Studio 11, Belfast
Artists: Aaron Hughes, Daniel Berry, Andrew Train, Gareth Martin
So it is….
An Artists response to the contemporary culture of Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland is changing. In the past year the province has watched whilst the south of Ireland has become the first Nation to vote independently on same sex marriage. This vote not only signals the onset of the LGBT community having an equal right to marry who they want but also signals a sort of paradigm shift in public opinion.
But still in the North we watch through our fingers at a generation who still hold on to the past.
In the past year people watched in disbelief whilst a well known preacher was quoted as saying that ‘ISIS and homosexuals are God’s punishment on Europe’. A similar preacher described an entire religion as Satanic.
In our archaic laws on abortion women are still not totally in control of their bodies. Instead that power is held by men in robes and those who refer to carbon dating as a ‘Satanic trick’. New terms have been accepted into our lexicon like ‘fleg’ and ‘gay cake’. Both terms represent opposing ends of this cultural shift, the ‘fleg’ representing the conflict of the past whilst the argument over the ‘gay cake’ representing the post conflict sentiments of the present.
Feeling a sense of underrepresentation a group of artists have responded to some these changes in Zeitgeist feeling ‘caught in the middle’ They represent a growing minority who are mostly young, liberal, generally not religious or have moderate beliefs, do not pander to a particular religious/cultural factions one sided ideology and/or admit that each side is as bad as the other.
Through this exhibition they have presented artwork based on their own experiences of NI in a contemporary and typically sardonic fashion
I started this painting as I felt I hadn’t done anything ‘big’ in a while. The painting is actually pretty different than the one I set out to make but Im unusually pleased with it. Whilst I’m still not 100% convinced of the style I think I can take away some aspects I think the decision to blend the clothes with the bending background was a successful one, the background was directly based on the floor of the s-21 prison. The figure was from one of the few photos I found that had the subject taken from two different angles, I took the decision to step away from the more somber images I had been making and try out something that was somewhat removed from the event.
I am trying to push the subject matter into something more obscure. The large coloured pieces are ok but dont bring anything new, they are just ordinary paintings. Nothing special. But these sketches are something a bit different looking at the painting close up you firstly view the negative space and the squares then the features when you move away. This was painted with ink but I would like to use oils on a large canvas, maybe a series of paintings.
These are the original images below they have been edited to show higher contrast.
This is a bit of a change from the Cambodia pictures but I decided I needed a break from painting monochrome. The influence was from Kwang Ho Shin’s paintings of hands, feet and limbs. I wanted to try the same sort of abstract representational style.I wante to be able to play with the viscosity of the paint, especially trying to water down the Oils as much as possible. The mixing of so many colours oes make the paint look muddy, I wanted the colours to mix but not into a browning colour as seen here. I will try less colours in future.