To The House Fire Dead
An Exhibition By Denis Buckley
Preview: Friday, 6th of September at 6 pm. Exhibitions runs from Sep 7th – 22nd.
126 is pleased to present “To The House Fire Dead” by Denis Buckley. Witnessing the aftermath of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire and particularly the community response under the still burning building was inspiration for London based Irish artist Denis Buckley in exploring post-colonial love and loss.
The exhibition offers an alternative narrative on immigrant contribution than that often heard during the Brexit debate. Conflating a critique of the absence of biographical detail in Don McCullin’s 1969 photograph “Homeless Irishman” with the evidence of unspoken charity, Buckley identifies in suffering a commonality shared by all.
A new film work “Blank History”, shot in Kerry and London, will be screened in its own sound insulated cinema. A story narrative mural, running along a combined length of 12 meters, covers the cinema’s exterior walls. The mural shows the fire, its aftermath and highlights the resilience of community under London’s ever changing skyline.
The unsuccessful search to name both the homeless Irishman and a man the artist saw pulled dead from the river Thames is acknowledged in the other moving image work making up the exhibition. In Monument “To The House Fire Dead” the artist creates an ephemeral and silent monument to all the unnamed lost.
A series of large drawings in paint marker, hung scroll like make up the installation.
Admission is free and all are welcome.
Denis Buckley was born in Co Kerry and studied at Limerick School of Art before moving to London in 1985. There he joined the UK’s longest running performance group The People Show, devising and touring with the company for ten years. After this he took solo social interventions, street action and performance worldwide He has organised the UK’s first festival of street intervention, published essays,
written articles instigated numerous discussions and agitated at public forums. He was involved in turning the Bethnal Green Working Man’s Club into London’s most prolific venue for alternative and LGBTQ performance. He was the club’s first Artist in Residence. He has won awards, film competitions, received commissions and funding. He has been selected for group and solo shows in the UK and Ireland. He has long been an active member of his housing co-operative and campaigns for the survival of similar
smaller London co-ops.
The main theme of his 30+-year practice is the physical and conceptional role of an artist in society. From painting to street action, film, performance, essays and discourse, the question of art and the artist’s tangible effect on society has always been central.