Performance, Painting and Practicalities

Photograph by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

“You don’t deliver art to the gallery”, he said, “you don’t deliver art, rolled up under your arm, ready to hang on the wall. No, no”, he said, “art is up here” (he pointed to his right temple).  Then he went on to tell me all about his artists’ collective, a group of people who seemed to roam the world, making art out of… whatever they encountered.

Mmmm, so that’s where art was! I’d been wondering about this for a while. Especially since I had recently nearly broken my back, carrying a colossal roll of fine art prints through airport terminals, up and down escalators, onto packed buses, across crazy main streets with crazy, maniacal drivers, up rickety staircases… To tell the truth, I had just delivered art – all the way from Dublin to Tbilisi, Georgia.  Had I made a terrible mistake?

Performance Art – there was quite a lot of it at Artisterium this year, the Tbilisi International Contemporary Art Exhibition. I dunno. We met up with two Performance artists over there.  Jennifer Hicks told us that when she graduated from art college, she was a painter, then she ventured into Installation art and now she was doing Performance. She said she liked very little of what she saw in Painting these days and… I know what she means – there’s either the obsessively photo realistic work on the one hand and on the other, there’s the blob of pink paint on a blank canvas with a match stuck into it, sort of thing. But then there’s Ledoh. That’s the fellow in the photo above. He makes an instant impression, wouldn’t you say?  Performance is when you use your own body as your ‘canvas’ – and I don’t mean that you pour paint all over yourself (although some of them do, and not only paint but muck and food and such… ). The thing is though, you can use whatever’s around you. It’s practical, I suppose.

performance by Eoin Mac Lochlainn
Performance in the National Gallery

And I did a performance piece once. D’you remember? Yes, that was me in the National Gallery of Ireland. You can read about it at:

Anyway I’m back in Dublin now and I was at an artist’s talk last night. Geraldine O’Neill (see below) What do you think of that? That’s not just photo realist, is it? And it was really interesting to hear her talk about it. Now I don’t mean to be too black and white here. I just wanted to put it out there, so many different forms of art – Which of these images would you prefer?

Oil Painting by Geraldine O'Neill

( here’s some links to the people I mentioned )


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