiercely confrontational shoebill.
In the show’s final composition, scumbled paint sits in the empty eye sockets and gaping nasal passage of Skull: it’s a single object on a plain blue background, no jaw, missing teeth. These are striking images of violence and beauty, hidden and found in a foreign land.
Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin until 20 April 2013.