Sculpture versus Painting

' up to me neck '
Here’s a photo of my studio at the moment.  Ok, you probably think it’s a mess, and I have to admit that it’s not the tidiest it’s ever been.  But there’s a reason for this um, confusion, and it relates back to my days in the National College of Art & Design in Dublin.

I was in the Painting department; at that time you had to choose between Painting, Sculpture or Print.  If you asked me, I would say that the Sculpture people looked down on the painters.  They seemed to think that painters were only interested in making money (because they could sell their paintings) and that the sculptors’ work was the only pure art, ie: art for art’s sake.  Now I never agreed with this narrow view of art; in fact I nearly joined the Sculpture department but I joined Painting instead because I could try my hand at anything in the Painting department, whereas in Sculpture, I could do anything – as long as it wasn’t Painting!

So now, as I prepare for my exhibition in The Bourn Vincent Gallery in Limerick, I have paintings and sculptures in my studio.  The time for painting is over for now (because I have to be sure that they will be dry in time).  I still have time to work on my sculptures for another while.  What I’m doing is figuring out the technical details of “Celtic Towers”, an installation of used coffee cups that will be set up in the middle of the gallery.  I’m lucky to have a reasonably large studio to work in but I have to admit that it gets a bit crowded just before a show.

Actually it’s often a bit crowded in this studio because I have a habit of collecting stuff and bringing home ‘bits’ that could possibly be useful at some stage in the future.   Recently for instance, I ‘acquired’ a large quantity of old, yellowing newspapers.  There’s no doubt in my mind that these will form part of some wonderful piece of art in the not-too-distant future ( ! ).

Anyway, the way I see it, some ideas require a 3 dimensional response, sometimes a painting is more appropriate.  It depends.     


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