A review of ‘Construct, Deconstruct, Reconstruct’ an exhibition at Hive Emerging Gallery Waterford
20th June- 5th July
Second, third and final year students from the Department of Creative and Performing Arts at the Waterford Institute of Technology have gathered together to re-contextualise their current visual art practises. Their final year pieces are re-made within the gallery space.
This exhibition comes in two parts. Firstly the show that takes place from June 20th to July 5th. This is comprised of video installations, painting, print and sculpture. The second part of the show consists of performances, which will take place on the evening of July 3rd. The props for these performances are in situ in the gallery for the duration of the exhibition.
Curatorial consideration has been given to allow for plenty of space around each artwork. The work of seven artists is on display. Those artists being Aideen Mc Guire, Amii Mc Guinness, Clare Foley, Eoin Coffey, Kerry Foley, Liz Jane Giani and Patrick Codd.
Kerry Foley’s and Clare Foley’s work is on view in the front room of Hive Emerging. Kerry’s sculpture consists of three big blob-like bulges that imitate bodily flesh and lie on a chaise lounge and two armchairs. On the walls are the delicately embossed prints of Clare Foley’s. Unlike Kerry’s bulges, which are impossible to miss, Clare’s prints require close inspection and attention to detail.
Walking down a corridor deeper into the hive you hear an eerie sound. Following the noise you comes across a video installation by Amii Mc Guinness. This piece has an impression on all the senses. Entering into a darkened narrow low-ceilinged tunnel made from black plastic you sit on a battered looking chair to watch a video of the sea flowing in and out around that chair. Hearing the waves beneath the unusual sound, smelling the plastic and feeling warm. Seeing a slimy substance on the wall reflecting the blue-green light from the video. It is quite hypnotic and left me feeling quite confused spacialy as I emerged from the tunnel.
Liz-Jane Giani’s installation appears in this room, a booth to sit in and a monitor showing people talking about happiness, sadness, their likes and dislikes. This talking having been recorded as they sat in the booth and confessed. This piece by Giani was installed at Garter Lane Art Centre’s ‘First View’ exhibition, but not as her final Degree Show piece. Unfortunately having not been around for the opening of the show on the 20th of June I feel her piece was slightly lost on me, having not experienced it full effects.
The back room of Hive Emerging is full of props for the art performances that will take place on July 3rd. Amongst these pieces (that have yet to be activated) is Patrick Codd’s projection. It shines immediately catching the eye when you enter the dimness of the room. It is a film projected onto pieces of overlapping wood that are tacked together to form a canvas of sorts. The projection is slow moving, it is the changing of light over a river scape at dusk. Jewel-like blues and greens glow seductively. There is a great quality of depth, as if you were looking out a window at the scene. Codd gives us a moving painting that transfixed me.
Aideen Mc Guire’s performance prop and video installation is found in a brightly lit room that dazzles you upon entering. Her video is a recording of her performance done at W.I.T. She plays on the piano over the sound of other piano recordings. This creates a discordant sound, which can be heard throughout other parts of the exhibition. Impressively however it does not impact upon the sound from Amii Mc Guinness’s installation. The piano is used by Mc Guire as a tool to investigate the relationship between the body and the mind. She will be performing her piece again on the evening of July 3rd.
I did not see the final work of W.I.T students in situ at the college. Essentially the exhibition at Hive Emerging is a re-making of the students work. The change of location altered some site specific installations. The artists attempted to re-create a similar atmosphere for their works, but inevitably there were some things they could not copy exactly. One artist had to re-make part of his work after destroying it immediately post the Degree Show. Whether or not these unavoidable adjustments were for better or worse, and I cannot make judgement here, they certainly allow the art works to develop in unexpected ways. This can only be a positive. All of the artists in this exhibitions are current students at W.I.T or have just finished. The quality of the work is experimental and gives room for growth. I will look forward to seeing their work flourish in the future.