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.
Bonded Warehouses are photographs of the iconic and historic Bonded Warehouse buildings at the Port of Cork, Ireland. The Bonded Warehouses have held a particular fascination for me since moving to Cork city after graduating in 2005. In the late evening on the 31st of October 2014 I took a series of photographs of the Warehouses. I selected 3 images from that series, and through my ongoing experimentation with the halftone printing process, I have transposed these selected photographic images into ‘Fine Art prints’, using the medium of Silkscreen.
Klodetta represents a series of photographs of my wife Masha Falaleeva. The works emphasis, is based on experimenting with the Halftone pixelated process to create fine art Print based Portraiture. I first became familiar with Halftone as a mass printing technique by looking under a magnifying glass at newspaper photographs and 1970’s book covers and illustrations. After graduating from college and looking for new means of research, I found myself once again looking at Halftone, this time by passing by everyday, low lying advertising billboards. This close up physical encounter gave me a new sense of Halftone as a means of visually reproducing imagery. I incorporate the depth of perception that Halftone brings to visually reproduce imagery into my own work, as is with Klodetta. The Halftone process of printing, which effectively replaced wood-engraving and lithography in the illustration of story’s; particularly newspapers and books, is its self becoming redundant by on-line technology and new methods of printing for media and advertising. Klodetta is a sort of mediation, between art and technology.
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.