NCAD + UCD Student Centre, UCD
Running until Friday 6th February 2015
Multi-polar is one component of a rolling programme of exhibited artwork and scholarship at UCD, drawn from very recent graduates across the School of Fine Art at the National College of Art & Design (NCAD). This programme is framed by The Student Centre , Humanities Building, Science Centre and School of Architecture with further residency dimensions.
This body of work at the Student Centre explores the thresholds of inner and outer worlds through different kinds of experiential knowledge and learning – central to the means by which visual artists produce knowledge. This is to say, that learning is generated through the process of doing, and through critically reflecting on that process of discovery. Exhibition and other ways of making public are fundamental kinds of communication and increasingly invite different forms of participation of author and audience.
The means by which discovery can be proposed through art practice can offer a richer, broader and more nuanced potential of knowledge. There can also be a dynamic relationship between the way knowledge is proposed and its core meaning, which can support meaningful channels of inter-disciplinarity where new models of discovery and communication can evolve with other domains of knowledge.
As part of the exhibition opening, Jane Locke, a recent graduate of the MFA Fine Art Programme and currently making creative enquiries in Science at UCD, will hold a special performance and use a lecture form to frame aspects of her art research fusing ideas of credibility and incredibility.
Multi Polar addresses particular states of being, placement and displacement. The works selected for this exhibition have been almost entirely drawn from a body of practices carried out at NCAD. Whilst the works may have been exhibited concurrently they have not been framed together before. Thus the sample of works is a considered selection of approaches, materials and mediums, which can also deliver a range of outcomes that are particular, nuanced and adapted for this context.
Sinead Keogh’s work offers an alternative sound and aesthetic in relation to occupying Alice’s (of Alice in Wonderland) inner world of new physicality, proportion and movement. It serves as a visual and aural interruption, turning the inside out in a compelling encounter. This is one of a cycle of her art works where every component of the production is selected, adapted, made and tested. The work features ongoing performance as part of its presence and animation. A schedule for this can be found near the work and is a significant ‘pole’ within this venture of framing art and scholarship at UCD.
The videos of Ciara Shortall have been edited to silently punctuate the screen based information that is part of the persistent visual texture of the Student Centre, integrating work into an already existing communication system.
Through the casual act of watching the screen, the 4 different videos appear to shift the act of viewing to a more self conscious voyeuristic experience. Through video she carries out a series of relationships with malleable materials that distort, contort and stretch both performer and viewer. The atmosphere of control and vulnerability, anxiety and self-absorption in the art works meet particular constructions of identity present in our culture.
Conditions of vulnerability and stress are key values at play in the particular work of Eileen Coll. She has direct experience with processing and manipulating animal skins and other materials and translates these as a means of creating empathy. This work alludes to devastating and confusing subject matter and attempts to find a means of discussing worth. These subject matters find a place in the services of the Student Centre in relation to well being and the ability to share and communicate human emotions.
Alanna O’Neill’s photographic work is selected from a wider body of images and prints which explore the porous body and represent it with confidence and power. The works collide details of medical intervention, decoration and the porous body, seeking to find beauty in what might be considered normal and abnormal. There is something memorable celebrated between an initial obscurity and the human interface that is revealed.
Chloe Brennan’s work is concerned with porosity and the ambiguous relationship between such contrary states as interior and exterior, real and fictional, positive and negative. At its most fundamental level it is concerned with holes, apertures and openings, as well as the positive planes that are ruptured as a result of their presence. She is interested in the generative potential of these negative spaces which in themselves become vehicles or mediums that facilitate a communication or exchange between two opposing sides, a ‘pore’ through which information pours; enabling the inside to seep outside, and vice versa.
Philip Napier’s work is part of a larger body of research and practice that has utilised the vehicle of HMS Terror and its doomed expedition to discover the North West Passage linking Europe to China. Rather than being a story of maritime heritage, there is a contemporary narrative about shipwreck recovery linked to sovereign rights and legal entitlement over territory in the ‘high north’ – with marine superhighways emerging as the ice sheet shrinks. Works and projects have been utilising a variety of specific visual ‘modules’ to explore dimensions of consumption, starvation, discovery and connection. As part of this work, a model Terror will make a voyage in the UCD pool.
Avril Coroon develops works and projects that are framed by an institutional critique. Coroon was commissioned, in response to her proposal, to create a photographic backdrop for the NCAD open day at UCD’s Newman house. The architecture within the backdrop is the entrance archway to NCAD on Thomas Street. The work has been animated by graduates who have become the participants in the work, and their proud relatives have shared images on Facebook. The convention of the graduate photograph has been neatly deployed as a visual device to question issues of location, authority, validation and independence.