I attended the opening night of "Define the Line", the grad show of IADT Dún Laoghaire art students. As with most art opening nights, it is difficult to spend time with the work; one simply gets an overview. I was back at the college a few days later to attend a curatorial event, which included an optional tour of the show. I was happy to go on the tour, curious to hear what students would say about fellow students' work.
Given my return to some ceramic work in recent days, I was delighted that my "guide" was Emma McKeagney, who was sourcing clay for her sculptural installations and experimentations from her local area of Shankill (the next village north of where I am located). Though her work was collectively entitled "Glacial Till; removed, refined, dissolved, 2017" as if it were one installation with several elements, I had more of a sense that they were related works with similar concerns of time -- history lost and found. That is a big theme, but her clay works provide lots of meat for discussion; for instance, how the artefacts are moulded when left alone, their use, what they tell us, etc. There are material differences between the wet clay and the structure that shapes it (mild steel, white jersey, white yarn) but there are interesting differences between the wet clay in the mould and the dried bowl-form, which had been previously made in such a manner.
As McKeagney's work showed, time-based work does not have to take the expected media form one usually associates with it, i.e., film, video and photography. Several students were tackling the concepts of time and movement through sculpture.
Lorcan McGeough also added sound into the mix of his interests. He had several large sculptures that resembled inner ear shapes, but I was intrigued by works that incorporated blocks of ice suspended over well-like structures: the ice would slowly melt and drips would create quiet, sporadic sounds that were dependant on how much melt had preceded them.
"Define the Line" was an exciting show of graduate art student work. There was much good work in the exhibition and I will discuss a few more of my favourite works in next week's blog!