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Catalogue Text – Ronnie Hughes, ‘Strange Attractors’, published by the Model, Sligo, on the occasion of Hughes’ touring exhibition, 2017

Notes from the Surface: Chaos Suspended


“For him, to get one’s bearings on the world meant to conceive all its contents as simultaneous, and to guess at their interrelationships in the cross-section of a single moment.”

― Mikhail Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics (1929)

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Interview – with John Hutchinson (former Director, Douglas Hyde Gallery); Visual Artist’s News Sheet, May/June 2017

PDF A Sense of Stillness

A Sense of Stillness


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Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon, April 2017

Shrouding to Make Visible

In showcasing Ailbhe Ní Bhriain’s current solo exhibition, The Dock’s bright and expansive gallery spaces have been dramatically transformed into dark cinematic chambers. Black wall-mounted curtains lend an insulating quality to these newly immersive settings where Ní Bhriain’s captivating moving image works are slickly presented. The artist is best-known for her multiscreen films which combine computer-generated imagery and video montage techniques. Her wider practice explores notions of representation and displacement, and the works shown in this exhibition portray deep interrogations of place. Though some of the films appear deceptively slow-paced, muted and even minimal, they function as portals into vast and complex territories. On multiple visits to the gallery I grappled with this complexity, negotiating ways to position myself as a viewer and calling upon cultural and art historical references to anchor my encounters.

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Report – ‘Radical Actions’ seminar, ‘From the Margins of History’, Visual Artist’s News Sheet, March/April 2017

PDF From the Margins of History

From the Margins of History


‘Radical Actions’ was an ambitious, three-part international project curated by Linda Shevlin, curator-in-residence at Roscommon Arts Centre. The first phase was an exhibition in RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, in September 2016, that formed part of Culture Ireland’s commemorative programme I Am Ireland, aimed at highlighting the centrality of the arts to the evolution of Irish identity over the hundred years since the 1916 Rising. The exhibition featured the work of Duncan Campbell, Jesse Jones, Seamus Nolan and the collaborative duo Kennedy Browne – Irish artists perceived as identifying with the “politics of social agitation, revolution and rebellion” by engaging with non-idealised versions of Ireland’s past.

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Catalogue Text – ‘It’s Very News School’, Rua Red (4 March – 22 April 2017)

PDF It’s Very New School

A Lived Activity, Not an Abstract Pastime

It’s Very New School seeks to address what curator Jennie Guy calls a ‘crisis’ in post-primary education. Using the stagnation of the Leaving Certificate Art curriculum and other perceived educational deficiencies as points of departure, It’s Very New School asserts an important role for contemporary artists in society. Whether as a site of research-based and experiential learning, or as a vehicle to promote criticality and questioning, contemporary art has the inherent capacity for philosophical inquiry and imagining alternative realities. It’s Very New School has found vibrant ways to transpose these assertions into the gallery setting. Read more…

‘A Bounce Borrowed’, The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon (4 February – 25 March 2017)

PDF – ‘A Bounce Borrowed’

The expansive windows of Gallery One have been blacked out with long, dark curtains. Spot-lighting of individual artworks further conspires to create a theatrical atmosphere. Despite the fact that Helen Hughes specifically describes her work as ultra-modern and largely unconcerned with history, it is difficult to read her artworks explicitly in this way. For me, they inhabit a much more ambiguous timeframe. A Bold Complement (2017) is a long and flowing swathe of acrid green cellophane which glistens in the dimly-lit alcove. It could easily be admired for its ultra-modern, tactile plasticity, in the way one might marvel at shrink-wrapped meat, in all its compressed, synthetic glory. Yet something about the encounter calls to mind medieval silk cloaks, pagan shrouds or some other garment retaining the history of its own performance. At the side of the arch, non-descript sculptural bundles hang ominously, like the superstitious Irish piseogs, frequently tacked to doors and land boundaries to ward against misfortune.

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Interview – Alistair Hudson, Director of MIMA and Co-director of Arte Útil, Visual Artists’ News Sheet, Jan/Feb 2017.

PDF (1) – Alistair Hudson Interview

PDF (2) – Alistair Hudson Interview 

In 2014, Alistair Hudson was appointed director of Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima), part of Teesside University. From 2004 to 2014, Alistair was deputy director of Grizedale Arts – a contemporary arts residency and commissioning agency in the central Lake District in rural Northern England. In keeping with the principles of Arte Útil, mima describes itself as a ‘useful’ museum, established through ‘usership’ rather than spectatorship.

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