An exhibition showing the work of younger Irish artists from the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s Collection has opened to the public at IMMA. Tír na nÓg: Younger Irish Artists from the IMMA Collection comprises 27 works in a variety of media including DVD, video and installation by Irish or Irish-based artists who have come to prominence in the last two decades. Many of the works have been acquired by the Museum since 2000 and are shown here for the first time. The exhibition looks at the challenges facing these artists who are working at a time of significant social and demographic change.
Works range from Martin & Hobbs Frieze, where painter Fergus Martin and photographer Anthony Hobbs, have collaborated for the first time to produce a 21st- century version of a medieval fresco, to Clare Langan’s Trilogy, which reveals human figures isolated in strange mysterious worlds created by the artist’s innovative use of coloured lenses and her feelings for the sublime, while Dust Defying Gravity by Grace Weir deals with the passing of time by focusing on the sands of time themselves, each dust molecule subject to the artist’s scrutiny.
Time and the changes it brings are again referred to in New Sexual Lifestyles by Gerard Byrne. Comprising a series of DVDs and photographs, this work looks at our attitudes to life and sexuality by contrasting contemporary views to the views held in earlier decades. Contemporary lifestyles are again examined in David Timmons work There is no Estrangement between you and the Machine, an mdf structure painted with glossy car paint to evoke the atmosphere of the salesroom rather than the gallery while the accompanying title points to something far more mysterious.
The fantasy world of childhood is dealt with by Andrew Vickery and Alice Maher. Vickery’s Do You Know What You Saw? questions the relationship between real events and our recollection of them, while Maher’s The Axe (and the Waving Girl) evokes memories of childhood fairytales and the pleasures and fears associated with them.
The plight of refugees and economic migrants features strongly in the work How to Make a Refugee by Phil Collins, an issue particularly relevant in contemporary Ireland given our long experience of emigration and our more recent experience of migrants coming to Ireland seeking the same assistance which our emigrants once sought. Cultural and religious differences are referred to in Janet Mullarney’s Alpha and Omega, a sculpture of bronze cows inspired by the memory of a cow, bedecked with its ritual ribbon, emerging from the River Ganges, while the complexities of personal identity are dealt with by Isabel Nolan’s Sloganeering 1-4, reminding us of the difficulties that surround our sense of self in a world of mass advertising and communication.
Commenting on the exhibition Catherine Marshall, Head of Collection at IMMA, said: “The title of the exhibition, Tír na Óg, refers to eternal youth rather than a chronological state. The artworks in this exhibition, in their newness and freshness, keep us all in a state of anticipation that denies age and stimulates original attitudes to age-old experiences.”
An exhibition guide, with an essay by Catherine Marshall, accompanies the exhibition (price €3.00).
Tír na nÓg: Younger Irish Artists from the IMMA Collection continues until 28 March 2005.
Admission is free.
Tue – Sat 10.00am – 5.30pm
Sun and Bank Holidays, 28- 31 December, 1 January 12 noon – 5.30pm
Mondays, 24 – 27 December Closed
For further information and colour and black and white images please contact Monica Cullinane or Patrice Molloy at Tel : + 353 1 612 9900, Fax : +353 1 612 9999, Email : [email protected]
8 November 2004