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Four Now at the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork

Monday 11th April 2005 at 1pm 0 Comments

A joint exhibition from the collections of the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland 

6 May – 2 October 2005

An exhibition of a selection of works from the collections of both the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, ranging in time from 1939 to 2003 and including work by Leo Duff, Muriel Brandt, John Luke, Willie Doherty, Kathy Prendergast, David Timmons and Gerald Dillon will open to the public on Friday 6 May at the Lewis Glucksman Gallery * in Cork . The exhibition is a collaborative partnership between both Arts Councils and will include paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints, photographs, video and mixed media works. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon established their collections in the 1940s and the 1960s respectively - with the aim of providing practical support for contemporary artists on the island of Ireland. The exhibition, titled Four Now and curated by Sarah Glennie, has been organised in partnership with the British Council who are presenting this exhibition as part of their all-island arts programme and of the programme for Cork as European Capital of Culture. The initiative is also both Arts Councils’ specific contribution to the Cork 2005, European Capital of Culture programme.

Four Now will be formally opened jointly by the Chair of the Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Olive Braiden and the Chairman of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Rosemary Kelly on Thursday evening 5 May.

Sarah Glennie (biography overleaf) was selected from a number of proposals received, to curate the exhibition last September. She invited a number of contemporary artists based in Ireland to make a selection of works from the two collections.  These artists are: Susan MacWilliam, Isabel Nolan, Dan Shipsides and Joe Walker (biographies overleaf). These four selectors were invited to approach the collections from the perspective of their own practice i.e. to select works they found relevant, engaging or simply intriguing to them now, as artists engaged in contemporary practice, hence the exhibition title Four Now.

Speaking about the chosen selection, Olive Braiden, Chair of the Arts Council says: “Four Now aims to inform contemporary visual arts practice on the island of Ireland. We are particularly excited at t he central role of artists in making the selections, and see the exhibition as providing an important moment of reflection on Irish art”.

Rosemary Kelly , Chairman of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland says: “The two art collections have grown over half a century of Arts Council support for local artists, often at early stages of their careers. This exhibition will give a rare opportunity to view these works by many now celebrated artists, and to gain a fascinating insight in to the influence that their work continues to exert on the present generation of Irish and Northern Irish artists ”.

* Entry to the Glucksman is free of charge. The Glucksman is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm, late night Thursday until 8pm and Sunday 12 noon-5pm.

An exhibition catalogue will be available.

For further details contact:

Michelle Hoctor, Press and Communications Officer, Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Tel + 353 1 6180 235/ 087 8563070 www.artscouncil.ie

Matthew Hendry, Communications Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland,

Tel + 028 90385210, Email mhendry@artscouncil-ni.org

Ann O’Leary, Retail and Communications Manager, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Tel + 353 21 4901844, Email info@glucksman.org , Website www.glucksman.org

Curator’s Statement:

The collections of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon were both established with the aim of providing practical support for contemporary artists in the north and south of Ireland. This primary connection to artists has remained a defining feature of the two collections, and sets them apart from other public collections. The commitment to directly supporting artists’ practice ensured that both collections were predominantly formed from a contemporary perspective rather than by retrospective decisions of quality made with the luxury of hindsight. Some of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s most recent acquisitions were made directly from arts schools, which demonstrates a continuing bold institutional commitment to emergent talent. Consequently the strengths of these collections do not lie in their ability to present a linear survey of Irish twentieth-century art, but in the history they represent of contemporary responses to art production over the last 50 years.

I approached the exhibition through the framework offered by the distinct qualities of the collections, namely, a commitment to artists and an inherent relationship to contemporary art production. This led to an invitation to four artists living and working in Ireland to make individual selections from the collections that were informed by their positions as contributors to current visual culture in Ireland.

The artist selectors were asked to consider the collections from a position of justified subjectivity and were not charged with responsibility to represent any themes or histories of Irish art. What has emerged from this process is a selection based upon a real engagement with the works themselves, rather than any intention to represent certain artists or art practices.

Panel Discussion:

The curator and selectors will talk about the exhibition and their selection process with Oliver Dowling (Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaíon) and Dr Suzanne Lyle (Arts Council of Northern Ireland) in the Glucksman at4pm on Thursday 5 May.

Biographies:

Sarah Glennie has been working as a curator both in Ireland and internationally for over 10 years. She moved to Ireland in 1995 to work as Assistant Curator at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and was later promoted to Curator. Whilst at IMMA, she curated a series of exhibitions of important younger generation international artists that included Olafur Eliasson, Callum Innes and Shirin Neshat. In 2001, she moved to The Henry Moore Foundation Contemporary Projects where she curated Paul McCarthy at Tate Modern, and Stopover: Graham Gussin, Hilary Lloyd and Richard Woods at the Venice Biennale 2003. She is currently Commissioner for Ireland’s participation at the 51 st Venice Biennale 2005 and is working with Tacita Dean for a major new commission for Cork 2005.

Susan MacWilliam (born 1969) lives and works in Belfast. In 2001 she was a recipient of a Major Individual Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and her installation ‘Kuda Bux’ was the winner of the 2003 Perspective Award at the Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast. She was shortlisted for the 1999 Irish Museum of Modern Art/Glen Dimplex Artists’ Award, and was selected for the PS1 International Studio Program, New York for 1999/2000. Her solo exhibitions include; ‘Headbox’, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin, 2004; ‘On The Eye’, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, 2003 and Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, 2002 and ‘Susan MacWilliam’, Cornerhouse, Manchester, 2001. Susan is a part time lecturer in the Fine Art Department, National College of Art and Design, Dublin and the University of Ulster, Belfast.

Susan’s practice employs video and installation and incorporates research into the fields of psychical research, psychology, physiology, photography and viewing devices. The practice involves the investigation of particular individual case histories and myths. Perceptual phenomena, paranormal activity and eyeless sight are amongst the phenomena examined.

Isabel Nolan (born 1974) in Dublin where she continues to live and work. Her practice, comprising drawing, painting, text, video and photography is concerned with tentatively describing her uncertain and shifting relationship to her real and imagined surroundings. She has exhibited extensively in Dublin and internationally and recent solo shows include the Project Arts Centre, Dublin in March 2005 and ‘Death creeps in through the mouth’ at the Goethe Institute, Dublin in 2003 and group shows; ‘Budget Bureau’ Centre d’Art Contemporain Geneva in 2005, ‘Coalesce - With All Due Intent’ at the Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo, 2004 and the Yugoslav Biennale of Young Artists, Vrsac, Serbia-Montenegro. Her work is in the collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and she co-curated with Vaari Claffey ‘No one else makes me feel the colours that you bring’, at Temple Bar Gallery and Studio, Dublin 2004. In 2005 she was selected to represent Ireland at the 51 st Venice Biennale.

Dan Shipsides (born 1972) Lancashire, England moved to Belfast in 1995 for the MFA course at the University of Ulster. He has since been a co-director at Catalyst Arts and is now an artist based in Orchid Studios and also currently a Research Fellow at the School of Art & Design at the University of Ulster in Belfast.

His art practice explores a creative relationship to space based on the experiential. It aims to find a way of exploring spaces often with a physical engagement and produce “landscape” artworks based on that experience.

In 2004 he was awarded the ACNI Major Artist Award. In 2000 he won the Nissan Art award IMMA (Bamboo Support) Dublin and 1998 won the Perspective award, OBG, Belfast (The Stone Bridge).

Recent solo and group exhibitions/projects include; Platform, Istanbul (Hit & Run), HEDAH, Maastricht (Rochers à Fontainebleau), Riga Sculpture quadrennial, Latvia (European Space), Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast (Beta), Rialto Santimbrogio, Rome (Think Over), Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin (Pioneers), Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (Sporting Life), Smart Project Space, Amsterdam (Endure).

Joe Walker (born 1962) in Dublin where he continues to live. He works as part of the collaborative partnership Walker and Walker, in a practice that is concerned with representations of the sublime.

Walker and Walker have exhibited extensively in Ireland and internationally and recent solo exhibitions include the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin in 2004 and in 2003 Floating IP in Manchester and Temple Bar Gallery and Studios. Group exhibitions include  Do something’ at Floating IP in 2004, ‘Retreat Citylights’, Melbourne, Australia, both in 2004 and ‘How things turn out’ at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin in 2002. In 2005 they were selected to represent Ireland at the 51 st Venice Biennale. Their work is included in the Arts Council of Northern Ireland collection.

For further details contact:

Michelle Hoctor, Press and Communications Officer, Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Tel + 353 1 6180 235/ 087 8563070

Matthew Hendry, Communications Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland,

Tel + 028 90385210, Email mhendry@artscouncil-ni.org

Ann O’Leary, Retail and Communications Manager, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Tel + 353 21 4901844, Email info@glucksman.org , Website www.glucksman.org

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