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CCUPY

ISSUE 1
GRADUATE
SPECIAL
2 Occupy Paper Graduate Special 3

CONTENTS
In the Gallery

CCUPY
‘Symbiosis’
Group Show by Wickham Street Studio Members 04

Graduate Special
Aoife Barrett
Occupy Paper is a new online Limerick School of Art and Design 16
publication for contemporary art, E
velyn Broderick
Limerick School of Art and Design 18
which will run alongside the visual art Marie-Louise Clogher
Limerick School of Art and Design 20
programme in place in Occupy Space. Aoife Cox
Limerick School of Art and Design 22
Sandra Hickey
Occupy Space is one of Limericks newest exhibition Limerick School of Art and Design 24
spaces, located on Thomas street. It has been set up to Meagan Hyland
facilitate an ever expanding need for artistic exhibition Limerick School of Art and Design 26
spaces in Limerick. It is an artist led project, run by members Aidan Kelleher
Limerick School of Art and Design 28
of Wickham Street Studios on a voluntary basis. Occupy
Suzanne van der Lingen
Space is committed to delivering a relentlessly energetic National College of Art and Design 30
programme of exhibitions and events. Submissions Tadhg McCullagh
Limerick School of Art and Design 32
Our intention is that this space will be a central axis for a Lisa O”Donnell
huge variety of creative people to experiment and present Occupy paper is a free Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology 34
their work. The organization encourages openness and online journal published Cian O’Donoghue
accessibility to artists and the visiting public alike, and monthly or bi-monthly. Limerick School of Art and Design 36
aims to provide an open solid platform for the visual arts. We are actively looking Molly O’Dwyer
Our program involves hosting exhibitions of emerging and for contributors to write National College of Art and Design MFA 38
established artists, with a strong emphasis on exhibiting articles, essays, and reviews. Orlagh Spain
those based in Limerick. Occupy Space also hosts other Occupy paper accepts Limerick School of Art and Design 40
artist led projects such as artists talks, seminars and all submissions related to Jane Sugrue
collaborative events with other creative practitioners and contemporary art practice Limerick School of Art and Design 42
organizations. from painting and print Ian Walsh
Limerick School of Art and Design 44
to sculpture, video and
beyond.If you would like
This new visual art journal is intended to expand on the to be included in the focus
exhibitions and events happening in the gallery as well section please send a CV, Focus
as provide a platform for critique and dialogue between 5-10 images and a short Gerry Davis
emerging and established artists in Limerick and beyond. statement about your work. Wickham Street Studios, Limerick 46
Artists, critical writers and other art practitioners are invited All submissions should be
to submit to the journal and engage with it as a means of sent by email to :
testing, experimenting, developing and expanding on new
ideas and concepts. occupy.space@gmail.com
4 Occupy Paper Graduate Special 5

Wickham Street Studios was set up in May 2009 to provide affordable studio spaces for
artists and an outlet for its members to be part of a wider artistic community. It currently
has 12 artist members, Ramon Kassam, Kevin O Keeffe, Tom Prendergast, Aoife Flynn,
Laura McMorrow, Aislinn O’Keeffe, Paraic Leahy, Gerry Davis, Paul Rathigan, Emmet

In the Gallery
Kierans, Noelle Collins and Sean Guinan. W.S.S has since become one of Limericks key
arts organisations and are responsible for the establishment of Occupy Space. The
shows title refers to the relationship between W.S.S and Occupy Space but also the
relationship between studios and galleries in general. Symbiosis provided the public with
Symbiosis the opportunity to engage with some of the processes and ideas being undertaken by
current studio members.
Wickham Street Studios Group Show The show previewed Thursday 10th of June 7-9pm and ran until 26th June
6 Occupy Paper Graduate Special 7

Ramon Kassam

Symbiosis Ramon Kassam’s practice sites itself within the idea
that any element that is part of the make up of a
painting practice can call to mind certain degrees
of suggestibilities. This in turn creates multiple
mythological parallel universes for painting to
situate itself within. By utilizing and exploiting these
notions, Ramon’s objective is to establish a means
of expression that is appropriate for grand themes,
could express the experience of contemporary
society and comprehend some of the different
Tom Prendergast kinds of complex realities that exist within it, through
something as absurd as a painting practice. In concept,
Tom Prendergast’s work explores landscape the practice focuses on art history, painting critique, notions
through mediums such paint and collage. of the painter, but importantly it investigates how we make
sense of paintings in relation to how we understand them to
be categorized, in accordance to what we already know or
take for granted about them or similar looking devices.He
goes about this business by mostly making paintings much
akin to answering a question with another question, further
highlighting the absurdity of the practice and institute of
painting and art making.

Laura McMorrow
Laura McMorrow’s work is inviting yet
unpredictable. Her diverse combination of
Aoife Flynn materials gently leads viewers to unexpected
Gerry Davis discoveries. These deceptively simple works
present humorously profound situations
Gerry talks My recent work has evolved from previous work, which sought
memory, lost time, and hints of the absent-present in landscapes, her simplicity in reinventing found objects
people, and objects. Working from a base of imagery culled from creates a complex pictorial space, and
about his memory, photographs, mass media and my surroundings, I am raises questions about subject-object
interested in creating multiple connections and relations rather hierarchy, and combinative logic.The scale
practice than fixed and isolated pieces and which concern the perception
of our reality.This project takes its inspiration and title from the
of the work tends to be small and aims to
provoke curiosity in the viewers, encouraging
and recent Philip K Dick novel ‘Time Out of Joint’. In it the main character, an
ordinary man leading an ordinary suburban life, begins to suspect them to look closer and examine the pieces
as if they are artefacts in a museum. The work is
exhibition in that the world around him is an illusion, constructed for the express
purpose of keeping him docile and happy. As the novel progresses concerned with the processes of collecting, and

the Focus the protagonist suffers from a breakdown of his ‘idios kosmos’ or
personal reality and the objective, shared reality (koinos kosmos)
appropriation in an attempt to understand such issues
as orientation, perception, place and belonging.
emerges more clearly, exposing him to the reality he has created
section on to shield himself from the brutal truth of a world out of control. It is
this conflict of realities that interests me, trying to account for the
page 37. diversity of worlds that people live in. The format of the book creates
a one-dimensionality that the protagonist perceives in the world and
asks us to look beyond this.
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Sean Guinan
My practice is comfortable with the idea
that painting is a matter of subjective
aesthetics. The wrong can be right and the
right can be wrong, as is the case in much of
my work. I am interested in notions of ‘good’
painting and ‘bad painting’, and how these
can be manipulated to form engaging
peculiarities, including ambiguous stylistic
variations and allusive conveyance. My
work isn’t quite sure what it is or what it wants
to be. It is almost searching for a way out of
perplexion, ambivalence, inconsistency and
contradiction.
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Paraic Leahy Kevin O’Keeffe
Relying on childlike or reconcile ideas When I was working the bottom of
adolescent content, of dichotomy – a in the National the picture plane
my work aims to division between Galleries of Scotland which is ratio 2:1
create absurd two things - The I watched a woman (sometimes 16:9). An
otherworldly scenes. real and unreal, who was standing awkward feature is
By juxtaposing the tenable and before a self portrait then placed within
images together untenable - trying by Rembrandt. that landscape to
from a variety of to create a conflict Though the glass was offset the literal,
sources, I aim to within the work supposed to be non- traditional reading.
create curiosity in reflective, she begin Varnish is poured for
the viewer through a to fix her hair and a reflective gloss.
series of imaginative even try to check Landscape is a
compositions her teeth in the subject so pregnant
questioning the glass.I am interested with meaning and
notion of the real. the archetypes and relevance, more
Dealing with memes of traditional topical with each
space within the art practices, where passing year yet
Paul Rathigan Emmet Kierans work is important. motifs have become redundant on the
Leaving areas of dominant truisms, picture plane. I am
Paul Rathigan’s Emmet Kierans appropriate to the the work untouched and I attempt interested in an
paintings explore the paintings revolve content. heightens that the to revaluate exhausted depiction
idea of landscape around a cast of artwork is not about their situation in of a constantly
using glass and characters, their mastering the form contemporary reinvigorated
enamel paints that environment and the of the surrounding painting practice. subject and the
give a lustrous mirror- factors influencing non-forms but I am currently consequences in
like finish. their lives. These more areas of small painting about the that argument.
fictional characters details and the landscape. I use
are used to explore artist’s judgment generic horizontal
current ideological Attempting to line 1/3 up from
theories through
metaphor and
allegory. Middle
class housing estates,
parasitic worms,
pharmaceuticals
and characters
in a state of
metamorphosis are
the subject matter
of the current work.
A range of styles
and techniques are
utilized so that each
painting is carried
out in a manner
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‘Material and colour are
used to convey memory and
emotion.’

Aislinn O’Keeffe
My current work is concerned as the ‘Alice’ figure in the everyday materials much
with exploring the loss of paintings. Material and of which are objects and
childhood innocence, and colour are used to convey materials I have used in my
at the events, people and memory and emotion. The own life at one time or other.
societal conditioning which images are often layered These are used to bring
shapes the individual from and ambiguous reflecting a personal and relatable
childhood. I am exploring the uncanny nature of element to the work, while
these themes through memory and the way in simultaneously fusing parts
some of the themes in which the mind attempts to of the ‘real‘, ’outer, physical
Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in organise information and world with the ‘imaginary‘,
Wonderland’ books, while events and make sense of inner world of the mind
using images of myself taken them. The mixed media used
from family photographs in the pieces are domestic,

‘Conformity, identity, the domestic and
absence are some subjects present in
my work.’

Noelle Collins
The pieces I’m currently in the achievements
working on address the accomplished by many in life
ideals and expectations and the habits we develop
that influence our lifestyle as individuals that are also
decisions. Conformity, common throughout society.
identity, the domestic and These topics inform the
absence are some subjects selection of images and their
present in my work. A curiosity treatment through collage,
about the previous tenants painting and illustration.
in both my apartment and
studio sparked an interest
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Graduate Special
A selection of 2010 student shows
16 Occupy Paper Graduate Special 17

Everyone
has a
public
world, a
private
world and
a secret
world. City of Prints,
Mixed Media,

Paula Various Dimensions

Rego
Favela, Wooden Houses, Various Dimensions

Aoife Barrett
Limerick School of Art and Design

My studio practice has involved researching cannot be reached or got into, stairs that go
different dwellings and architectural to nowhere, houses with no doors, houses
domestic spaces as well as concepts of piled on top of each other; all these things
public and private boundaries. My work reflect the constraints and conventions of
combines and layers 3-D architectural society as well as representing the obstacles
installations, photography and prints, one meets in life. The main focus of my work
exploring, reflecting the home as container is the marginal society: the shantytowns,
and symbol for our actions, experience favelas or townships. All materials worked
and memories. The various forms of by human hands recount something
architectural representation shown in my about themselves and about us, to where
work reflect concepts of oppositions such connected ideas emerge. My work uses
as containment and openness, interiority the cast-offs of society to construct the
and exteriority, transparency and opacity, unregulated yet vibrant expressiveness of
order and disorder. Images of houses that the human being to personalise space. Favela,
Wooden Houses,
Various Dimensions
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Evelyn Broderick
My work stems from a
fundamental interest in
Limerick School of Art and Design observing banal objects.Sitting
on a mantel piece or hanging
on a wall, the frame holds a
Everything in the world exists in reminder to the past. I was
thinking of captured moments
order to end in a book. Today confined in a space, contained
everything exists to end in a neat and tidy within a frame.
I read that ‘Everything in the
photograph. Mallarmè- Susan world exists in order to end
Sontag ‘On Photography’. in a book Today everything
exists to end in a photograph-
Mallarmè’ Susan Sontag ‘On
Photography’. I was intrigued
by this idea and feel that in
today’s society our lives are
documented visually, selected
few important memorable

‘239’
Wax, Resin,
and Pigment.

images are then placed in frames. I wanted the importance of colour and form and by
to distort this traditional function of the frame, making multiples I felt that I could achieve
and then the idea of framing an empty this. I made two silicone moulds from which
space came to me. Image is unnecessary, as I was able to reproduce over 200 frames. I
it is the boundary which encloses the image used a range of materials-plaster, jesmonite,
that interests me.‘The edges of the rectangle resin and wax. The wax enabled me to add
are a boundary, the end of the picture. The wax pigment and painting pigment,which
composition must react to the edges and allowed me to focus on colour. No two are
the rectangle must be unified, but the shape the same as I did not use equal quantities
of the rectangle is not stressed the parts of pigment. I arranged a floor installation of
are more important, and the relationships over 200 wax and resin frames which creates
of colour and form occur among them’ - a delicate tension in the space. An aura of
Donald Judd ‘Specific Objects’ Intrigued presence and absence is evident as the
by this statement, I began to look at the empty space is framed.
frame as a unified form, I wanted to stress
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The City on Film

The City on Film

Marie-Louise Clogher
Limerick School of Art and Design
The basis of this project was the subject of the city and our
interpretation of it. I drew upon my ever-expanding
interest in film and took three of my favourites that used
a city as a character and also as a storytelling tool. I then
documented the city of Limerick photographically and
compared and contrasted my experiences there with those
in three particular scenes from the films chosen through
photography and typography. I wanted to show that you
can feel the same way about these romanticised and
idealised cinematic scenes as you do about the place you
actually live in, no matter how small, insignificant or remote
it may be, it’s still yours.
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‘to challenge
the way we
perceive and
contemplate
time,
movement
and space.’

Aoife Cox
Limerick School of Art and Design

Reflecting the process the human the rhythm and flow of energy
body undertakes to attain and movement in the body, while
proficiency of physical abilities and emphasizing the way a body
techniques; my practice involves utilizes the space which it inhabits,
creating a process which is both to challenge the way we perceive
physically and mentally repetitive and contemplate time, movement
throughout its progression. By and space.
utilizing the forms created by
dynamic body movements, I seek
to created objects which portray
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the mouth is
the main focus,
it becomes
just an
object

Sandra Hickey
Limerick School of Art and Design

In these works I’m portraying
colour in a similar way as is
used in advertising, rich reds,
purples and warm oranges
are used to promote the
‘sex sells’ momentum.
I have chosen to focus
on the mouth as a subtle
sexual orifice because
it is the part of the body
that is continually used in They come in different shapes and sizes, Oil on black sheet plastic, 25cm x30cm
adverts using the sex sells
motive. These colours are
used to illustrate the peak
‘make the viewer think of rot, disease,
of desire, the moment of
stimulation and lust when
infection, decay, unease when presented
used in a dramatic way.
These colours are also
with these colours’,
linked to that of health, a
healthy body, youth, when
applied in a subtle way but least question why those colours are so purples are to symbolise the peak of desire,
what I’m trying to do in my often linked to these qualities. I’ve been to symbolise the stimulation of genital. Many
paintings is to use these concentrating on the mouth/ chin area of of my portraits are cropped, and falling off
colours and apply them in the face and I’ve tried to link it to thoughts the canvas. By accompanying the imagery
such a way that it cancels of sexuality, sensuality,a subtle symbol with large open voids of empty space, I’m
that out, I wish to make the of seduction. I’ve focused on the mouth trying to draw focus to the tension between
viewer think of rot, disease, as a sexual orifice and nothing more, an the image, falling from its setting and the
infection, decay, unease object that’s sole purpose is for pleasure, open space it leaves behind. I wish to draw
when presented with by removing the eyes from these portraits, attention to the beauty of the raw canvas,
these colours, and change and cropping the image so the mouth is and show the workings of the drawing that
the viewers association the main focus, it becomes just an object. lies beneath.
with these colours or at The colouring is very important in the work,
the use of luscious reds, warm oranges, rich
Ravenous, Oil on Canvas, 2” x3”
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Meagan Hyland
Limerick School of Art and Design

My work is broken down to a
cycle of knowing what I want
straight away,researching the
idea, loving the idea, and then
slating it, starting over, trying
every other idea under the sun
before coming back to the
original idea. Usually this takes
anywhere between a day to
four weeks but for the most part
this method has worked for me.
This particular piece was from
a brief called ‘The City’ where
I was asked to interpret the city
in my own way. I chose to look
at the idea of how someone
can be in love with a city they
have never been to, in my case
I chose New York and decided
to portray the others ways you
can visit the city through other
medias like music, books, and
films.

www.meaganhyland.com
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‘the user this particular emotion,the
user would need to feel

would need threatened by the possibility of
something ‘bad’ happening

to feel to them and this would have
to be embodied physically in

threatened the device. In this case, the
interface was designed as

by the motor controlled pulley system
that would move a stylus over

possibility of a page creating an image.
To create the feeling of and

something the image of this fear, two
electrodes were attached to

‘bad’ the controllers which are set
to randomly administer an

happening electric shock. As the electric
shock is random, and the

to them’ user remains aware of this, a
sense of danger and tension is
generated.

Aidan Kelleher
Limerick School of Art and Design

The devices created through my work are interactive devices that I didnt have to
based around the production of an image make them either enjoyable or easy to use.
and the users of the machines receive Resulting from this I began studying different
something as a result of their interaction, states of emotion and ways of evoking
specifically a physical piece of art produced them, this led me to Robert Plutchik, who
from a particular machine. The work during the 80’s created a list of the basic
produced is a combination of electronics emotions, Joy, Trust, Fear, Anger, Disgust,
and engineering, and the materials used Anticipation, Suprise and Sadness. I am using
are often found disregarded mechanical this list as a basic guidlines for the production
components or purpose built pieces. This of my machines. This research has been the
work is my interpretation of Experimental main driving force behind this project. For
printmaking. I began studying interaction example, a machine created as part of this
design, which is the study of devices with work, designed to evoke fear was conceived
which a user can interact. The idea behind by first researching an accurate definition of
it is that designers/artists, create interfaces what fear meant and researching different
with devices that make them eaiser and ways that people could be agitated by the
more enjoyable to use. However through my presence of danger. Through the research
aidankelleher.weebly.com
practice I decidedthat if I were to create it came to my attention that to stimulate
30 Occupy Paper Graduate Special 31

‘the notion of
the other in
photographic
and time-based
media.’

Suzanne van der Lingen
National College of Art and Design
the Philosophy of History)
A historical materialist
cannot do without the My interests lie in the coincidences
notion of a present which between (cultural/historical)
is not a transition, but in signification and the perceptual
which time stands still experience. Taking inspiration
and has come to a stop. from Walter Benjamin’s notion
For this notion defines the of historical materialism, my
present in which he himself work proposes and facilitates
is writing history. Historicism individual experiences of
gives the “eternal” image objects rather than advocating
of the past; historical defined historical narratives. In
materialism supplies a this specific body of work, I use
unique experience with my own maternal relationships
the past. The historical to explore the notion of the
materialist leaves it to others other in photographic and
to be drained by the whore time-based media. Basing my
called “Once upon a time” work on archival footage of my
in historicism’s bordello. grandmother, I play with our
He remains in control of his relationship to spark a dialectic
powers, man enough to between tenses and physical
blast open the continuum identity.
of history.

(Walter Benjamin, Theses on
www.suzannevanderlingen.com
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Tadhg McCullagh
Limerick School of Art and Design

My evolving practice is informed by research into the dominant ideologies which dictate
our societies. These ideologies appear as inevitable, but are insidiously bolstered by those
who benefit from them the most. This exhibitions focus is a meditation (space) on the
relationship between the individual constituents of society, i.e. the citizens and society as a
whole. Accessibility is an important issue in my practice.
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Lisa O’Donnell
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
My work references the issues of newspapers, as well as other random
juxtaposition and balance in regards to imagery of recognizable elements such
the physical make up of each work in as rooms and dwellings. The figure/ground
terms of the composition, color, medium relationship is important as the scenes which
and also the abstract and figurative emerge have recognizable elements from
elements used. The process of using often everyday life somewhat abstracted into
random imagery is a way of working that a strange and unreal space, reflecting a
represents searching for a balance and is certain space hovering between some
influenced by everyday life where we are form of reality and a fantasy land. There is
constantly bombarded by imagery and a kind of retro style that often appears in
it is difficult to find a particular balance in the work which relates to how we always
life and figure out exactly what you want look to the past for our influences and for
and are interested in. I work predominately ways of tackling the future.
with painting as well as video and the
combination of different media is an
important element of this work. This body
of work depicts a number of different
elements such as dazed figures plucked
from mass media and random clips from

‘a certain
space
hovering
between
some form of
reality and a
fantasy land.’

www.Lisaodonnell.blogspot.com
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Cian O’Donoghue
Limerick School of Art and Design
I have been experimenting with the capacity of
photography printing mechanisms, animation and
lighting to allude to the ambiguity of ephemerality within
the intrinsic symbolism of the moth and metaphysical
phenomenon of death

He who fights with monsters
might take care least he thereby
become a monster (part 2),
1189mmx841mm,
Lambda Print,
Silicone Diamond Mount

He who fights with monsters
might take care least he
thereby become a monster
(part 1),
1189mm x 841mm,
‘No one believes in his own Lambda Print,
Silicone Diamond Mount

death. Or, to put the same
thing in another way, in the
unconscious every one of
us is convinced of his own
immortality’ Sigmund Freud,
‘Interpretation of Dreams’
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Molly O’Dwyer Interdisciplinary in nature, my practice employs the use
of mediums such as video, sculpture and installation. My
National College of Art
and Design MFA research revolves around an interest in the human condition
and its interaction with living space and everyday life,
challenging the behavioural codes by which we live. The
boundary between public and private is examined through
exploring these concerns as an analogous parallel to the
physical and the psychological, the body being our primary
experience of the world from the corporeal to the mental.
In performing for the camera, everyday objects and familiar
landscapes act as both material and prop for the exploration
of this terrain that exists between these two inseparable
forms of reality, as central to our perception of the world
both internally and externally. Pathos and the tragicomic
implicate the viewer on a psychological and emotional level
through the use of simple bodily gestures with elements of
order and chaos through absurd actions performed for the
camera. Aspects of popular culture and the cinematic are
referenced in the work through a merging and co-existence
of fiction and reality. My practice draws interests from film Vantage Point
theory and the role of media in society asserting the use of
the video camera as core medium for the exploration of the
issues in the work.

www.mollyodwyer.com
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Orlagh Spain
Limerick School of Art of Design

Our society generates enormous quantities of waste;
wood, metal, information and symbols. This waste

‘the in turn creates a kind of sensory pollution, resulting in
the important and significant becoming lost in a sea
of irrelevance. For me the process, materials and

waste physicality of a work are as of much importance as the
concept. I choose to work with scrap wood and metal
because they are in essence the waste of society. They

of stand as an antithesis to a world that places value in
the pure, new, and sleek. In the modern mind such
materials evoke a fear of disuse, entropy and ruin.

society’
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Jane Sugrue
Limerick School of Art of Design

The peculiar estrangement that often
occurs after sex between men and
women is a paradox that interests me.
Intimacy and alienation.
The complex relationship of the pains and joys of love and
friendship. I need my memories. As to be expected, with
time they sweeten, become more full by my remembering.
They lose their grain of truth, and warm me with nostalgia.
My work grows from the duel between the comforting lie
of memory and the harsh truth. In drawing, whilst my hand
touches the sheet, the touch does not know the difference
between a drawn line and the blank paper. It matters little
what it touches, my finger is unable to tell the difference.
That is the crucial essence of drawing; it is always so close
to the object but always separated from it. The lie and the
truth. Close but always comfortingly separate. My drawings
allow me to re-experience past relationships without the
trauma of fresh truth. They allow me to journey through the
past unafraid of what hurts, joys and pains I might find again,
and become a kind of visual catharsis. Each is a means of
The Beatific Dream and Joke’s become Real
expelling, of getting out of me, past emotions and states of
awareness.
Attracted to each
other, a man and
a woman connect
through lust. The
communication
joining them depends
on the nakedness of
their laceration. Their
love signifies that
neither can see the
being of the other but
only a wound and a
need to be ruined. No
greater desire exists
than a
wounded person’s
need for another
wound.
Georges BataIlle
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Ian Walsh
Limerick School of Art of Design
‘I don’t know just when we lost our sense of reality or
our interest in it, but at some point it was decided that
reality was not the only option, that it was possible,
permissible and even desirable to improve upon it.’
Seventy-Nine Short Essays collects an assortment of rants and
thoughts on the culture of graphic design through the eyes
of the well respected designer and design critic Michael
Bierut. One essay ,The Real and the Fake, examines how the
city has lost it’s sense of reality and is being built around the
expectations of others rather than for functionality. Bierut
uses the example of New York but this theory is applicable
to any city, from Paris to Dublin. The series of posters use a
collage of well known buildings from Limerick City to in body
the hyper-reality discussed in the essay. The six pieces are
designed around my own expectations of what I believe the
city to be or imagined it to be, drawing inspiration from the
fictional Gotham City to the “non-fictional” New York city.

The Real and the Fake The Real and the Fake
46 Occupy Paper Graduate Special 47

Focus
Gerry Davis is a graduate of Limerick
‘Duality’, Gerry’s solo exhibition
School of Art and Design and is currently at Normoyle Frawley Gallery

a member of Wickham Street Studios.
Here he talks to Occupy Paper about
his practice and recent exhibitions.
OP:So Gerry tell us a bit about your academic background, did you have any influential
tutors or peers?
GD:Well I started out in Limerick Senior College and then moved on to LSAD to study
painting for four years. I definitely learnt a lot over that time and would say that all my
tutors and peers were influential in one way or another. Although I was taught alot about
the technical aspects of painting, it was really the energy and conviction of certain
teachers that helped me build my own confidence to keep working at art. At first it
was kind of a surprise for me to see this whole world that focused on nothing other than
artmaking, but as the years went by it became more and more habitual and by the end, I
was well accustomed to the idea of working as an artist.

OP:What kind of themes and concerns are explored in your practice? The title of your new
solo exhibition suggests theres a ‘duality’ in your work, what is the reason for this and how
does it present itself?
GD:The title came from the idea that because I work in both digital and traditional
mediums, and both have progressed quite differently over the years, that the differences
should be acknowledged rather then trying to assimilate one practice into the other.
Before I went to study painting I had an interest in digital imagery and was largely self
taught in the different software used. By the time I came along it was in fact more natural
to learn how to use photoshop as a kid then it was to learn traditional oil painting, as every
home had a computer and it was much easier to get into and much quicker to get results
out of.
48 Occupy Paper Graduate Special 49

OP:You use a lot of close friends and relations in your portraits, is the sense of intimacy
that this creates important to the work?
GD:I think it might come from growing up being very distant from anything related to
art. It was in lots of books etc but no one I knew as a kid had any interest in art, it wasnt
in my family at all and it was a very alien thing in my life until I was older. So in some
ways painting portraits of friends and relations now is a way to put my own stamp on it,
or trying to rectify that circumstance.

OP:Did you strive to capture a kind of disconnection that
comes through with the digital work, in that its not such a
physical process as painting and, I imagine, far less time
consuming.What do you think about this contradiction?
GD:I think the sense of disconnection is definitely there, and
‘I’ve been
maybe thats why the digital work has such different imagery
to the paintings, because I don’t consider it as much of a
able to come
personal investment. That can be very liberating as well
though, and Ive been able to come up with surreal pictures
up with surreal
I never would have been able to do with paint. It continues
to surprise me how the pros and cons of both ways of
pictures I
working balance each other out, and Ive never been able to
abandon one for the other.
never would
OP:What can you tell us about your process in general? Give
have been
us some insight into how you work.
GD:Well the starting point is generally a photograph. I have
able to do
a large collection of photos on my computer stretching
back a few years. I look through it for a while and I might
with paint’
focus on one aspect of a photo or the photo as a whole if
its interesting. Recently I’ve been trying to challenge myself
and have been using elaborate photographs as references
for some of the oil paintings in the Duality show. If I’m working
digitally then I would often throw a few different elements
from different photos together until an image eventually
starts to emerge and then I work on bringing that out and
making it into its own believeable scene.
50 Occupy Paper Graduate Special 51

OP:You had a few important exhibitions and it was an excellent opportunity to see
recently, one that focused on your digital the work of the last year hung together in
‘there are work and your first solo exhibition, which one place and I was able to look at it more
one did you enjoy more, as a matter of objectively then I could in the studio. As I
pros and fact, which aspect do you enjoy more, the say, there are pros and cons to both digital
digital work or the detailed painted works? work and painting, and I dont think I could
cons to both GD:Yeah Hi-Res (the digital show) was choose one over the other at the moment.
a great opportunity, I had known Ken
digital work Coleman almost since the time I moved OP:You’re a pretty accomplished
the Limerick 5 or 6 years ago and as far photographer too, do you see that as an
and painting, as we knew we were the only artists in integral part of your work?
Limerick who made digital art in a purely GD:Photography is kind of a common
I dont think I fine-art context, as opposed to using it for denominator between all my work, its the
design etc. Then we met Billy Hayes and starting point for both the paintings and
could choose Johnnie Wong who had also been working the photo manipulations and sometimes
digitally and having a group show after I use them as standalone photos as
one over the that was the logical progression. It was an well. I hardly ever leave a photo without
enjoyable show to work on and getting to some level of editing done to it though
other at the see my digital pictures printed on a large and I think that digital post production is
scale for the first time was great. Duality something that ought to be embraced by
moment.’ (the solo show) was a little more strenuous all photographers.
to get ready, but was equally enjoyable

OP: Are there any artists out there that you really admire and maybe influence you?
GD:There are a couple of realist painters working today that I really admire, Sean
Cheetham and Kent Williams are two great american painters and Phil Hale is one in
england. Then theres also some great digital artists I’ve followed over the years, Dennis
Sibeijn, Dave Mckean etc. One great thing about Limerick is the whole spectrum of artists
that work there, an amazing amount for a small city, and since I’ve lived there I’ve met
some incredible artists too.

OP: You won the Normoyle Award at your degree show for a solo exhibition, did you find
this beneficial?You’ve also been working in Wickham Street Studios since graduating, was
it important for you to keep working after college, to keep the momentum going?Is being Scientia
52 Occupy Paper Graduate Special 53

‘I was in
college
during the
good years
so I dont
know any
better’

Marisha, 2.5x 3ft

OP: You won the Normoyle Award at your degree show for a solo exhibition, did you find
this beneficial?You’ve also been working in Wickham Street Studios since graduating, was
it important for you to keep working after college, to keep the momentum going?Is being
able to work alongside other artists important to developing your practice after college?
Has the recession affected your practice at all?
GD: Winning that award was very helpful, as it gave me something to work towards for
the year and helped me to keep the ball rolling straight out of college. Being in Wickham
St was the biggest help, I cant imagine I would have kept going if I hadnt stayed around
other artists, who I’ve also found to be the soundest, nicest people too :D The recession
hasnt really affected my practice too much as I was in college during the good years so I
dont know any better :) I find that there are still some buyers for the work but I haven’t got
as many commisioned jobs as I used to.

OP: Any upcoming exhibitions?What are your plans for the future?
GD: No immediate plans yet, that last two shows came in quick succesion, so I’m happy to
spend some time figuring out what the next body of work will be like and making a start on
it. :)
Dinner, 6x 4.5ft
54 Occupy Paper Graduate Special 55

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