In January 2014, the VCCA (Centre of Contemporary and Modern Art) Vitebsk, Belarus invited me to to host a solo show as part of their International Artist program. My initial response was to create a body of work that reflected similarities between Belarusian and Irish/European traditional cultures. This led to research in folk art, medieval hunting imagery, traditional 17th century Russian Lubok wood-cut prints and Italian Renaissance art. The re-discovery of Botticelli’s Primevera (1492) influenced the use of plants and foliage as motifs to form new psychological ideas based on veiled or hidden meaning. Parallel to this, I began to resolve the technical aspect of producing the work through the use of Photography and Silkscreen on primed plywood. By March 2014 it became clear that the work was to take on a more psychological rather than a cultural direction. This was reinforced by a visit to the Centre of Contemporary Culture Barcelona (CCCB), where I had the opportunity to view the extraordinary exhibition Metamorphosis: Fantasy Visions in Starewitch, Svankmayer and the Quay brothers – four key figures in animated film who drew on the phantasmagoric and grotesque. This experience further influenced me in creating imagery for Калі ноч палохае дзень, the result of which has personal meaning and is intended to invoke psychological memories and experiences in the viewer.
In July of 2013 I participated in the International TR5 Residency with Cork Printmakers, Ireland. This Residency and the resulting Exhibition that showcased the result of the 7 participation Artists was part of the Cork Mid Summers festival program. In the accompanying catalogue for the exhibition i wrote my intention for the residency, this statement can be view as a general statement.
“The main objective while under taking the TR5 residency is to realize an idea that i have had for over a year now, which is to create a sculptural/Kinetic art piece that incorporates many elements. These elements will of course include print /prints as a centre piece, most likely linocut on steel. Been a Musician as well as been an Artist i plan to use music as part of the sculptural piece. I mention sculpture, i’ll be more specific in saying that i plan to create a vertical Music Carousel. The main idea behind creating this Carousel is that i want the public/viewer to engage with the piece as opposed to a “work of art” been an object that one can’t touch or is to be held in reverence from a safe distance.”
The work Frank-Fred, the Horse with two minds which is an interactive work that is specifically built for audience/public viewer participation. However, the action to participate is not explicitly stated nor endorsed…it is intended the viewer or viewers enter into action with it out of their own free will. My observations and experience of the action and non-action, created on many different levels an interesting and some times surprising dialogue between Artist and viewer.