Carol O’Connor at deAppendix 4th April until May 26th
Inventing Solutions, Carol O’Connor’s current body of work reference nature, built environments and travel. Her process of layering paint and scraping away will often inform the narrative of the painting as she leans towards complete abstraction. Destroying the initial image and then returning some feature of it in an over and back, push and pull process adds physicality to the practice of painting. The idea of representation or abstraction is not the end goal but the process itself.
Carol O’ Connor graduated from NCAD in 2009 with a BA Honours degree in Fine Art, specialising in painting.Carol has shown work in the RHA Annual exhibition and has had a number of Solo exhibitions. She has work in the Imago Mundi Benneton collection, OPW Collection, Contemporary Irish Arts Society, Beaulieu House Co. Louth, Meath Co. Council and Axa Insurance. She is represented by Chimera Gallery in Mullingar. She is also a member of The’ Flotsam’ Art Collective with Thomas Brezing, David Newton, Brian Hegarty and Gary Robinson.
Austin Hearne at deAppendix
28th February until 31st March 2017.
Sexy, beautiful, ugly, dead, dying, everywhere. Flowers: symbols of life, love and death, memorials to those past and passing. We are all flowers, battling time, only we have infinitely more than our showy friends. They remind us of our vibrancy, our individuality, our autonomy and cruelly our end.
The flowers in Austin Hearne’s photographs come from religious sites, photographed on his many research trips around Ireland. A mixture of fake and real, arranged in various vessels and placed in differing settings. In contrast to these documentary photos, Hearne presents a suite of staged still lifes, assembled from the rose gardens and land around the now defunct St Clare’s convent in Harold’s Cross where the artist has his studio. In these photographs he constructs every element within the photographic frame, from the painted vessels, collaged backgrounds and the arrangements of the flowers themselves. Through a range of photographic and print manipulation Hearne presents these photos as allegories or symbols posing questions on the Catholic Church’s influence on the many aspects of our lives, loves and bodies.
Austin Hearne completed his MFA at NCAD in 2016 and has exhibited in The Talbot Gallery Dublin, The Complex Dublin, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Royal Ulster Academy, Belfast and internationally in New York, Munich, Glasgow and London.
deAppendix are delighted that Amanda Graham’s solo show Warrior One in Three is due to open next week. Graham exhibits both nationally and internationally with many upcoming exhibitions. Her work has featured in many publications and she is currently the Visual Arts Correspondent for The Arts Hour on Shannonside Northern Sound FM. Graham completed an MA Fine Art at National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 2011.
I Am Not Dead (2014) Drawings, etchings, aquatint, and ink collaged on to panel_122 x 92 cm
Graham’s forthcoming show Warriors One in Three acknowledges the stoic bravery, dignity and resilience of people that have faced serious illness. The title of the show draws on the frightening fact that cancer will touch one in three of us.
Sandwich Board, (2014) Drawings, monoprints, etchings, fabric and paper cut outs collaged on to panel, 122 x 61 cm
Through this exhibition the victim becomes the warrior by addressing perceptions of conflicting cultural projections played out through society. Graham’s practice is a trajectory of self-reflection, personal narrative, and memoirs where the viewer completes the experience. Handmade process is essential to the practice. The traditional mediums of drawing, fine print are collage are key to generating the intricate visual representation that penetrates the memory of the observer creating unconscious and organic emotional reactions.
Opening Tuesday 20th Oct at 6.30pm. Show continues Oct 21st – 20th Nov 2015. For further info or images please contact : Ciara on 01 2785866 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This Port Is A God Send!,(2014) Lino and screen prints, drawings and paper cut outc collaged onto panel, 122x92cm
Solo show by Mags O’ Dea, curated by Lynda Phelan
15 Sept – 16 Oct 2015 |
Possibility does indeed feature in the elegant assemblage of auditory and sculptural forms now on display at De Appendix. At the same time, possibility is also a feature of De Appendix itself. As a non-traditional exhibition space, De Appendix co-exists alongside the comings and goings of a local doctor’s surgery. The doctor in question is Dr. Ciara McMahon. As a practising artist herself, she provides her patients with a unique experience while they wait to be seen. The entrance hall and waiting room of McMahon’s Amaranta Family Practice are continually being transformed by a rotation of contemporary art exhibits. For the local community, the liminal spaces of this particular suburban surgery now serve a function beyond that of their implied ‘waiting game’. These transitional non-spaces are now positioned as non-art spaces that contain art. deAppendix @ 30 Ardagh Grove, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, along with the selfsame addressed Amaranta Family Practice, not only share identical google coordinates but also the same scope of possibility when interpreting our human connection to that which binds us. The work currently showing at deAppendix explores the fragility of our human existence as that which binds us to life.
The artists selected by McMahon tend to fall in line with the possibility of art as cathartic for her non-art audience. The term ‘catharsis’ is derived from the Greek ‘katharsis’, an ancient medical term used to describe a process of purification or purgation. Aristotle used the term as metaphor in De Poetica (c. 335 BCE) to describe the pleasurable effect a symbolic tragedy can have on a spectator. Art can also have a cathartic effect on its viewer when identification via vicarious means is possible, and the viewer’s insight deepened. In light of this, deAppendix is delighted to present the first solo show of Dublin based sculptor, Mags O’ Dea. As a former orthopaedic nurse, and a more recent graduate of NCAD (Glass 2014), O’ Dea has since returned for an MFA in Sculpture, which is due to be completed in 2016. Her exhibition entitled ‘Possibility’ consists of a small number of works chosen from her most recent body. The work selected for this exhibition clearly extends the artist’s hand beyond that of machine and material fragility to form new relationships by way of material juxtapositions. deAppendix as setting, lends well to the exhibiting of Possibility, as the potential for emotional purgation is strong in the sculptural forms of Mags O’ Dea.
In the selfsame named work Possibility (2015), O’ Dea reconstructs the constituent parts of a wheelchair with the added addition of a drain into a stand-alone kinetic sculpture (49cm x78cm). O’ Dea is interested in “the catalytic effect of art as an agent of change” as well as its cathartic potential. Possibility (2015), draws us in to its non-spin and awaits for the catalytic hand to assist in its turning. The viewer as catalyst sets something in motion; Possibility (2015) stands alone, spinning, and at the same time, goes nowhere. This work draws our attention to the notion of time as non-linear; but there is something amiss with regards the circular action, perhaps it has to do with the incorporation of the drain? This work does not run smooth; it is disembodied from its objective function, and because of this, the body belonging to the catalytic hand acts as a replacement for the absent body bound by such a thing as a wheelchair. It is in this exchange between body and absent body that the cathartic nature of this work takes hold.
O’ Dea left her position as a medical professional for medical reasons, and having experienced life on the other side, she now possesses the highly educated mind of an orthopaedic nurse turned management along with the relative visual language associated with the medical world of mobility aids and equipment, as well as the complex set of emotions felt by the patient herself. The inclusion of a drain in Possibility (2015) is a re-constellation of those emotions felt, that of fear, vulnerability, helplessness, invisibility and waste. Possibility (2015) has been placed on the threshold of the Amaranta Family Practice. Located in the entrance hall, this stainless steel sculpture awaits its turn, where as, ordinarily, a patient would just pass on through such a space into the waiting room next door.
Possibility – The Exhibition / Possibility – The Artwork (2015) both push the liminality of deAppendix to be a little less ‘pass-through’ and a little more reflective. The terms liminal and liminality are derived from the Latin “limen” which literally means ‘threshold’ – the kind you cross over upon entry into a building. The Oxford English Dictionary (2nd edition) extends this definition more towards its potential for abstraction; Liminal: “of or pertaining to the threshold or initial stage of a process.” The term was first published in the field of psychology in 1884, however, it really took hold as an idea in anthropology thanks to Van Gennep (1873-1957) and his seminal work: Les rites de passage (1909). Gennep described rites of passage by way of a three-part social structure: separation, liminal period, and re-assimilation. The British cultural anthropologist, Victor Turner (1920-1983), who is best known for his work on symbols, rituals, and rites of passage, based his theory of liminality on Les rites de passage (Gennep 1909) while expanding upon it further afield. Turner refers to the “the subject of passage ritual, in the liminal period, [as] structurally, if not physically, invisible” (1967: 95). A liminal individual, that is, an individual who has been stripped of his/her social status is now seen as socially ambiguous. Turner further regards liminality “…as a realm of pure possibility whence novel configurations of ideas and relations may arise” (1967: 97).
And that they most certainly do in the work of Mags O’ Dea. Responding to the many liminal individuals (invisible) embedded in the liminal hallways (transitional) of our overcrowded hospitals, O’ Dea has created a series of mini-hospital-bed-assemblages using materials like plaster of Paris, kling bandage, wheelchair parts, household paint, latex and lino. Three of which are shown here as part of Possibility in the entrance hall of De Appendix, on the window sill, looking out onto the street: Right I’m Off! (23cm x 20cm x 16.5cm), Rightly Stuck (20cm x 12cm x 20cm) and Falling Ova! (19cm x 30cm x 30cm) (2015). Through her diminutive hospital beds, O’ Dea represents the invisible by way of their absence, and she always positions the beds low so as to make us look down upon the structure rather than the individual that the structure had originally been designed for; the individual is liminal, stripped of respect, status and place, and “structurally, if not physically invisible” (Turner 1967: 95).
Finally, the name given to the contemporary art strand of McMahon’s place of practice: deAppendix, correlates two-fold with O’ Dea’s material choices influenced by her background in medicine: appendix as (1) a human anatomical feature with no known biological function, and (2) a thing attached to the end of something else. There is, plenty more to see of Possibility @ deAppendix or maybe even hear: an audio work recorded on location at a busy Dublin A & E Department, photography in the waiting room of the Amaranta Family Practice, which were taken on location at the artist’s MFA studio at Emmet House, Thomas Street, Dublin 8, a building previously occupied by the HSE and visually identifiable as such, along with two more larger sculptural forms that do indeed occupy the mind.
(Turner, V. (1967). The Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual. New York, London: Cornell University Press)
+ was an exhibition of work by Claire McCluskey, created in response to DeAppendix and displayed in the space from 16th June to 31st July 2015. The text featured below was presented alongside the work, taken from conversation between Claire McCluskey and Ciara McMahon.
Can you tell me a little about the use of the + in the work, and how that relates to the all encompassing spherical shape – both 2D being transformed to 3D (both the curtain and the sculptural object)?
My interest in the plus symbol has developed from previous investigations using grids. I have always used 2d and 3d grids as a tool or a source material, so I began to examine the structure of the grid itself, reducing it down to a series of intersections between parallel and vertical lines. I found it interesting that when you remove everything but those essential intersections, what remains is a network of + symbols, while still retaining the essence of the grid.
The + is a familiar mathematical symbol for addition, it is a connecting block within an equation that combines figures together. The + at the intersection of two lines is essentially the relationship between these lines, at the point at which they are connected. This is also the point at which they become most obviously defined, by contrast to each other.
My work regularly returns to this idea of mutual definition, particularly considered in a social context. It seems contradictory, but individuality or autonomy cannot be understood outside of the greater context of collective community. Similarly, the defining space that separates two elements is also the shared space that unites them.
It is this dynamic, invisible space between elements, wherein relationships exist, that this show is attempting to draw attention to. As depicted in these works, the + symbols are individually recognisable and complete identities. Yet their accumulation produces something greater than the sum of its parts. For example, the curtain piece, on display in the waiting room, presents an undeniable image of a circle, yet there are no curved lines in sight. Between the suspended sheets of paper in the sculptural work floats a sphere, so very nearly non-existent, yet there it is. The overall form of collective relationships can be understood like this as a single unit – a shared social identity. And it is the in-between spaces of negotiation and interaction that are the building blocks of this identity.
The significance of the + symbol resurfaces in many meanings, and the work allows itself to all interpretations. Perhaps most significantly, the + symbol’s connotations with wellbeing and health are certainly not lost in this setting.
When you talk of caring for each other, is there an almost spiritual element to the work for you?
As the work developed, it did seem to acquire somewhat spiritual references. This was not a conscious objective for these works, but there was quite a ritualistic feeling for me as I was making them, which is common for me in my practice. The + symbol also bears a strong resemblance to religious crosses, and representation in gold leaf seems to underpin this even more so.
Gold, particularly when used in a religious context, has vocabulary of power, celebration and excess. I was trying to achieve the opposite in this instance, by balancing the opulence of the gilding amongst the more muted, commonplace materials, such as wood, paper and metal. The contrast herein serves to enhance each side against the other, seeking to find the preciousness in the common materials and the more humble, quiet qualities within the gold. This mutual definition and balance between the elements is an important objective here, ideally towards producing a harmonious and calm effect.
Harmony and care are relatable to spirituality, as is the idea of wholeness, reflected through the circle and sphere. So along these lines, I admit, there are possible suggestions of spirituality at play here. However, the comparison ends insofar that spirituality may be considered to be looking beyond ourselves at something bigger – this work is instead trying to take the perspective of looking back towards ourselves.
The repetitive nature of the making of these works strikes me as important in the viewers engagement with the work. How does that relate to the viewing experience for you?
My production methods are usually quite repetitive and meditative, and I do this with the hope of communicating an air of meditativeness and calm through the final result. There is visible proof of time and patience invested in this kind of process, which in a way commands attention of a certain significance. Within the quietness of these pieces, that evidence of meticulous attention speaks loudly.
Finally, is there any relationship with minimalism and that movements relationship to space for you in this show?
I do identify with the clean aesthetic and use of repetition typically associated with Minimalism. My use of materials also references the industrial characteristics of the movement to point, but I think my work then moves on to take a softer, more domestic quality.
The minimalist engagement of space is something very prevalent in this exhibition however, notably so in the sculptural piece. Minimalism as a movement sought to engage the audience physically, acknowledging the shift in perception as they move through a space. The work here requires just that of the viewer, requiring the viewer to move around it to reveal the form hidden inside.
The context of the space, or rather the site of the exhibition in this instance is also integral to the reading of these artworks.
Orlaith Treacy curates a project in non-places with Martin Healy; Maria McKinney; Dáinne Nic Aoídh and Bridget O’Gorman.
What Happens When Nothing Happens? is a project devised by MA scholar Orlaith Treacy. Orlaith is studying Curating Contemporary Art with Limerick School of Art and Design as a Limerick National City of Culture 2014 Scholar. This project is an exploration of the non-place as a presentation site for contemporary art.
“If a place can be defined as relational, historical, and concerned with identity, then a space which cannot be defined as relational or historical, or concerned with identity will be a non-place.”1
Non-places and liminal spaces, these can be defined as transitional spaces, the in-between; they are waiting rooms, train stations, airports and motorways. With our ability to make decisions removed in these spaces, we are held in a limbo- like present falling into line. This allows for contemplation within a new, if only temporary, identity.
“This specially segregated space is a kind of non-space, ultra-space, or ideal space where the surrounding matrix of space-time is symbolically annulled.”2 This is taken from Thomas McEvilley’s introduction of Brian O’ Doherty’s text ‘Inside the White Cube’ in which he writes about the white cube gallery as a space “untouched by time and its vicissitudes.”3 The white cube for a significant period of art’s history has been the ideal space to exhibit art, Orlaith argues if the ‘ideal space’ for the presentation of art is one in which time is insignificant and the non-place only contains the present4 and holds a public which is contemplative with a temporary identity then is this not more so the ideal space in which to present art?
deAppendix waiting room, Maria McKinney, Elements of the Supermodern & Waiting Topography
Maria McKinney is a Dublin based artist who works in a range of media. Orlaith invited Maria to install selected works within the waiting room of deAppendix as an intervention within the space. Maria had undertaken a residency with Waterford Healing Arts Trust where she began exploring the notion of the non-place and supermodernity creating the work Waiting Topography. This is a work created from the fingerprints of patients that were waiting in the Waterford hospital; she drew lines emanating out from these fingerprints mirroring topographies of mountains. A number of points in this work relate to time and waiting; the work was created with patience drawing lines repetitively reminiscent of something you would do when you’re trying to pass the time. Another is the reference to mountains; these have existed for hundreds of thousands of years slowly building and changing over time creating magnificent landscapes. It is also reminiscent of the rings of trees which mark each year the tree has existed. The work is a reminder that time moves slowly and without realising it small but significant changes are made.
From Maria’s research into supermodernity this then led her to develop Elements of the Supermodern. This is a shopping basket in which Maria then drew fish gut of a bright pink from each bar creating a complex pattern within the seemingly simplistic everyday object. “By using the prefixed co-ordinates of the baskets grid, I physically draw within its perimeters in an attempt to conjure or unveil an underlying significance within its structure.”5
The work refers to the tedious domestic task of doing the grocery shopping and even more so within this context- the middle of an upper class suburban area. The shopping basket is a purposefully chosen object as the supermarket is a non-place, a place without identity, without history where one just passes through. It refers to the everyday and the repetitive tasks that make up the fabric of our lives. It is interesting to take such an object and place it within another non-place; it jars to have an everyday object in the ‘wrong’ everyday space, it becomes alien-like.
Commonalities between the two works are the intricate details, the layers of lines in the shopping basket and the drawn lines in the framed work. Each work would have taken patience and time and an almost obsessive way of working. They are perfectly formed. They each take the ordinary and make it extra –ordinary. The shopping basket and the fingerprints, it is what our everyday lives are made up of, things we take for granted yet have their own intricate beauty that Maria has teased out layer by layer. McKinney shows us that there are the most detailed worlds within the simplest items.
It was a very particular choice by Orlaith to present the art work as a non-exhibition/ non-spectacle with no opening so as to quietly bring art into the everyday and to have an unexpected encounter with the public. This is to remove any preconceived notions that the viewer might gain from an opening and/or a press release on the work leaving it open to the viewers own perspective on the work. For this same reason there was no label or explanatory text with the work. As this space would already be known as an art space which shows contemporary art there are a certain amount of preconceived notions that are already embedded which makes it particularly different to some of the other spaces Orlaith is working with on this project.
This project has three strands one in King’s Island Medical Centre in Limerick, another in the Massage Therapy Centre in Callan, Co. Kilkenny, and the third is in deAppendix. Each space has its own characteristics that create quite different experiences; deAppendix is not only a GP Practice but an art space with artists regularly on residency and art works often on exhibition in the front room and waiting room which has meant the visitors are often more educated in art. In the waiting room there are art books for the visitors to peruse and a permanent artwork of a stained glass window by Marie Soffe. It is open to creativity with a colourful children’s play area with a large chalkboard and different coloured chalk. It is a comfortable space creating an ideal atmosphere to take in the art works that fill it.
King’s Island Medical Centre is based just outside the centre of Limerick City; it is a busy centre that offers a number of services from a GP Practice to Physiotherapy and Speech and Language which is provided by the Health Service Executive (HSE). In King’s Island Medical Centre Orlaith installed the video work Last Man by Martin Healy for one month and following this Dáinne Nic Aoidh created the site specific work The Space Between for the centre’s waiting room. Healy filmed the high quality video work in a disused airport terminal in Cork; it follows a caretaker doing his everyday jobs, taking care of the terminal’s upkeep. There is a sense of disquiet and tension but nothing happens. The airport would have been considered a non-place, a transitional space, before it became disused; because of this and the contemplative banality of the work it was interesting to see how this piece worked within another non-place in reflecting the feelings people experience within waiting rooms.
Dáinne Nic Aoidh’s interest is in the point between the human consciousness and unconscious and a person’s internal reflection, a state of mind which can occur in such a space as a waiting room. Dáinne created two works collectively titled The Space Between; one was in the large skylight of the waiting room and was made up of cascading gold discs hung from copper wire and fish gut, the other was two framed pieces behind perspex which were hung above two waiting room seats. These have a duality of the void and non-void, in the image to the left a young boy peers from a dark wood into a bright white oval while to the right is an oval of a metallic chemical reaction with green organic-like growths on its surface.
The Massage Therapy Centre is in the town of Callan in Co. Kilkenny offering rhythmical massage therapy and a GP service one day a week. The waiting room in the Centre is a small, quiet and calm space that looks out onto the street. In the Massage Therapy Centre, Orlaith installed the work of Bridget O’Gorman a Dublin-based artist who spent a year or more in Callan creating work. Treacy selected After Overkill, a work Bridget made during a year-long residency in 2010 with Endangered Studios in Callan. The work is of a pudding which has been left uneaten from the feast; it references the history of the famine in Callan making it site-specific to the area. It is a beautiful rich work with a sense of ambiguity as the pudding lies there barely touched, the reds and the title bring forward a feeling of foreboding and uncertainty, feelings for some which are already present in such a space as a waiting room.
A question often posed is whether this project is an attempt to measure the health benefits of viewing art; although the beneficial aspects of art in relation to health is a part of this project due to its location within medical settings, it is not the main focus of the project to improve the health of the viewers or to measure the health benefits of the artwork upon the viewers.
The main focus of this project is whether people are receptive to art in transitional spaces where they may have an excess of time. This was measured through questionnaires and observation by Orlaith. Initial findings are that there are a broad diverse range of people going through these spaces each with different opinions on what art they like and don’t like but almost all enjoy seeing art in these spaces and would like to see more art in their day to day lives.
1 Marc Augé, Non-Places, Introduction to and Anthropology of Supermodernity, Verso, London 1992
2 Introduction Thomas McEvilley, Inside the White Cube, Brian O Doherty, University of California Press, London, 1976, pg 8
3 Ibid pg7
4 Marc Augé, Non-Places, Introduction to and Anthropology of Supermodernity, Verso, London 1992 pg 104-105
5 Maria McKinney on the series Element of the Supermodern, http://cargocollective.com/mariamckinney/Element-of-the-Supermodern-VI (accessed 18/6/15)