Behind Smoke and Mirrors
Sep 5 2009
Limerick City Gallery of Art, Carnegie Building, Pery Square, Limerick
The artist’s studio is thought of as a mythical place where creativity is inspired, closeted from the world. Behind Smoke and Mirrors presents an alternate view, allowing visitor’s direct insight into the spaces art is made and to the processes artists employ. This laboratory project presents the studio as it is in real terms, it is the acts of art production, dialogue and presentation that epitomise this very active space. This alternate activation of the gallery, as a site of production also questions the uses of public space. The artists’ studios will be constructed in LCGA’s upstairs galleries and after the residency the artists will spill out to encompass the whole gallery presenting an extensive exhibition of their new work.
Behind Smoke and Mirrors turns the gallery into studios, bringing together five exciting young artists to develop new works in this public environment. Aideen Barry, Bernardine Carroll, Garvan Gallagher, Carl Giffney and Emma Wade have been invited to develop new projects in response to their experience of Limerick and working in LCGA. This experimental ‘open access studio’ invites you drop in, meet the artists and discuss the work in development. The new work can thus be influenced by the interactions the artists have with you and the feedback you give.
The invited artists demonstrate the diversity of contemporary art, all working with very different concerns and through a varied range of mediums including photography, film, animation, sculpture, drawing and interactive installations. In spite of the multiplicity of practices, the five artist’s share a common interest in your interaction and engagement with their work. Aideen Barry investigates the domestic from the perspective of the uncanny and invites you to take high tea at the gallery; Bernardine Carroll’s inter-continental collaboration with Canadian artist Maggie Shirley is developing ‘Travel Free Travel’ an unconventional travel agency intending to convoy participants in on fanciful adventures through space and time; Garvan Gallagher invites participants to document their own lives, in order to challenge the media’s stereotypical portrayals; Carl Giffney comments on the social environment, inviting you to interact with his sculptural representations; Emma Wade seeks to give you an alternate understanding of your world, necessitating your participation in order to uncover what she presents.
The experimental project is essentially about communication between individuals and spaces, evolving from you the visitor meeting the artists and the studio meeting the gallery. The residencies in the gallery/studio open the artists’ process to external observation and dialogue, while facilitating the development of new work. This project attempts to facilitate a more direct connection between artists and you the audience through conversation opportunities, discussions, artist talks, development of participatory and audience centred works, documentation of process and feedback opportunities. The art work developed, together with documentation of the process and events will be exhibited in the gallery after the residencies. The exhibition will open at 7pm on Friday 17th July.