(Graduate Show 126)
Longina Wentrys | Sian Costello | Vincent Kelly
126 Artist-run Gallery is pleased to present the work of three students who recently graduated from art schools around the Republic of Ireland. These remarkable artists finished off their educational experience online and remotely, without the ability to have a physical exhibition of their work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 126 created this paid opportunity for graduates to show their work which has been the culmination of years of education and hard work. 126 is delighted to bring together these three artists, whose work connect in subtly and more overt ways, across Ireland, a thread of connectivity in situation, artistic theme and content, connect these artists practices.
Longina Wentrys (Crawford College of Art and Design)
The work is a record of my utopian imagination about common weeds in the urban environment, offering visual balance between the overwhelming mass of concrete and greenery of ugly plants. Abandoned nooks of cities, covered with debris and sediment, railway sidings, ditches filled with polluted water, where the only form of life are weeds. It is never clear whether we are looking at natural processes or at the results of man-made catastrophe. This is an attempt to emphasize that the concept of a weed makes sense only in relation to people. These unwanted plants have become an indispensable part of the urban landscape and, although undesirable, they are benefitting the ecosystem. My work offers a visual hybrid referring to a human’s relationship with his urban surroundings, the utopian makes up for future balance.
Sian Costello (Limerick School of Art and Design)
Sian Costello is a recent graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design, painting department. Sian Costello is an artist and current Fine Art student at Limerick School of Art & Design, recently selected as an artist in residence at Winsor & Newton. The Camera Obscura is a major influence in Costello’s painting. Using cat-and-mouse style videos and macro details, she looks at the translation of life to film and the traditional artist-sitter dynamic.
Just as St. Veronica encountered Christ at the brink of crucifixion, imprinting his sweaty countenance into the fibres of her cloth, these sitters find themselves moulded into oily figures, irremovable from their canvas. Life painting represents this return from the ethereal to the earthly, the tactile and undoubting. Illuminated in procession with the projected image, this visual transition acts as the model steps out from the screen; a corporeal reality comes jolting into place once the veil has been lifted. Whereas the portraits knit corporeality into their material, the individuals who came and went in the portrait process are rooted in the canvas.
Vincent Kelly (National College of Art and Design)
I named my paintings “Riddle Me This” in reference to puzzles where they are solved by having an awareness of one’s surroundings. The images I paint are things I see on a day to day basis. I see tall buildings, long stretching roads, vast expanses of untouched countryside, harbours filled with boats, empty derelict houses and buildings, old imposing architecture, bright L.E.D. artificial lights, signposts, even the occasional cracks and patterns of a floor.
I want people to see the world through my eyes to gather an understanding of modernity s impact on the world around us from rural to urban Ireland the characteristics, the charms, the expanses that make up these areas and space’s.
My paintings are highly detailed and strategically arranged around the space that is the canvas or surface I have decided to depict my day to day life on, the paintings are not easy to read nor are they easy to navigate they are a maze requiring the viewer to become comfortable with getting there focus interrupted and diverted in order to look into the spaces between the positive and negative shapes.
It is also a requirement for the viewer to move and contort their body while viewing my artwork to view the painting in its entirety, This brings a physical motion into the act of viewing a painting instead of having the image move for you, the viewer move for it.
I am highly inspired by the artworks of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and his use of a repulsive, artificial colour pallet and his relation to modernism and the flatness of how he painted on the surface of the canvas rather than into it like a classical artist would, also, Caravaggio I am also very fond of his depictions of biblical storey’s and text’s and also the way he pints into space and his utilisation of light and darks.
I am also inspired by Film Noire and the use of scene lighting and image composition, I am also inspired by contemporary artists such as Ryan Hewett’s paintings of the figure and his use of colour and abstracted form and use of intersecting lines.