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.
Over the Sun
(His legacy and influence on western artists)
Selected and organized By Séan Hanrahan
in association with the V.C.C.A Vitebsk, Belarus
Participating Artists, Séan Hanrahan IRE,
Dominic Fee IRE, Josh Dannin U.S.A.
Standing in no.5a on Pravdy str. in Vitebsk on a September afternoon listening to two senior research staff members from the V.C.C.A (Vitebsk Centre for Modern and Contemporary Art) Marina Karman and Elena Gai explain about the historical nature of the building we were in, and the plans for its future, I was immediately struck by the importance of the surroundings I had found myself in. It was here Russian avant garde artist Kazimir Malevich (1879-1935) formed UNOVIS – ‘The Affirmers of the New Art’ group in 1919. It was here also that he wrote and published some of his main theoretical writings, such as Suprematism: 34 drawings.This exhibition is the result of that September afternoon’s conversation and the expressed openness and enthusiasm by the director of the V.C.C.A Andrey Duhovnikov to the proposal of putting the project together. We consider this exhibition as a small beacon of the significant influence Kazimir Malevich has had on Western and Modern art throughout the past 100 years since he painted his Black Square, and of Vitebsk where he taught and wrote many of his theoretical works. I gratefully acknowledge the V.C.C.A and its staff for their support. I would like to thank and acknowledge the Artists involved, Dominic Fee and Josh Dannin who without hesitation got on board, and enthusiastically engaged with the project. I would especially like to thank Masha Falaleeva for her support, dedication and shared vision.
Séan Hanrahan June 2015
Pravdy 5a Banners hanging in the UNOVIS era working and living quarters of Kazimir Malevich
Main Exhibition V.C.C.A Vitebsk. On the walls Josh Dannin’s Proposition 06.00145. On the floor Dominic Fee’s modular ‘MonUment’ on UNOVIS era wooden floor tiles. Right, is the screening of the short film ‘Over the Sun’ projected onto blank canvas.
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.
Oscillation VI is continuation from Oscillate, a small series of variable Silkscreen prints. The emphasis of the work is based on my ongoing experimentation with the Halftone pixelated process. As with the Oscillate series, I choose not to use representational imagery, instead I have designed and inverted a Halftone matrix pattern. With this matrix pattern I’m layering colour offsets of the matrix to explore the possibility of the sustained and infinite continuity of its function, towards the purpose of design.
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.