Lost somewhere between Perception and Reality

plate by Claire Halpin
Claire Halpin:  ‘Migrant Souvenir Plate 1, Cyprus – Island of Venus’

God be with the days when dedicated journalists went to the ends of the earth to bring us the news. Not many of them around anymore, unfortunately.

So how do we get to the truth? – Listen more carefully? Ask more questions? Read more disparate versions? Think about what we read? Yes to all of these, I’d say, because we just can’t take the news at face value anymore.

And what has all this to do with art?  Well, Olivier Cornet is curating an exhibition at Vue at the RHA this year and he and his motley crew of artists are exploring this intriguing subject. The show is entitled: ‘Somewhere between Perception and Reality’.

“Maybe”, he says, “maybe Art can help us navigate the tortuous roads of reality by asking us to look again and again, to consider how others perceive our world. Then we might see theirs, or at least find some common ground…”

Plate by Claire Halpin
Claire Halpin: Detail from ‘Migrant Souvenir Plate 1, Cyprus – Island of Venus’

The plate at the top of the page is a piece by Claire Halpin. (by the way, Halpin has been shortlisted for the 2018 Savills Prize,  and the award winner will be announced tonight at the RHA). Yes, it’s a souvenir plate from Cyprus but wait! – Not all is as it seems. As you can see in the second photo, she has added a minute detail to the piece, she painted in a rubber dinghy laden with refugees…

Yes indeed, Halpin is concerned with how we perceive and interpret images and how the context in which they are viewed influences our reading of them. Her work raises questions about how we choose to record history and examines the veracity of painting, photography and the media in documenting “future history”.

You can read more about her work here.

painting by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

And finally, see above, my own piece for the exhibition. It’s a watercolour based on a painting by Caspar David Friedrich entitled: Der einsame Baum (1822). This can be translated alternatively as the ‘solitary tree’ or the ‘lone tree’ or the ‘lonely tree’.  I decided that it probably wasn’t a happy tree anyway, having been struck by lightning or perhaps been ravaged by wind and rain for too long.

Of course there’s also a reference there to the surrealist artist René Magritte’s Ceci n’est pas une pipe (1929) but that’s another story. I’ll stop now as my head is beginning to hurt.

Drop into Vue 2018, Ireland’s National Contemporary Art Fair at the RHA Gallagher Gallery – Tonight Thursday (preview evening), 6 – 8 pm, or Friday, 11 am – 7 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 11 am – 6 pm.  For more information, click here

But just one more item of news for you – That tree was part of my series of paintings for “Deireadh Fómhair”, my current solo show at the Olivier Cornet Gallery – and it was reviewed by the Irish Times art critic Aidan Dunne on Tuesday. He gives it Four Stars!  You can read it here  (the second half of the article deals with my show)



Aidan Dunne review




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