Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Five Years at Rathfarnham Castle

A couple of weeks ago I had great delight in attending the launch of both The Dublin Bowie Festival 2022 and the affiliated exhibition Five Years, by graphic designer Cartoon Bowie, at the gorgeous Rathfarnham Castle. For me it was especially interesting to see how the space was transformed after my recent exhibition of paintings and prints there. For a look at my work, Memory Is My Homeland, installed at this venue see my blogs here, here and here.

While technically The Dining Room is the last exhibition room one is likely to enter, The Entrance Hall offers a lovely portal view of a large animation, setting a great mood for the evening.

The Saloon was full of graphic images of Bowie, grouped thematically. I spoke to Cartoon Bowie on the launch night and he talked of the more recent images in blue and yellow, which he created after the Russian invasion and subsequent war in Ukraine. Specifically he confirmed, as with Bowie himself, that each time he thought he was done with this body of work, some new theme would present itself. 

Among my favourite images in the exhibition were the most minimal ones.

But on the other hand, I also adored the use of Japanese calligraphic characters in the group of works that celebrated the work of costume designer and Bowie image collaborator, Kansai Yamamoto.

On the end wall in this room were a series of works which emulated, through a Bowie point of view, the work of other artists - one can certainly see an homage to The Beatles Sgt Pepper album, and I recognised immediately the vintage cruise ship travel poster look to illustrate the song Fantastic Voyage.

I really enjoyed that the works were all designed squarely as faux but very plausible album covers.

Cartoon Bowie also showed his wit throughout the exhibition - a wit that I am sure the great Bowie woulld have approved of wholeheartedly.

During the Bowie Festival and for the duration of this exhibition, limited edition prints are available for purchase with all proceeds going to humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

The works in The Pistol Loop room continued with the theme of an ever-stunning, ever-changing consideration of Bowie's profile.

Throughout the exhibition each grouping had it's own didactic, which located the works in Bowie lore and offered a personal commentary from Cartoon Bowie.

The Starman wall was a stark reminder that Bowie is no longer on the earth, having returned to the cosmos in January 2016, shortly after the release of his final album Blackstar. The joy, though, is evident especially in the lower images (outlining a black star) and a reminder also that David Bowie has left a huge legacy to the music, art, fashion and film industries as well as to humanity in general! Cartoon Bowie used his skills as graphic designer to pay an amazing tribute to this amazing man.

No comments:

Post a Comment