An exhibition of new large-scale photoworks by London-born artist Hannah Collins opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Saturday 20 July. Hannah Collins: A Worldwide Case of Homesickness, Collins’s first one-person show in Ireland, comprises 12 large black and white photoworks made in response to a number of visits to Eastern Europe. Six of the works have been produced especially for the IMMA show. The exhibition will also include small-scale colour images and the texts of diary entries made by the artist while in Poland and Byelorussia.
Hannah Collins has been interested in Eastern Europe for some time and, when images from Eastern Europe began to appear in the press after the fall of the Berlin Wall, she decided she would travel there to make work. “I made four trips to different places which have quite different sets of references, both historic and contemporary. I deal with different subject matter in the work, but the inter-relationships are very strong between them.” The work continues Collins’s long-standing interest in the space occupied by those who exist on the margins or borders of society. “ I am interested in the in-between countries of Eastern Europe, whose status is dubious. The situation is complex, I can’t actually get a grasp on it. I enter it and allow it to have its own world. My work is about finding the site and allowing it to be.”
Space and scale are important considerations in Collins’s work – the space created by the piece, the space it occupies physically and how it relates to the space in which it hangs. The human figure is deliberately absent in much of her work. “The human figure would fix the overall scale of the image and would fix your relationship with the image. I want one to be able to move into the image.”
Born in London in 1956, Hannah Collins studied at the Slade School of Art in London, followed by a Fulbright Scholarship to the USA. Her work has been shown in many one-person and group exhibitions worldwide and is included in notable public and private collections including the Weltkunst Collection of Contemporary British Art, on loan to IMMA for a period of ten years. She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1993. She lives and works in Barcelona.
Hannah Collins: A Worldwide Case of Homesickness continues at IMMA until 6 October and leads into The Event Horizon, IMMA’s season of exhibitions, films and projects exploring European identity opening on 12 September. A publication including photographs taken by the artist and texts from the diary entries in the exhibition is being published to coincide with the exhibition. Price £3.00.
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