An exhibition of work by the six artists shortlisted for the 1997 Glen Dimplex Artists Award opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Friday 2 May. As in previous years, the six artists – sculptors Stephen Craig and Dorothy Cross, painter Willie McKeown, multi-media artist Maurice O’Connell, Phelan/McLoughlin, who work in a variety of media, and photographer Paul Seawright – have been allocated individual spaces at the museum in which to represent their practice. The exhibition includes several new works being shown for the first time, alongside a number of works for which the artists were nominated. The presentation of the £15,000 award, sponsored by Irish-based company Glen Dimplex, will be made by Dr Ciarán Benson, Chairman of the Arts Council, at the museum on Monday 26 May.
Stephen Craig (b. Larne, Co Antrim 1960) presents a body of architectural sculptures, in varying scales, some of which have been created specifically for the exhibition. His work combines sculpture and architecture and frequently other media such as film, video and photography. The forging together of these different media to create a single coherent statement is an important aspect of his practice, as is its relationship to the surrounding environment. He is nominated for a solo exhibition at Förderkoje Art Cologne and for two group shows in Dormstadt and Frankfurt, Germany. He has had a number of other solo shows in Germany and has shown in group exhibitions in Germany, the Netherlands and Australia. Stephen Craig lives and works in Hamburg.
Dorothy Cross (b. Cork 1956) is represented by a selection of photographic and sculptural works from 1996-1997 including Kiss, a silver cast of two mouths kissing, and a new work in her snake series Albino Python, which has been completed for this exhibition. Cross’s work has attracted considerable international attention in recent years. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in New York, Paris, Madrid and throughout the United Kingdom and has works in a number of prestigious public and private collections. In 1993 she represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale. Dorothy Cross was first nominated for the Glen Dimplex Artists Award in 1995. She is nominated on this occasion for her exhibition even which was seen at the Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, and the Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Wales. Dorothy Cross lives and works in Dublin.
Willie McKeown (b. Co Tyrone 1962) has chosen to exhibit two new paintings which have been made in response to the very specific nature of the rooms at the museum. McKeown’s work emerges from a desire to echo a sense of unconditional openess, expansion and inclusion. It avoids illustration and narrative conventions and removes the hand of the artist as a signature of authority or value, while creating stunningly beautiful visual abstract effects. He is nominated for his exhibition at the Kerlin Gallery in 1996, which represented a major step forward in his practice. He has also shown in group shows at the Kerlin and in Belfast and Glasgow. Willie McKeown lives and works in Dublin.
Maurice O’Connell (b. Dublin 1966) is represented by a body of works made in 1996. The actual artworks were both site and time
specific when originally executed and so by-products are all that remain
of them. These works were mainly concerned with the artist engaging with the public and resulted in private conversations or dialogues in public spaces. Throughout the period of the exhibition O’Connell will use his space as a work space for conversations. During the exhibition a new conversation will be developed, which will become the first of a series entitled sounds like silence. O’Connell’s work since 1992 includes projects and residencies in Ireland, Britain, France, the Netherlands and the USA. He is nominated for a number of projects in 1995-1996 including EV+A in Limerick, and installations at the Green on Red Gallery, Dublin, and CCA, Glasgow. Maurice O’Connell lives and works in Dublin.
Phelan/McLoughlin (Garrett Phelan and Mark McLoughlin both
b. Dublin 1965) are represented by their installation Time is, Time was, Time is past. The first part of the artwork was a morse-code transmission of these words from Collins Barracks by a soldier of the 2nd Field Signal Company of the Irish Army during April of 1996. This part of the work is represented in both documentation and recorded format in the second part of the installation, which consists of photography, sound, radio transmission and light. The installation for which they were shortlisted, was first exhibited at le Confort Moderne, Poitiers, France in 1996 as part of L’Imaginaire Irlandais. Phelan/ McLoughlin’s work presents in a historical sequence, curated projects of technology-based artforms and contextualises them within the framework of public service broadcasting systems. As a result of their research and discoveries concerning these projects, Phelan/McLoughlin have responded by creating their own artworks using a variety of media. Both artists live and work in Dublin.
Paul Seawright (b. Belfast 1965) is showing a selection of works from his series Police Force. This work is based on his unprecedented access to the RUC’s operations over a prolonged period and takes a look behind the scenes, avoiding the narrative description of hard news reportage or documentary photography, to explore the material conditions and psychological spaces of police sub-culture. He is also showing a selection from a new body of work started in 1996. Since 1988 his work, offering a more intimate reading of the politics and culture of Northern Ireland has been widely exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the USA and Europe. He is shortlisted for his exhibit Police Force at the Photographer’s Gallery, London, which was toured by the Gallery of Photography, Dublin. He lives and works in Newport, Wales.
The Glen Dimplex Artists Award, now in its fourth year, is designed to mark a significant level of achievement or development in the work and practice of exhibiting artists. The 1997 award was open to Irish artists who had exhibited in Ireland and elsewhere from 1 October 1995 to 31 October 1996 and to non-Irish artists who have exhibited in Ireland in the same period. All six shortlisted artists will be paid a fee of £1,000. The £15,000 award will be presented to the winning artist at a dinner at the museum following the final jury meeting on 26 May.
The jury for the 1997 award is:-
Declan McGonagle, Director, Irish Museum of Modern Art, (Chair of jury)
Chris Dercon, Director, Boymons-Van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam
Dr. Margret Downes, Chairman, BUPA Ireland, Director, Bank of Ireland
Aidan Dunne, Art Critic, The Sunday Tribune
Chrissie Illes, Head of Exhibitions, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford.
Gillian Bowler, former Chair of Irish Museum of Modern Art
Brenda McParland, Curator : Head of Exhibitions, Irish Museum of Modern Art
The exhibition continues until 13 July.
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