2 Sep. 2015

Sligo Global Kitchen soundbite

Check out this audio piece recorded by Fiona Mc Garry of Sligo Global Kitchen from Parkfest in July


Sligo Global Kitchen emerged out of the Model’s collaborative arts project between resident artist Anna Spearman and those living in direct provision in Sligo. The project began as a gesture of solidarity, and an opportunity to link available resources with local needs. An open invitation to those living in direct provision to come to the Model to cook and share a meal with family and friends has evolved over time into a conversation about how we can use these everyday rituals of cooking and eating to make connections between people and communities both within Sligo and further afield.

Sligo Global Kitchen has held a number of public events to date including a Bob Marley celebration, a recipe swap at The Bureau of Radical Accessibility in the Model in collaboration with resident artist Daniella Palimariu and most recently a sell out food stall at Cairde’s Parkfest. If you are interested in getting involved by sharing recipes and cooking skills, or in meeting people over a plate of food you can join our mailing list by emailing annaspearman@themodel.ie.

This project has been supported by the Model, GIY and AIB’s Get Ireland Growing Fund, the Arts Council’s Artist in the Community Scheme managed by Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts and the Ireland Funds.

Posted By

Erin Fox

28 Jul. 2015

Corban Walker

Corban Walker (b. 1967, Dublin, Ireland) gained recognition for his installations, sculptures, and drawings that relate to perceptions of scale and architectural constructs. His local, cultural, and specific philosophies of scale are fundamental to how he defines and develops his work, creating new means for viewers to interact and navigate their surroundings. Walker has mounted several exhibitions internationally since graduating from Art College in 1991. His work is part of numerous public and private collections around the world, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and the Irish Museum of Art, Dublin. Walker represented Ireland at the 54th Venice International Art Biennale 2011. Corban Walker has lived and worked in New York since 2004.

Walker will present a talk in the Bureau of Radical Accessibility on Wednesday 29 July at 1pm.

Posted By

Erin Fox

30 Jun. 2015

Interview with Seán Carpio

Seán Carpio is a multi-instrumentalist from Dublin, Ireland whose practice incorporates song, sound and improvisation. Carpio is a regular collaborator with The Model, having performed alongside various musicians in A Winter Light music project by Mark Garry. Carpio returned to The Model this April for a music residency in which he created Bog Bodies along with musicians and composers Robert Stillman, Anders Holst and filmmaker Ben Rowley. Ahead of his return to The Model, I got the chance to ask Seán about his influences and his connection with The Model.

EF: Who are your musical influences?
SC: Right, this minute I’m spending a lot of time listening to Dr. Garcia Zarate. He is a musicologist and lawyer who transcribes traditional harp and vocal music from Ayacucho in southern Peru for the guitar. For me, his music is from space. Even knowing the origins and influences, his performances of these traditional songs remain utterly mysterious to me.

EF: Which musician would you love to collaborate with?
SC: Not to sound too “cottage industry” but I love working with my colleagues, family and friends. Most of the long-standing groups I play with are from close relationships. As for the residency in the Model, this new group Bog Bodies comprises of Anders Holst whom I’ve known for ten years, saxophonist Robert Stillman who has been a very close colleague in various groups and projects, but also a new collaborator, film maker Benjamin Rowley. I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing what we make together in this focused period as we’ve made some interesting pieces already after only meeting once over a short weekend.

EF: Who has been your favourite musician to collaborate with?
SC: I’ve had a great partnership with Mark Garry for the past six years that I’m very proud of. Although he’d say he’s not really a musician, he sees a potential for music that is greater than anyone I’ve ever met and that’s always a joy to be a part of.

EF: How do you compose?
SC: I really like music that stays in a singular zone, that doesn’t change or move too much but instead subtly covers its tracks or plays with the memory of what has just been heard. I usually gravitate to writing pieces like that. I keep the performers very much in the forefront of my mind. The practical nature of that can reveal a lot of possibilities as to what the music can be and ultimately reduces stress in performance. I would prefer everyone to feel comfortable enough to improvise suitable to their disposition and without it becoming a discussion point. If I can supply music that makes the performers feel comfortably lost and inspired at the same time than I’m happy.

EF: How do you decide or plan your next project?
SC: It’s never been an outright decision on my part to start something new as I’ve mostly been a sideman in my career. Often times it’s a collaborative spark that brings it about. And once again it’s back to colleagues, friends and family that help to know what’s next. Right now I’m working on starting a label with my sister Eileen (Eilo), her partner Dara Smith (Arad/Lakker) and Mark Garry. This is a really exciting venture for us to be able to create and release disparate musics under one banner.

EF: How important are your surroundings to your compositions?
SC: Just like considering the performers, the space where it is performed is as influential and reveals as many possibilities. Most often for projects I’m a part of, venues are quite similar. Any changes in size or sound quality are circumnavigated through improvisation. There’s rarely a preciousness about sound quality in the groups I’m in, so we’re happier to find a way to become more a part of that space. I’m part of a new group called Coven that attempts to become the room in this way, to fill it in through various dynamics, and only that. With this residency in Sligo, I have a feeling that we won’t be so much working with the acoustics of the space as with the nature and the people outside. It’s very difficult to avoid being taken by the dramatic nature of the area and the people that live there.

EF: Can you tell me why you chose Sligo for your current project?
SC: This residency came about after myself and Robert Stillman worked on Mark Garry’s recording project A Winter’s Light, in February of 2014. We were preemptively planning this project at that time and felt that The Model was a remarkably supportive institution that would be ideal to work with. Thankfully they were willing partners in making this a reality. I’m really excited about this project as it’s a very new and unknown venture for us all and so having the Model supporting us is fantastic.

An audience is invited to share the initial results of this ten-day collaboration on Wednesday 15 July from 4pm.

Posted By

Erin Fox

Related Programming

28 May. 2015

Recipe Swap with Daniela Pălimariu and Sligo Global Kitchen

Sligo Global Kitchen in collaboration with artist-in-residence Daniela Palimariu will host a recipe swap at the B.R.A this Friday 29 May from 3 – 5pm. Come along and bring a treasured recipe, savoury or sweet and taste some of ours! All are welcome. This project has been supported by the Arts Council’s Artist in the Community Scheme managed by Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts.

Posted By

Erin Fox

12 May. 2015

Interview with Michael J Strand

“I did not see a path into art before taking my first ceramics class, and after this moment of discovery I knew this would be in some manner my life’s work.”

American Ceramist Michael J Strand visits The Model this week to present a talk on his work in the Bureau of Radical Accessibility. Ahead of his visit, I had a chance to ask Michael about some of his projects, his achievements and his artistic and social practice.

EF: I read that your work begins by scrutinising the function of art and craft in contemporary society. What do you think the function is? What do you think it should be?
MS: Traditionally function and craft has been related to how it in some manner enables the consumption of food, storage, etc (in the case of ceramics). For other crafts, there are equivalent functions iron works – tools, etc – and that function has served humanity as technology. There was a time when ceramic innovation via vessels was a high technology. So I examine this history and consider new ways that functional objects can operate – for instance, can a cup be a part of a mediation process, of course it can – and it has historically. But what other social functions can ceramic objects serve? These are the questions that drive my practice.

EF: Your artistic practice investigates the potential of craft as a catalyst for social change. How might you advise other designers use their craft in this way?
MS: Consider the space between what we make and the public as a viable space to design. That is, how we acquire, interact, encounter an object that is made and how that object serves a social situation is wide open for innovation.

EF: How did the Misfit Cup Liberation Project influence Cuplomacy?
MS: Cuplomacy actually began before Misfit Cup Liberation Project – but it is a highly complex project that is aiming to infiltrate a very powerful social system. The project, which will be delivered in September, has taken five years to develop. But with that in mind, when I developed the Misfit Cup Liberation Project I learned a great deal about the power of the narrative, the story. So the key to unlocking how to complete Cuplomacy came with the realisation that I needed to reengage with the public through a similar questionnaire that I used for misfit cup. When I engaged in this, the project moved forward very quickly, because the project was no longer extending from one opinion about the state of our political system, rather from nearly 1000 North Dakotans.

EF: What was the most interesting cup in the Misfit Cup Liberation Project?
MS: There are many – but I love the cup that I received from an elderly woman from an Island off of Tallinn, Estonia. The morning of the exhibition at the Applied Arts Triennial, she heard about the project from a television program and immediately booked a ferry knowing she had a cup for the project. She arrived at the opening, never having been to the museum and personally presented her cup – the last remaining cup issued by the Soviet Union that she had in her household. It was a moment of relief – this cup is a treasure, not for its material worth but rather for its connection to this moment of exchange.

EF: I read you studied psychology before switching to ceramics, did you have an interest in crafts and design prior to this?
MS: I really had no connection to art other than a really great high school art teacher. I did not see a path into art before taking my first ceramics class, and after this moment of discovery I knew this would be in some manner my life’s work.

EF: Having studied psychology and then ceramics, can you describe your journey from making objects to working as a social practitioner?
MS: The term social practitioner is a problematic term from my perspective. Although it accurately describes how I operate my practice, I have always pushed against any form of category. But certainly, my interest in psychology and social justice has a large impact on the reasons I engage in the social realm. I rather prefer the term a “Village Potter” – but examine the village in new ways. As a village potter, I assume a similar role historically, it is that I have extended function into new realms.

EF: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
MS: The ability to do the amount of work that I do, and maintain a great family life, for example my eleven year old son Ian is along for my time in Sligo. My son Malcolm was with me for a month in Europe for project development last summer and I plan on traveling with my mother-in-law to South Africa in February of next year. Specifically to my career – being named Ceramic Artist of the Year by Ceramics Monthly is something I could never have imagined, but what I am most pleased about with that award is the reality that it recognised an artist who is working beyond object innovation – and recognise what I do is not simply service but also an artistic practice.

EF: What is an important lesson life has taught you?
MS: I have had very low points in my life, like many people. Over the past eight years I have lost 200 pounds of weight and have remained sober for over a decade. My second chance at life, literally has provided a lifetimes worth of energy and direction. The lesson in all of this for me is to maintain a steady, consistent pace and focus on what you value. At times there will be opposition, but to remain true to the goals you have.

EF: Which artist do you most admire?
MS: The former mayor of Bogota, Colombia – Antanas Mockus – a social scientist who became a politician and utilised creative acts as a mechanism to transform Bogota during the late 90s. Also the late Samuel Mockbee – architect and director of the Rural Studio – who transformed architectural education as an applied and socially minded endeavor. Artists are interesting, but I look to other fields for primary inspiration.

EF: You’ve used cups and bowls as catalysts for social change, what’s next?
MS: I work in a highly organic nature – If I knew what was next, there would be no reason to continue. I am on the cusp of moving towards more issues around food and wellness within my own work – and with significant agency within these two areas via personal experience – I am looking at ways of merging my practice to include ceramics, wellness and food (which makes complete sense) I just do not know exactly how this will manifest.

EF: What do you hope to get out of your visit to Sligo?
MS: I am really looking forward to engaging with the community and the landscape of Sligo. I hope to plant a seed for future work – and to connect with interesting people. I am also looking forward to reconnecting with Megan Johnston the Director – a curator that I admire.

EF: What do you think of Irish craft and design?
MS: I am most familiar with Irish ceramics which has a long tradition of outstanding makers. Michael Moore and Ewelina Wojtowicz are two artists that come to mind when considering Irish based ceramic practice. I also very much appreciate the alignment of craft and design in contemporary Irish practice.

Michael will hold B.R.A office hours this week. His talk takes place at 3pm on Wednesday 13 May.

Posted By

Erin Fox

Related Programming

1 May. 2015

Artist Anne Labovitz in the B.R.A

Artist Anne Labovitz visited the B.R.A this week and I got the chance to chat to Anne during her time here about her influences, her work and her practice and her love of people. In her project Conversant Portraits, Anne painted people while interviewing them, channeling their emotions onto canvas. Anne painted my portrait, however I interviewed her instead.

EF: What influenced you to become an artist?
AL: My grandmother Ella Labovitz was an artist. She used to paint me as a child, she was eccentric, loving and very intense. I recognised her spirit, it inspired me. Deeply sentimental, I have always had the need to create as early as in high school I was a photographer. As a child I was inspired and comforted by the natural world, which continues to inspire me.

EF: What drew you to socially engaged art?
AL: Social practice is compelling for me because it is a natural flow from my art making practice for 25 years as well as a synthesis of many areas of interest. I love the human spirit and the perseverance of humans throughout our existence. I studied psychology, art education in college which informed my existence and social practice.

EF: How would you describe your creative process?
AL: Utilising painting, drawing, and printmaking techniques, video, audio, my work examines the personal and universal exchanges found in contemporary portraiture. Through using expressive color, luminosity and gestural mark marking. The notion of temporality is central to my process; documenting human connections, dialogues and relationships as they morph over time. My imagery begins with, but is not limited to, the human form. Recent text-based works stem from conversations with or between subjects and serves, in part, to narrate my relationship with them. The driving force behind my work is an enduring interest in people; in the human spirit, its emotional resonance and the way over time it manifests in our relationships with others. Throughout my life and professional career I have kept journals, photos and mementos documenting my interactions, conversations and connections with other humans. My text paintings are explorations into the universality of human connections and conditions.

EF: Scenery and landscapes have inspired some of your previous work, how will your visit to Sligo influence future works?
AL: Great questions, as all of life’s experiences inform my work. Striking for me is the history here and the people. The landscape with the lakes and the rivers are stunning. I am eager to see how my visit to Sligo may influence my work.

EF: You’ve painted portraits and landscapes, how does your latest project differ to previous work?
AL: My recent work is a synthesis of several threads of concentration in my work. Including family, human interest, community involvement, art making practice, social media and social practice. 122 Conversations (122conversations.com) incorporates portraiture through human interviews in 6 countries.

EF: How different would the outcome of Conversant Portraits have been had you not interviewed the participants?
AL: The project Conversant Portraits which took place during Northern Spark at Weisman Art Museum was dependent on the interviews with participants by design. The interview process was intramural to the project, every word and interaction I had with participants was recorded into the paintings. Each successive person over the top of the last participant’s responses.

EF: Is conversation integral to your artistic practice?
AL: Great question, INDEED! Conversation and connection. Is a form of research and learning? Currently conversations are the source material of my work.

Posted By

Erin Fox

Related Programming

10 Apr. 2015

Is this Art?

Is this Art? is a new initiative we are launching at The Model this weekend. Visitors to the exhibitions and activities we host here are invited to answer the question and post their comments on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Posted By

Erin Fox

8 Apr. 2015

Accessibility Auditing Workshop with Carmen Papalia

Accessibility Auditing, a workshop by Carmen Papalia took place yesterday in the B.R.A. (see below for a description of the B.R.A.). Carmen showed us some of his previous projects including the Blind Field Shuttle Walking Tour. Carmen led this project with a group of people who walked with their eyes closed throughout the city of Portland. As part of Carmen’s residency, he re-enacted this accessibility awareness exercise in Sligo.

We got to experience this walking tour for ourselves Sligo style in The Model’s gallery space!

Paired up, we took turns to provide an audio description of the artwork and gallery surroundings to our partner whose eyes were kept shut throughout the experience. As someone who is profoundly deaf, the short experience of walking around the galleries with no vision was exciting as much as it was nerve-racking. With Carmen as my guide, I focused on two things: his voice and what my feet were doing. Without the aid of lip-reading in the noisy environment, focusing on hearing alone proved to be difficult. When I was unsure of what I’d heard Carmen say, feeling the floor beneath my feet confirmed his description. Tuning into other things such as the speed at which Carmen walked told me there was something in the pathway; feeling heat on my legs told me we were in the sunny atrium; the feeling of the floor gave me clues to which gallery we were in.

For those of us who took part in the workshop, we then compared our experiences of being guided. We agreed that even though we were familiar with the building, issues of trust arose. I can only imagine how it must have been taking part in the Blind Field Shuttle Walk around the city of Portland!

You can watch Carmen’s Blind Field Shuttle Walk here Carmen and Kristen Lantz are here in the BRA for the rest of the week conducting a series of workshops. Feel free to visit them and ask about their work.

The Bureau of Radical Accessibility (B.R.A.) is a site-specific intervention in The Model foyer area. Staffed by Model employees and artists-in-residence, the B.R.A. is set up in direct defiance to the closed-off office spaces in order to meet, hold discussions and conduct interviews with the public, colleagues and others.

Posted By

Erin Fox

3 Apr. 2015

Interview with Paul Seawright

Image: Paul Seawright (b. 1965), Void 2014, Pigment print 1/3 from an edition of 3 + 1 AP

Making News: Things Left Unsaid, a new exhibition by renowned photographer Paul Seawright opens here at The Model this Saturday, 04 April. I spoke to him this week about his latest body of work, a series of photographs taken in American television news stations.

Much of Seawright’s work reads between the lines of visual narrative. While most photography focuses on the subject itself and what we can see, Seawright’s work looks at things that are not easy to see. He describes this as the opposite of what photography is meant to be about.

“That idea with things being between the lines is also to do with things being inherently invisible, nonvisual, or inherently not easy to see. And that’s the kind of subject I’ve always dealt with,” he told me. “How can photography deal with anything that’s not inherently visual? That’s kind of the starting premise and therefore the project itself is about the things we don’t see or are left out and that would chime with all the work I have done in the past. The thing I’m trying to get engaged with is not actually in the picture.”

Reading between the lines is also what sets him apart from a photojournalist. What Seawright’s work has in common with photojournalism is themes such as conflict, violence and post-war landscapes. The principle difference is the language in which they operate. Seawright says that photojournalism is about providing answers to our questions and giving up the meaning, whereas photography is temporal. Seawright explains “When you look at an editorial photograph you look at it for a very short period of time, 10-15 seconds. In a gallery you are more likely to spend more time looking at it. Therefore, there is a slowness to the experience that is more important to how the work functions, and immediacy is something I’m trying to work against.”

Seawright’s approach and purpose encourages the viewer to ask more questions. So does he think that photojournalism should be more like this?

“To be fair, recently what I think you might call photojournalism is becoming more sophisticated. There’s space now for different kinds of photojournalism particularly because the market for photojournalism is diminishing. So, it’s changing, much more of it is online where you’re mixing different kinds of media together where one moment you could be watching a video and the next you could be listening to an audio piece. That has changed the way people consume photojournalism. I think the people working in that market have developed more sophisticated ways to deal with subject matter than they have in the past so I think that that’s an improved position, and I think artists are also flirting with some of those ideas as well. The boundaries are definitely blurring.”

In terms of his working process, Seawright says his work is not about responding to what he sees. “It’s not about me driving about in a car until I see something like some nice light or something I want to photograph. That is a very photographic way of working but it’s not the way I work.” Instead, his projects begin with a methodology that predetermines the location and the content of his photographs.

All photos featured in Things Left Unsaid were made in television news stations in America. “That of course immediately determines where you’re making the picture and when you get there sometimes there’s nothing to take a photo of. That takes a huge number of factors out of the equation right away.”

Seawright elaborates on this point by referencing the manner in which the media reported on the Gulf War in the early 1990s,
“There were these photographs of journalists outside hotels with all the lights and they might as well have been on holiday somewhere. They were all reporting from outside these hotels in Dubai and Kuwait and they were beautifully dressed, super clean and very false. That was the image of how television news was stuck trying to report that war and I was thinking of doing something with that.” The media tried to visualise something that wasn’t visual which led Paul to think about how the news has a veneer of truth and transparency “…when of course we all know that deep down it’s highly constructed and full of holes.”

Referencing drones, Seawright noted similarities between the technology of drone pilot stations and the technology of a television station. “That made me think there’s really now something to be done about the sheer idea of technology being at the centre of how we consume war from our sofas and being at the centre of war itself.”

While waiting to do an interview about his project, Volunteer, on a TV show in America, a news report about a murdered soldier inspired him to take a photo which would serve as a sketch for Things Left Unsaid.

“The idea originally was that I would wait until they talk about Afghanistan or Iraq and I would make a picture at that moment and so there was more of a performing element to it. That’s what I did, I made this one picture at the moment they talked about Afghanistan and Iraq. I thought that was great and I liked the picture very much and it worked.”

During a visit to a second TV station there was no mention of the war which lead him to think that the project wouldn’t work. “But I thought actually the idea with the technology could still work. Maybe then you do exactly the opposite, you emphasise the idea that they don’t talk about the war and that they’re not talking about the war for a reason.” Three years later when Seawright was making the project he noticed people hardly talked about the war in many cases. Encouragement from a curator further inspired Seawright to make a project out of the idea, “I got a researcher and we spent three months setting up a 6000-mile trip around America. Over five weeks I photographed 39 studios and that’s the project.”

Paul Seawright will join Director of The Model Megan Johnston and journalist Susan McKay in conversation at 6pm tomorrow night at the opening of the exhibition.

Posted By

Erin Fox

10 Mar. 2015

Iiro Rantala at The Model this weekend

Finnish Jazz pianist Iiro Rantala comes to Sligo this weekend to perform a unique solo concert here at The Model. Erin Fox had the chance to speak to him ahead of his performance.

EF: How would you describe your music to fans of jazz?
IR: It’s a mix of European classical tradition, jazz, tango and pop.
Sounds strange but I guess something like this is the outcome, when cousins marry each others for generations.

EF: What influenced you to become a jazz musician?
IR: Freedom. I realised I could use everything I know more freely. That I don’t have to be stuck with some written music, someone else wrote.
Freedom, Chick Corea and Keith Jarret to be correct.

EF: Your album Lost Heroes is dedicated to musicians who have inspired you. Who is your greatest musical influence?
IR: If I would have to choose one and I guess I do, I would say Leonard Bernstein. I think he was just great. A real visionary. Not only a fantastic musician but he worked hard to open up the music for people who have no previous touch with the concert music. An excellent communicator, that’s what he was.

EF: What other genres of music do you listen to?
IR: I very seldom listen music. My days are filled with music anyway. Not only when I practice or perform. There’s a “live broadcast” in my head all the time. Drives me almost crazy sometimes. So, I don’t listen BUT I love to go to concerts to hear live music as often I can.

EF: You’ve performed in groups as well as solo, what is your favourite instrument to play along to?
IR: I’ve dreamed of piano-drums duo for a long time in order to play the bass lines with my left hand. Haven’t found a perfect companion for this one yet.

EF: A lot of emotion and sensitivity has gone into your compositions, what are your feelings when you perform a completed work?
IR: Weird things happen during performance. Sometimes I see myself from a distance playing the piano, while I’m on stage. Usually from the point of the ceiling. I guess that’s as close you can get to an experience of “flow”.

EF: What do you think of Irish music?
IR: It’s uplifting. Sounds actually very funny to me. The Finns love minor and melancholies. Even the wedding waltzes are funeral sad. In Irish music I hear that it’s made for dancing and partying. In Finnish music I hear pessimism and no hope.

Iiro Rantala performs in The Niland Gallery at 8.30pm on Saturday 14th March. Book tickets.

Posted By

Erin Fox

Related Programming

5 Mar. 2015

Easter Holiday Art Camp for Kids

Spend the Easter holidays at The Model exploring the building and the great outdoors! Artist Naomi Draper has planned a week of creativity, exploration and adventure. The Easter Holiday art camp will physically explore the theme of camping throughout The Model. Naomi who worked with the Practice exhibition by Kid’s Own in 2014 wants to create an exciting adventure for children which will allow them to explore and get to know the space at The Model. The group will move beyond the education room to set up camp and claim ownership of other areas of the building. With the landscapes of The Niland Collection as a backdrop, the galleries will become one of the campsites. Inspired by Shared Visions: The Model Collects, there will be a special activity focusing on “collecting” where participants can pack, preserve and consider how their findings and treasures can be presented to others. Shelter building, treasure hunting and storytelling are just some of the activities that will be explored through drawing, sculpture, animation, listening and book making processes. Places are limited to 14 per session and bookings are now being taken.

Posted By

Erin Fox

Related Programming

27 Feb. 2015

Artist in residence Niamh O'Connor

This week in the B.R.A artist in residence Niamh O’Connor was here to open up a conversation about art, mental health and community. During her talk on Wednesday, Niamh invited people to respond to the question, “What does mental wellbeing look like for the art museum, from a public perspective? How would it manifest itself?” while bearing in mind the definition of wellbeing:

‘Wellbeing also reflects the concept of positive mental health, in which a person can [1] realise his of her own abilities, [2] cope with the normal stresses of life, [3] work productively and fruitfully and [4] be able to contribute to his or her community.’ (Healthy Ireland 2013)

The aim of the question was to encourage people to think about the art museum from a particular perspective. The discussion received varied responses –one thought that mental wellbeing under the terms outlined should be integral to it (“its pulse”) and others wondered if mental wellbeing has anything to do with an art institution.
Niamh will be here for the rest of the week and will hold a free workshop especially for artists working in health settings, this Saturday from 11am – 12pm.

So what does mental wellbeing look like for the art museum?
Please email any comments to Niamh: niamhoconnoremail@eircom.net

Posted By

Erin Fox

27 Feb. 2015

Model to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge, Ireland’s Irish language festival

This year The Model is delighted to announce events as part of the Seachtain na Gaeilge celebrations. Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Language Week) is an international Irish language festival and one of the biggest celebrations of our native language and culture that takes place each year in Ireland and in many other countries. Running since 1902, the festival gives an opportunity to everyone to enjoy Irish, whether you are a fluent speaker, learner or have a cúpla focal, with a calendar of entertaining and fun events for every type of interest and every age group.

The Model will host a series of events “as gaeilge” for everyone to participate in on March 1st and 6th.

I mbliana sa Model tá an-áthas orainn imeachtaí mar chuid de cheiliúradh Sheachtain na Gaeilge a fhógairt. Tá Seachtain na Gaeilge féile idirnáisiúnta teanga Gaeilge agus ceann de na cheiliúradh is mó ar ár dteanga agus gcultúr dúchais a bhíonn ar siúl gach bliain in Éirinn agus thar lear. Bhunaíodh an féile i 1902, agus ó shin tugann an fhéile deis do gach duine taitneamh a bhaint as an Ghaeilge , cibé más cainteoir líofa thú, foghlaimeoir nó má tá cúpla focal agat, le féilire imeachtaí siamsaíocht agus spraoi do gach cineál spéise agus gach aoisghrúpa.

Beimid as óstáil sraith lae imeachtaí ‘as Gaeilge’ anseo sa Model do gach duine a bheith rannpháirteach i.

Sunday March 01 2015

Yoga as Gaeilge
11.00 am €8.00pp
With Sorka from Pure Shakti
This special class eases us gently into The Model’s Seachtain na Gaeilge festivities. Join us in the beautiful surroundings of our galleries for this mixed ability yoga class merging Iyengar/ Vinyasa styles, all done through the medium of the Irish Language. surrounded by beautiful art- What more could you want!

Cuireann an rang seo tús le himeachtaí Seachtain na gaeilge anseo sa Model. Bígí linn inár ngaillearaí álainn i rang a mheascaíonn Iyengar agus Vinyasa yoga. Tá fáilte roimh yogis ó aon leibhéal yoga. Ar fad déanta trí modh na gaeilge!

Informal Music afternoon
1.00pm – 3.00pm
€5pp children free
This month’s Informal Music afternoon will launch The Model’s Seachtain na Gaeilge festivities into full swing. Join local legends Seamie O’Dowd and Cathy Jordan and guests for an afternoon of music with a traditional twist.

Trathnóna ¸ceoil neamhfhoirmiúil
Cuirfidh Trathõna ceoil neamhfhoirmiúil na míosa seo imeachtaí Seachtain na gaeilge sa Model faoi lán seoil. Beidh Seamie O’Dowd agus Cathy Jordan anseo le tacaíocht ó cúpla ceoltóirí eile den scoth chun ceoil le blas traidisiúnta a sheinnt!

Guided Gallery Tour in Irish

Explore The Niland Collection and Mark Clare’s I Believe In You with this guided tour through the medium of Irish.

Cuairt Treorithe na ngailearaí
Taisceal ealaín ón bhailiúchán Niland agus saothair Mark Clare “I Believe in You” trí modh na gaeilge.

Coffee & Conversation
The Gallery café is the perfect place to relax and have a chat and will have special discounts for gaeilgóirí attending the comhrá agus cupán session!

Comhrá agus cupán
Atmaisféar foirfe le haighidh comhrá agus cupán. Beidh iascaine speisialta ann le haighidh gaeilgóirí ag freastal ar an gcomhrá agus cupán.

Seamie O’Dowd & Kieran Quinn: A ‘Thank you Sligo’ event
Booking essential.

Sligo is home to an exceptional diversity of musical talent across all music genres. With ‘Thank you Sligo’, we wish to celebrate this incredible talent whilst thanking you, our local community, for your support.

Seamie O’Dowd & Kieran Quinn: Go raibh maith agat Sligeach!!
Deireadh lá gnóthach sa Model! Bígí linn chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar na ceoltoirí iontacha atá again sa chontae álainn seo!

Friday March 06
Storyteller / Seanchaí Gabriel Rosenstock
10am – 4pm (Various times)
Gabriel Rosenstock is an author/ translator of over 160 books, including 13 volumes of poetry and a volume of Haiku in Irish and in English, as well as numerous books for children. His vast output includes plays, work for TV, novels and short stories, children’s literature in prose and verse, including Irish versions of such classics as “The Gruffalo.”/ “An Garbhán” He is the Irish translator of numerous films and TV shows including Watership Down and The Muppet Show.

He is also well known as a translator of song lyrics into Irish by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and others, and writers such as Yeats and Beckett.

A member of Aosdána, he has regularly featured in both the Junior Cert and Leaving cert courses. Gabriel has been invited to The Model in order to celebrate both Seachtain na gaeilge and The annual Sligo children’s Bookfestival 2015 Bígí linn for an array of readings of stories, tales and poems!

Údar/ aistritheoir breis is 160 leabhar é Gabriel Rosenstock, dánta, haiku, úrscéalta, leabhair do dhaoine óga, drámaí, gearrscéalta, aistí agus eile ina measc.

I measc na hábhair atá aistrithe go Gaeilge aige tá cláranna teilfíse ar nós “Watership Down” agus “The Muppet Show.” Bhí sé bainteach leis an bhféile IMRAM ó lá a bhunaithe agus is tríd an bhféile sin a tháinig a chuid aistriúchán ar liricí Leonard Cohen is Bob Dylan ar an bhfód chomh maith le dánta Beckett agus Yeats.
Is ball d’Aosdána é, agus go minic feictear é I measc na gcúrsaí teastas sóisireach agus an ardteistiméireacht.

Cuireamar cuireadh do Ghabriel aontú linn sa Model chun Seachtain na Gaeilge agus Féile na leabhair páistí 2015 a ceiliúradh.

Bígí linn le haighidh lá scéalaíocht agus filíochta!

For further information on Seachtain na Gaeilge at The Model and our education programme, please visit http://themodel.ie/education/

The Model, Home of the Niland Collection,
The Mall,

Posted By

Erin Fox

11 Feb. 2015

The Model seeks a Front of House Administrator / Manager


Job title: Front of House / Administration Manager
Location: The Model,Sligo
Reports to: Director

The Model, Home of The Niland Collection seeks a full-time Front of House / Administration Manager to support the administrative needs of the programme and the day-to-day management of Reception. The Front of House / Administration Manager will work closely with the Director, Deputy Director and Development Manager to ensure the organisation operates to the highest professional standards and will lead on a number of exciting income generation initiatives.

The successful candidate will have:

• Minimum of two years experience in a similar role
• Excellent administration and organizational skills
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
• An excellent understanding of high quality customer service
• Proficiency in computers with a good working knowledge of Microsoft Office and digital marketing tools.
• Experience of event management
• Experience in retail
• Strong financial management skills
• The ability to develop and oversee a team.

The following qualities will be required:

• A high level of accuracy and attention to detail
• Flexibility – evening and weekend work will be required
• Good people skills and the ability to work well within a team
• Self-motivation and ability to take initiative
• Excellent time management and strong work ethic


Front of House / Box Office

• Managing the day-to-day staffing, operation and customer service of the Box Office and Reception, including rostering and management of Front of House support staff.
• Ensuring that high standards of customer service are maintained.
• Ensuring Front of House staff is instructed on all aspects pertaining to the use of The Model, including health and safety, evacuation and monitoring procedures.
• Supervising the set-up for exhibition openings, launches events and hires as requested.
• Providing co-ordination to all Front of House staff in the promotion and professional delivery of all aspects of The Model’s activities.
• Acting as a key holder for the centre, locking and opening up as required and ensuring that principles of best practice are adhered to regarding all security systems.
• Working with the Volunteer Coordinator to leverage donated skills, time and expertise of Volunteers for The Model’s activities, particularly for tours and invigilation.


• Lead on earned income initiatives including venue hire and The Model Shop.
• Working with the Development Assistant to file daily financial reports, reconciling and balancing of Box Office and Bookshop transactions.
• Assisting the Development Manager in the administration of Membership and Sponsorship Schemes.


• Managing the internal administration, dealing with internal queries, responding to email, typing, photocopying, handling post and managing keys.
• Provision of clerical, secretarial and administrative support to the Director, Deputy Director and Development Manager.
• Ensuring efficient levels of office administration and management, including dealing with artists, musicians, bookings, clients, customers, incoming calls, counter activity, information display and supplies as required.
• Managing the administrative function pertaining to the hire of Model facilities, including liaising with customers, identifying requirements, completing booking documentation and details for invoicing.


Please email a C.V. and Cover Letter addressed to the Director, Megan Johnston, outlining why you think you would be suited to the advertised position to emermcgarry@themodel.ie: emermcgarry@themodel.ie by 12 noon Friday 6 March 2015. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed on Wednesday 11 March with a view to role commencing soon after.

Posted By

Erin Fox

21 Jan. 2015

Behinds the Scenes of I Believe In You

Install for Mark Clare I Believe in You is underway this week and we’re super excited about Opening Night this Saturday! Do you ever wonder what goes one “behind the scenes” of an installation? Here’s a sneak preview of the exhibition. Mark, who is artist in residence this week answers a few of my questions about his work.

EF: How long have you been working as a professional artist?
MC: I graduated from my undergraduate in 1992 and have been working as a professional artist since then.

EF: Who and what inspires you?
MC: I wouldn’t even know where to start! Meeting and interacting with people is the driving force behind what I do really.

EF: What influenced the exhibition ‘I Believe in You’?
MC: ‘I Believe in You’ is a combination of work produced over the last 7 years. Much of the work has been produced while participating on Artist residency programs both nationally and internationally. ARPs have played an important role in the development of my practice over the last twenty years.

EF: What are your impressions of The Model as an art gallery?

MC: The Model is an incredible venue. I am quite amazed at its size when you consider its location but its record speaks for itself. It has had hosted some exciting artists and offers the local community easy and more importantly free access to an incredible variety of both contemporary and historical Art work alongside a variety of other events that it programs.

Find out more about Mark’s creative practice at the opening of I Believe In You this Saturday 24th January at 5pm. From 6pm there will be a public talk with Mark Clare followed by an opening reception at 7pm.

Posted By

Erin Fox

15 Jan. 2015

Deep Connection to The Model

“I feel a deep connection to The Model and its doings for as long as I have been making drawings…”

The Art of Drawing with Michael Wann returns next month and I had the chance to sit down with Michael and discuss his class, his own art, his influences and his relationship with The Model.

EF: Describe The Art of Drawing

MW: The Art of Drawing is a six-week course running at The Model Sligo, which aims to introduce basic drawing skills to both beginners and people who have experience with drawing. The beginners course introduces participants to basic observational skills, including contour drawing, blind contour drawing and positive and negative space, and proceeds into a more sophisticated knowledge of the uses of charcoal. It covers the basic principles of still life, portraiture, and compositional landscape. The class aims to encourage participants to enjoy the act of observing and drawing in an easy going and informal atmosphere, and instructs on how our brains interpret all the visual stimuli that surround us. The advanced class was originally structured to enable people who had completed the beginner course to pursue further exploration and interest in drawing. It has developed however into a vibrant and free flowing ‘drawing session’, where participants pursue their own interests within drawing, feeding off each other as much as on the one-on-one teaching and mentoring that I provide. This is a most exciting thing to see unfold, where people find their own love of drawing, and use the full afternoon to pursue, develop and explore their interests (mainly in landscape and portraiture) in a relaxed and open atmosphere without the formal constraints of a strictly structured class environment.

EF: What is your connection with The Model?

MW: My Diploma show in 1992 was hosted by The Model Arts Centre, as it was then, and following that I was invited to exhibit in a group show alongside artists I had long admired, such as Sean McSweeney, Barrie Cooke, Alice Maher, Patrick Hall, amongst others. I taught a drawing class here from 1996 to 1998, and when I returned to Sligo I.T. as a mature student in 2003 to get my Bachelor in Fine Art, our final show was again hosted by the newly refurbished Model Niland. I’ve been resident in Studio5 here at the Model Sligo since 2009.
I CAN say I feel a deep connection to the Model and its doings for as long as I have been making drawings.

EF: Where have you exhibited?

MW: My work has been accepted at the Royal Hibernian Academy’s Annual Exhibition since 2003. And in 2006, I was awarded the AXA Insurance Drawing Prize, again at the RHA. In 2010 one of my large-scale drawings was selected by Hughie O’Donoghue for the Tom Caldwell Drawing Award and the innugural Rowel Friers Trophy at the Royal Ulster Academy’s Annual Exhibition. I have had solo shows at Sligo Art Gallery, Linenhall Arts Centre, The Ashford Gallery at the RHA, Draiocht, Dublin, The Model, Sligo, The Cross Gallery, Dublin and Solstice Arts Centre, Navan. I regularly show in group shows with the Catherine Hammond Gallery, West Cork, Greenacres, Wexford, The Mullan Gallery, Belfast and the Hamilton Gallery, Sligo.

EF: When is your next exhibition, and where?

MW: I am involved in a group exhibition for the Yeats 150 year celebration, which is being exhibited here in Sligo at the Hamilton Gallery and then travels to Madrid. And as mentioned my work can be seen at various galleries in a group context around the country. I recently showed a series of large-scale works on paper at the Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, and am currently further developing that series in studio. The artist’s lot is a fine balance between the making of work in studio and finding the time to promote that work and to apply to galleries and institutes to have it exhibited.

EF: What inspires your work?

MW: My work is almost entirely drawing-based and is driven by a fascination with themes of landscape, geography, time, memory and personal history. Using landscape as metaphor, the work engages with notions of weather and time, of a landscape in a state of flux, and of how memory of ‘place’ informs the mark-making process. I make large-scale charcoal drawings of landscapes that aim to engage with a personal dialogue of an incomplete or unreliable memory, as well as more intimate small-scale studies of the dereliction of habitation.
There is an immediacy to drawing that cannot be found in most forms of painting. Within the chosen medium of charcoal and wash there exists a wide and versatile imperfection of process, providing a vast monochrome palette of made marks, as well as the erasure of those same marks. It is in the smudge and drip and simple dirt of the medium that there exists both vital and flawed elements of mark-making, where the spontaneous and accidental become of equal importance to that of the rational and intentional. Process here can be interpreted as a meditative search for where these varying marks converge in the making of a landscape. In recent years I have become interested in portraiture, and completed a series of 24 self portraits entitled ‘Self-Assembly’, which was exhibited at The Model Sligo in April of 2014.

EF: How does this reflect on your workshops?

MW: I’m not all that sure, except to say that I teach in a very informal manner, encouraging people to find out for themselves the simple joy of drawing. It is gratifying to witness people developing their own keen interest in, say, landscape; in watching and teaching and pushing gently I’m often reminded of my own obsession with drawing. And further, I often find myself returning to my studio directly after a class and looking at my own work and seeing or questioning where it might improve. In watching students experiment with drawing, watching them excavate all the varying facets of it, I am sometimes reminded of techniques that I’ve forgotten or simply stopped using.
So it seems that while the workshops are providing an opportunity for people to learn and experience the act of charcoal mark-making, they also inform or vaguely re-invigorate my own work in some vital kind of way.

EF: How has the Model influenced your art?

MW: I’m vaguely wary of that word ‘influence’. But I can say, particularly since moving into Studio5 in 2009, that working alongside other artists and curators (not to mention the staff here) has enriched and inspired my experience of making work. For years I worked in relative isolation from my home in north Sligo, and developed an unhealthy feeling of being marginalised in my work. In working within The Model’s structure, it is easier and natural to communicate and exchange ideas with other artists both nationally and internationally.

I’ve had the opportunity on three separate occasions to showcase new work here at the Model, and this fact alone has certainly driven me to ‘up my game’ in the making of new work. And ‘The Art of Drawing’ being included in The Model’s Education programme is an immensely gratifying and pleasing thing to experience.

There is a wide and diverse progamme of contemporary exhibition and installation here at The Model Sligo, as well as the ongoing display of the Niland Collection. It’s a strange and inspiring notion in the knowledge that I can go downstairs whenever it pleases me, and within moments find myself immersed in the bright turmoil of a Jack Yeats painting or the odd calm of a Paul Henry. Or further, and more challengingly, find myself baffled and grappling to comprehend some inexplicable contemporary installation. It brings new thought and new weather to my own studio experience, and seems vital and enriching.

The Art of Drawing with Michael Wann begins again on Tuesday 03 February. To book a place in the workshop email mw@michaelwann.com

Posted By

Erin Fox

13 Dec. 2014

Christmas at The Model

Shelter from the cold and spend a relaxing afternoon at The Model where you can browse our exhibitions, do a spot of Christmas shopping in the bookshop and enjoy some seasonal treats in the festive surroundings of The Gallery Cafe!

We have a variety of gift ideas available in our bookshop and for the month of December we are offering a 20% discount on all books. Treat yourself and/or a loved one to The Niland Collection a beautiful catalogue containing specially commissioned texts on key works from the collection accompanied by full colour reproductions. We have many more books, film and music available including the Sligo Musicians Calendar 2015.

You can also shop for ceramics by Rachel Quinn and Lynda Gault, jewellery by Martina Hamilton, Made in Sligo Inisfree pens from Colm Breenan, horsehair pottery from Ian Carty, prints and cushions from Subadesigns and woodturned vessels by Matt Jones.

Catch our current exhibitions while they’re still here! _Into the Field _ and _Odey Curbelo Selects _ continue until January 11. An education pack on Into the Field is available for children at reception and gallery tours of the exhibitions take place every Saturday at 2pm.
Reminisce on Christmas memories in the cosy atmosphere of the foyer and share your favourite memory on a snowflake at the Christmas Memory Desk.

Round up your day with a delicious glass of mulled wine and homemade mince pies; just few of the many delicious snacks and beverages served by The Gallery Cafe every day.
We also have family activities lined up at the weekends as part of The Model’s first Christmas Cracker. You can find out more about the Christmas Cracker here

Posted By

Erin Fox

17 Oct. 2014

Director's Talk

Megan Johnston, our new Director has been with us just one month and already she has inspired The Model team with her exciting vision for the organisation’s future. Last week, during a public talk, she shared that vision with the public at her first, official Director’s Talk.

With over 20 years of experience in the Visual Arts and leadership fields, Megan has worked in leading galleries and museums both in Ireland and the US in which she has curated some spectacular exhibitions. During her time at the Millenium Court Arts Centre (MCAC) in Portadown, she built the national profile of the venue with great shows. Her ‘Seeing Orange’ and ‘Orange Segments’ exhibitions put the arts centre on the map internationally.

With exciting new exhibitions and events on the horizon, Megan’s aim is to reconnect The Model locally, nationally and internationally. The assets of The Model and Sligo are also imperative to strengthening The Model’s visibility on the map. When I asked her what she thinks The Model’s assets are she listed The Niland Collection, the strength of Irish art, the artist studios and the beautiful exhibition spaces, which are ideal for poetry readings and concerts as well as showcasing exhibitions.

Megan greatly appreciates the value of a permanent collection to a gallery as it creates an identity and she compares it to like seeing old friends. So we can expect to see much more of The Niland Collection, including possibly more events and activities surrounding the collection.

Family days are also on the horizon and possibly more youth related activities, which will attract more people locally. “The Model is Your Model”, she said to the audience. With her experience, talent and passion for arts and culture we can look forward to an exciting future with our new director!

You can now listen back to Megan’s talk and hear about her experience and plans in our Artist Talk Archives Johnston.

Posted By

Erin Fox

16 Sep. 2014

Studio+ feat. Helen Sharp and Simon Carman

Helen Sharp and Simon Carman will be working in the Studio+ process space from the 16th to the 20th of September. Helen and Simon will be create a collaborative collage work over the course of the week.

On Thursday the 18th at 4pm Outland Arts will be screening ‘i am here’, a short film by internationally acclaimed DJ and music producer David Holmes, shot by the legendary cinematographer Christopher Doyle, with production design by Outlander Helen Sharp.

The Studio+ process space will be open for informal meeting and chatting with the artists from Thursday 18th to Friday 19th September.

As part of her residency, Outlander Helen Sharp will be playing a selection of surfer, Hawaiian, chanson and country vinyl at the invitation of Sligo’s Vinyl Culture on Culture Night at Fureys between 10 – 11.30 on 19th.

Posted By

Erin Fox

10 Sep. 2014

Sat. 13th Sept: Floating World Show & Tell Day

Floating World, as part of Studio+, will be holding a show and tell day on Saturday 13th September in Room, from 2 till 5pm, where artists from the collective will be on hand talk about the thinking behind the works, and explain how they were made.

Floating World is made up of Artists from Northern Ireland, The Republic of Ireland, England and Japan.
Their books have been seen in a variety of contexts, from Enniskillen Town Hall to Tate Modern.

Recent exhibitions have included The University of Ulster Gallery and The Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast and the Tsaritsyno Museum in Moscow.

Posted By

Erin Fox

4 Sep. 2014

Studio+ brings Outland Arts to The Model

Diane Henshaw from Outland Arts is working in Room this week until September 05. All week the room will be open to visitors. Diane will be holding a studio tour with tea and cakes and informal meet the artist this Saturday 06 at 3pm.

Outland Arts is an artist-led organisation based in Fermanagh run by volunteers set up to promote and support the ethos of exhibiting contemporary art in rural locations and to support artists who practice involved ideas of the rural and the remote in its widest context. Artists involved must be feral at heart.

Floating World Artists Books will be holding a Show and tell day on Saturday 13 September in Room from 2-5pm. where artists from the collective will be on hand to talk about the thinking behind the works, and explain how they were made.

Helen Sharp and Simon Carman of Outland Arts will be working on Room from 16 – 20 September. Helen and Simon will be creating a collaborative work over the course of the week. On Thursday 18 at 4pm Outland Arts will be screening i am here, a short film by internationally renowned DJ and music producer David Holmes, shot by the legendary cinematographer Christopher Doyle, with Production Design by Outlander Helen Sharp. Room will be open for informal meeting and chatting with the artists from Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 September.

Posted By

Erin Fox

27 Aug. 2014

Artist Talks Archive

Did you miss an artist’s talk or an exhibition opening? Catch up on previous talks or relive the experience by visiting the Artist Talks Archive on our website where you can download and listen to artists in conversation.

Tune in to political cartoonist Nicholas Robinson at Yeats Day, or hear Susan Hiller at the opening of her first Irish solo exhibition, which is currently running here at The Model.

Also included in our archives is Arlene Mc Padden discussing her artistic practice. Arlene’s work can be seen as a metaphor for the discussion of integration and multiculturalism as a demographic model in western society. She uses classification as a form of process within the work, combining materials that highlight hybridisation.

Arlene, who was awarded the RDS Model Niland residency award in 2013 for her startling hybrid taxidermy work, will showcase a solo exhibition in the Hyde Bridge Gallery opening this Thursday August 28th at 7pm. The exhibition will run until September 7th.

Posted By

Erin Fox

27 Aug. 2014

Diane Henshaw at Room

Diane Henshaw from Outland Arts will be working in Room from Tuesday 02 to Friday 05 September in the first session from Studio+.

Diane graduated with her Degree in Fine Art from the University of Ulster in Belfast in 1995 and with her Masters in Fine Art from UUB in 2000 and has lived in Fermanagh for the past 12 years.
Her work is based on a process deconstructing drawing and then from fragments reassembling it in a new way with every new work. Her work takes elements of drawing, such as the line, and subjects the to the closest of scrutiny, testing them to the limits.

The process of risk taking, exploration and experimentation are underpinned by a conviction in the power of drawing as a medium, and a determination to assert its continued relevance.

Diane will be happy to talk to visitors to the space during her time in Room next week. She will also be holding a Studio tour with tea and cakes and informal meet the artist on Saturday 06 at 3pm.

Posted By

Erin Fox

9 Jul. 2014

Sneak peak at Susan Hiller Exhibition

This week we are busy preparing for the opening of Susan Hiller’s first solo Irish exhibition this weekend. The installations are almost completed and here is a sneak peak of what will be revealed on Saturday!

Posted By

Erin Fox

3 Jun. 2014

Save the Date!

The Model is excited to announce the first Irish solo exhibition with the seminal conceptual artist Susan Hiller this summer.

Hiller will be in attendance at the opening and will take part in a public discussion regarding her artistic practice with art critic Francis McKee at 5pm on Sat. 12 July.

Hiller, a highly influential artist, has created an outstanding and diverse body of work over the last 40 years. Often inspired by postcards, place-names, automatic writing and newspaper articles, Hiller probes questions of memory, loss, the sub-conscious, and the uncanny in a practice she describes as ‘paraconceptual’.

Early booking for this very special event is crucial.

Posted By

Erin Fox

28 Feb. 2014

Materials and Perception Masterclass

Anyone who visits the galleries here will find it hard not to get lost, gazing at the wonderful thread installations by Mark Garry. At a first glance they are barely visible, on closer inspection one might think that someone let a real rainbow loose in the room. The rainbow spectrums are just one of many wonderful elements in A Winter Light.

Materials and Perception a masterclass run by the artist himself took place last weekend. This explored a number of methods Mark Garry uses in his installation practice including the famous thread installations. I was lucky to get a last minute spot in the class and I would have been sorry had I missed out. Not being an artist, I was apprehensive about attending an installation master class, but being drawn to the exhibition I was also excited to learn and explore new skills.

Saturday morning began with Mark giving us a guided tour of A Winter Light. This was followed by a short presentation on some of Mark’s personal interests and what inspires him. These included videos of 1920s ballet Das Triadische and one of Mark’s personal heroes, John Cage

We then collaborated together to create optical illusion style art. In doing this, we learned the techniques Garry employs in his installation practice. Each of us were given pens to draw parallel lines down a sheet of paper. Once the entire sheet had been filled, we repeated the process with two new colours. Our finished sheets were attached side by side to the wall. We then selected strands of theads that complemneted the colour of the ink and pinned lenghts of them over the sheets. Doing this created an optical illusion effect. Learning the process of how the rainbow spectrums are created made me appreciate them all the more. Visually they are stunning but knowing how much work and care is put into them makes them that little bit more special.

In the afternoon we worked as a group on a larger installation using brightly coloured ribbon, string and fine mesh netting. In a lot of Garry’s work he uses every day materials in different ways; for example, thread to create the famous rainbow spectrum. We assessed the room and our presence in that space. As a group of ten, our installation grew and became dense with materials. Mark encouraged us to step back and look at it objectively before removing some elements to make the installation visually stronger.

Sunday morning began by folding colourful paper to form origami masks. Mark has used origami in practice in the past and there is an origami leaf in the current exhibition. The masks were later used by us for a performance piece about movement and shadows.

Throughout the day we made new installations using the same methods and materials from Saturday. We created our own individual installations before working as a group to create a simpler one which was the backdrop for the performance piece.

Materials and Perception was a new experience for me. I feel that the intention of the master class was to open people’s minds about installation art, what it involves and its processes. Through taking part in this I know I’ll look at installation art with a fresh perspective and I will appreciate it more.

Previous Page

Posted By

Erin Fox

Related Programming