Catalyst Arts and Lismore Castle Arts present
In a Certain Light
Featuring works by Alessandra Giacinti, Liam Crichton, John Duncan, Jacqueline Holt and Stephen Madden
9 March – 14 April 2013
Lismore Castle Arts: St Carthage Hall
The works selected for In a Certain Light engage with ideas surrounding alternative narratives and shifting physical and liminal spaces in a variety of media, including drawing, sculpture and photography.
In ‘Cruise Calls Belfast’, John Duncan documents the changing physical, political and economic landscape of Belfast. Tourists were an unusual sight during ‘The Troubles’, but tourism is now an everyday part of the Northern Ireland economy with a resulting emphasis on brand identity. These images (made between 2007 and 2012) show tourists visiting the site of the city’s former shipyard that is now dwarfed by the new Titanic Visitor Centre. Cruise ships – superstructures that have the appearance of floating hotels – dock here while their passengers visit the city. In the foreground, paving stones for Belfast’s public realm project ‘Streets Ahead’ are being stored prior to the re-landscaping of the area as part of the Titanic tourist trail, marking Belfast as a city in-flux that constantly evolves and reshapes.
Jacqueline Holt’s installation ‘International Style’ consists of a print that appears to have slipped onto the floor next to a free standing wall emitting the soft glow of an unseen yellow light, hinting at another presence. Originally shown in the University of Ulster, ‘International Style’ references the changing architectural status of this building, which is currently in the process of a major new redevelopment. The work engages with the past and present function of space and becomes more poignant in the context of the refurbished St Carthage Hall; a building with a number of past architectural lives.
Alessandra Giacinti’s three modest drawings are an exercise in the economic use of line and space. She depicts a table centre piece that becomes animated; a portable city garden with handles; an urban night-time performance leads to an open doorway into another world. Seemingly ordinary objects and vistas touched by the artist elevate themselves above the everyday and are able to exist in a new, imaginary space.
The mirrored sculpture ‘Witch Dance’ appears to constantly shift and is sometimes barely visible, existing halfway between our field of vision and another plane, a liminal object. Using seemingly simple, ordinary materials, Liam Crichton’s sculpture references the story of a marshland witch-hunt, the rock salt symbolic of a cleansing agent to drive out the devil and purify. Rich with autobiographic meaning linked to his upbringing in Scotland, ‘Witch Dance’ juxtaposes rural and urban and past and present, contrasting the hard angles of mirrored glass with the coarse earthiness of salt.
Stephen Madden’s careful re-appropriation of two everyday materials has resulted in an object that is at once familiar and recognisable as a utility tool but at the same time has truly transformed into a delicate art object. Useful yet ornamental, through a shift in the perception of the ‘everyday’ ‘Brush’ questions notions surrounding the construction of value.
John Duncan‘s photography deconstructs the metropolis of the Peace Process, the ceasefires and the influx of capital investment that have transfigured the urban cityscape of the last decade. Duncan’s current work finds Belfast between loss and redemption, transient through a redefinition of cultural, social and material values in process of transforming the city.
Jacqueline Holt moved to Belfast from London in 2010. Her installations incorporate sculpture, photography, film and print, forming spatial relationships between individual works. Her work is concerned with the nuances of difference within hierarchies relating to the political, social and cultural order in contemporary society.
Alessandra Giacinti graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Rome, in 2006 and recently studied painting under Prof. Peter Doig at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. She works with painting, drawing and printmaking to develop a personal iconography informed by the imagery of quotidian dreaming.
Liam Crichton, a born and bred Gallovidian, graduated in Sculpture from Edinburgh College of Art 2010 and is now based in Belfast. His developing area of interest centres around the liminal expanse between life in the rural setting and life in the urban environment, the pastoral and the industrial – the idyllic and the seemingly baleful.
Stephen Madden is a Belfast-based artist currently completing his second year as an MFA student at the University of Ulster, Belfast, and graduate of the Cooper Union, New York in 2009. Madden works in painting, sculpture and installation. His current practice explores the theatrical within today’s high-tech society, showing key interest in subjects such as hyperreality, simulation and semiotics. Madden has exhibited his work in various galleries throughout New York, Massachusetts and Northern Ireland.
Catalyst Arts is a Belfast-based, artist-led organisation established in 1993. It is run by a group of voluntary directors who manage the gallery on a two-year rolling basis, ensuring that the organisation supports new directors and exhibits a perpetually changing, ambitious contemporary arts programme. Over the last 20 years Catalyst has promoted and supported cutting edge art practices and practitioners in Belfast and continues to serve as a training ground for emerging artists, curators and arts administrators.
For more information visit www.catalystarts.org.uk
Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 1 – 6 pm. Admission free
Lismore Castle Arts: St Carthage Hall, Chapel Street, Lismore, Co Waterford, Ireland
T: 058 54061, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.lismorecastlearts.ie