A Stairwell is an interesting space, don’t you think. It is neither on one floor nor on the next, it’s an in-between space. It’s a place of interaction or chance encounters, as in “The meeting on the Turret stairs”, that famous watercolour by Frederic William Burton in the National Gallery. It also marks out the differences between the floors – upstairs/downstairs. It’s a metaphor, don’t you know.
I’ve often thought that it would be an interesting space to hold an art exhibition, either on a grand Georgian stairwell or even on a humble domestic one…
But I was over in Gerard Cox’s studio recently to photograph his prints before exhibition. It was a real privilege to see the works up close. I really liked his “Museum Stairwell” (seen above). Gerard graduated from NCAD, Dublin in 1979 and then went on to Düsseldorf Art Academy for an extra year of sculpture. In 1983 and he won the Guinness Peat Aviation Award for Emerging Artists. Since then he has exhibited in Ireland, England, Germany, Korea and Japan.
And he’s been making woodblock prints since 1999. It was these prints I was photographing but I couldn’t help but notice the collection of assorted sculptures outside his back window. All sorts of intriguing organic shapes and sizes. Lumpar agus lampar, gan dabht. Of course, he’s completed several public and private commissions over the years – if you’re ever in the Botanic Gardens, look out for the great big one carved from a fallen tree.
The prints were intended for the curated group show “Relief”, now on at the Graphic Studio Dublin Gallery. Other artists in the show included: Jenny Lane, Louise Leonard, Michael Lyons, Alice Maher, Maser and Mary Plunkett. And they got a nice mention in Aidan Dunne’s Irish Times article: “The best art exhibitions this week”!
But, if you happen to know of any stairwell that might be handy or suitable for an exhibition, you might let me know? Or maybe you have a big stairwell yourself that’s just crying out for a nice new piece of art? Didn’t you read all about it in last Sunday’s paper – the stairs is the perfect place for your art in 2018!
Your comments, always welcome (down below)