Baroque Excess at NCAD installation

The use of wallpaper in my art is to make the art itself as much a part of the architecture as possible. This piece of art is about the history of the National College of Art and Design. It isn’t intended to be a traditional sort of history it is a visual, imaginative history displayed through a mixed media installation. Now-a-days the past isn’t seen as having significance and it no longer carries the weight of historical meaning(s). ‘Baroque Excess at NCAD’ is a visual history that doesn’t try to say any one particular thing. The painted wallpaper, plaster casts and photos steer one in a direction, but don’t propose anything concrete. It this fluidity that helps to create an imaginative history. It hints and suggests at the historical narrative of the college. My aim in this installation was to form a way of historicising in a post modern world. The history I am tracing is the connection between the Thomas Street Powers Distillery and the history of the college as an art institution. The institution used plaster cast of statues and friezes as a basis for its art education. Students would learn how to draw from copying these plaster casts. In the 1970s this type of art education ended. This art work questions the complete end of this type of art education – was it a good or a bad thing to lock up the plaster casts? My current practice focuses on a particular awareness of things in places and architectural sites, which may not always be immediately observed. The visual motifs of a place play a part in forming its history.

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