Different Things: A Flavour of International Contemporary Art from the IMMA Collection at Artlink Gallery, Buncrana, Co Donegal
An exhibition celebrating the diversity of contemporary art practices represented in the Collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art opens to the public at Artlink Gallery, Fort Dunree, Buncrana, Inishowen, Co Donegal, on Saturday 4 July 2009. Different Things focuses on the double video projection work, Dark Mirror, 2004/05, by leading Mexican artist Carlos Amorales and includes a film work, Dúscáthán-Dún an Rí: On the Lake of Shadows, made by local primary school children inspired by this work. Many of the artists featured in the exhibition, although very different in their practices, are linked through their use of drawing as an investigative tool, these include Irish artists Tom Molloy and Garrett Phelan and international artists Michael Craig-Martin, Franz Ackermann and Fred Tomaselli. The exhibition marks the first collaboration between IMMA’s National Programme and Donegal’s Artlink.
Carlos Amorales’s practice uses drawing as the basis from which to develop paintings, video animations and performances. In Dark Mirror, Amorales presents a double video projection featuring an animation by graphic designer André Pahl and an original score of piano music, performed by the composer and musician José María Serralde. The result is a nightmarish animation depicting man and beast in apocalyptic scenes, the imagery of which is rooted in contemporary popular symbols and Mexican icons. The film work inspired by this work, Dúscáthán-Dún an Rí, was made by local primary school pupils in workshops facilitated by visual artist Sara Greavu; contemporary dancer Carrie Logue, and storyteller Joe Brennan.
After moving to the Burren in Co Clare, Tom Molloy became interested in the collection, classification and registration of the natural world carried out by botanists in the area by drawing rather than painting, to minimize the effects of seasonality, colour, brushstroke and other formal considerations associated with expression. In Oak, 1998-99, Molloy focuses on individual leaves from one particular oak tree to query how we arrive at the general idea of a species. Molloy drew each individual leaf which was governed by the same rules of production, the uniqueness of each leaf coming to the forefront. The intense repeated labour of drawing and redrawing an object recurs throughout Molloy's practice. Garrett Phelan in his work, NOW: HERE 24, 2006, investigates the notion of ‘collective belief systems’ and the ways in which ideas and beliefs enter into society. The NOW: HERE drawings stem from a body of work in which Phelan spent weeks in a semi-derelict apartment within Pallas Heights drawing and writing over as much of the available wall space as possible. Phelan engaged an excess of ambiguous symbols, signs and diagrams, referencing the communication of science, industry and technology, the resulting message is full of uncertainty.
Artlink, Buncrana, aims to link artists to the community and the community to art by devising and delivering innovative art projects resulting in exhibitions, public art and community projects. Artlink seeks to captivate the imagination of the public through participatory, educational and outreach programmes. It invests in national and international emerging and professional artists by creating opportunities for artists to develop their creativity and art practice. Artlink was formed in 1992, their workshop spaces are based in Tullyarvan Mill and the gallery is based in Fort Dunree Militart Museum, Buncrana.
The central aim of the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s National Programme is to establish the Museum’s core values of excellence, inclusiveness and accessibility to contemporary art on a national level. Focusing on the Museum’s Collection, the programme facilitates offsite projects and exhibitions in a range of venues and situations throughout Ireland. IMMA aims to act as a resource at a local level through working in partnership and relying on the knowledge and concerns of the local community. Partner organisations are wide-ranging and include a variety of venues both in traditional art and non-arts spaces, allowing for far-reaching access and interaction.
Workshops with local primary schools were supported by the Department of Education and Science.
The exhibition is supported by the Arts Council, Donegal County Council and the Inishowen Gateway Hotel and has been programmed in association with Earagail Arts Festival.
The exhibition continues until Sunday 2 August 2009 in Artlink Gallery, Fort Dunree, Buncrana, Co. Donegal.