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CCUPY
Occupy Paper is a new online publication for contemporary art, which will run alongside the visual art programme in place in Occupy Space.
Occupy Space is one of Limericks newest exhibition spaces, located on Thomas street. It has been set up to facilitate an ever expanding need for artistic exhibition spaces in Limerick. It is an artist led project, run by members of Wickham Street Studios on a voluntary basis. Occupy Space is committed to delivering a relentlessly energetic programme of exhibitions and events. Our intention is that this space will be a central axis for a huge variety of creative people to experiment and present their work. The organization encourages openness and accessibility to artists and the visiting public alike, and aims to provide an open solid platform for the visual arts. Our program involves hosting exhibitions of emerging and established artists, with a strong emphasis on exhibiting those based in Limerick. Occupy Space also hosts other artist led projects such as artists talks, seminars and collaborative events with other creative practitioners and organizations. This new visual art journal is intended to expand on the exhibitions and events happening in the gallery as well as provide a platform for critique and dialogue between emerging and established artists in Limerick and beyond. Artists, critical writers and other art practitioners are invited to submit to the journal and engage with it as a means of testing, experimenting, developing and expanding on new ideas and concepts.

CONTENTS In the Gallery

‘Island’ Mary Noonan and Damien O‘Connell

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Talk about their new joint exhibtion in Occupy Space

Gareth Jenkins

Interview

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Talks about his practice and recent MA in the National College of Art and Design

Beth Fox

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Submissions
Occupy paper is a free online journal published monthly or bi-monthly. We are actively looking for contributors to write articles, essays, and reviews. Occupy paper accepts all submissions related to contemporary art practice from painting and print to sculpture, video and beyond.If you would like to be included in the focus section please send a CV, 5-10 images and a short statement about your work. All submissions should be sent by email to : occupy.space@gmail.com

Talks about her practice and new exhibtion

Review

Dana Schutz

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Deirdre Kelly reviews Schutz’s new show at The Douglas Hyde Gallery

Focus

Laura McMorrow
Member of Wickham Street Studios, Limerick

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In the Gallery

Island Mary Noonan and Damien O’Connell

Occupy Space presents Island, an exhibtion of work by Mary Noonan and Damien O’Connell. Both artists explore the concept of the island as a closed space. Much like a waiting room or prison cell, the island is conceived as a dual space of infinite limitation and potential. The island is a place we long to escape or seek refuge.
The show previewed Thursday 1st of July 7-9pm and ran until 17th July

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Island
OP Tell us a bit about your academic background, did you have any influential tutors or peers? DOC I did my BA in Limerick School of Art and Design and my MA in Central St Martins in London. MN I did a diploma in Fine Art in DLIADT in 2000; in 2001 I returned to college and spent two years in the NCAD painting department graduating with a BA in 2003. I recently finished a two-year Master in Fine Art (MFA) in NCAD through the painting department again, that was in 2009. The most influential tutors I had were Robert Armstrong, Susan Mac William and Sarah Durcan. During my masters I was lucky enough to have Susan as my personal tutor in the first year and Sarah in the second.

Mary Noonan and Damien O’Connell tell Occupy Paper about their respective practices and their new joint exhibtion in Occupy Space

Farmer’s Daughter, mixed media, Mary Noonan 2010

Both were great tutors with very different approaches, which I think brought out the best in me. Susan was very encouraging and always helping me to push the work further. Sarah asked the tough questions and really helped me to focus my practise. The Masters

was the best thing I could have done for my work. I found it very challenging and extremely worthwhile. I spent the two years focusing solely on the development of my work, trying to find my own personal standpoint as an artist.

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creating my own ‘world’ in my work, using research and personal memory and experience. My upbringing on a farm in county Mayo informs the work a lot. There is a strong element of the surreal and often the pieces are quite sinister. I’d like to think that the work is a sort of an amalgam of the ‘real’ world along with another imaginary parallel world. Much of my research relates to ‘fairyfaith’ and stories about the fairies. For example what drew me to the fairly common story of the changeling was how multi-layered and imaginative it was, but also how it was a way for people to explain and understand things like disease and mental illness at a time when professional medical advice was unavailable to the majority. These stories for me are a very imaginative way of explaining the unexplainable. A lot of the sources I look at were written in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century from the perspective of the Anglo-Irish, with people like

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OP What kind of themes and concerns are explored in your practice? MN I use my research into folklore and superstition to form the basis/foundation for my work. There is a strong sense of narrative to most of the work and these narratives are often left open and are not clearly defined in the finished piece. I interpret stories I research embellish and change them through the process of making the artwork. In a sense I am

So filthy spuds could grow in his ears..., watercolour, watercolour pencil, pencil and gold marker on torn paper, Mary Noonan 2010

Douglas Hyde and Lady Sperenza Wilde giving great accounts of folklore. I am interested in how myth and superstition have informed how ‘Irishness’ is viewed and interpreted and how it has added to what is an element of our national stereotype. DOC One thread that runs throughout my work is absurdity. What Camus (when discussing the work of Kafka) describes as “an

indescribable universe in which man allows himself the tormenting luxury of fishing in a bathtub, knowing nothing will come of it.” I think that could sum up the broad scope of my practice, intertextuality, incongruity, failure and laughter. OP Your work seems to be divided into drawing/ painting and sculpture, which part is more important or stronger in your practice?

Farmer’s Daughter(close-up), mixed media, Mary Noonan 2010

MN I love both. I treat the sculptures almost as if they are 3D paintings, and have a very tactile approach to the 2D work. I often cut and tear the paper, with this I am trying to give a sense of the psychological aspects of what is going on in the work. By ‘doing a violence’ to the paper I am in effect leaving a physical residue and visual evidence of that trauma. I don’t think that one element of my practice is more important or stronger

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Breugal and Hieronymus Bosch to contemporary artists Verne Dawson, Dana Schutz and Ellen Gallagher. I am also very interested in illuminated manuscripts. I am happy to take inspiration from wherever I can and often the literary sources I look at suggest imagery or trigger memories. I keep a notebook with me at all times and jot down ideas when I have them. I visit galleries a lot and am quite nerdy taking notes as I go along. OP How do you tend to work, what can you tell us about your process in general? DOC I collect fragments of image/text from

various sources and attempt to construct a vocabulary/narrative by looking for connections or combinations that might lead towards a divergent or an incongruous situation. In a practical sense this amounts to an ongoing process of reading, underlining, looking, writing, drawing and making. These elements then collide in a constructed mise-en-scene. MN I have already mentioned tearing and cutting the paper. I work on a number of pieces at the same time, sometimes finishing a piece fairly quickly but more often than not working on something, leaving it and then returning

Scotoma 1, watercolour & pencil on paper, Damien O’Connell 2010

to it at a later stage. I find I need to have a few things ‘on the go’ at the same time. The sculpture/ installation Farmer’s Daughter that I showed at Occupy Space took a long time to evolve. I had the cot in my studio for about two years. I tried several things with it that just didn’t work, eventually the idea of having a landscape almost spewing itself out of the cot emerged. I was hoping to give a sense of having been born into something ‘the land’ in my case, and how ones environment and ancestry or sense of place influences someone from an early age. The fact that the land is made from very ‘unreal’ materials such as

than the other I like being diverse and working in a number of different ways. DOC For me, there is no such hierarchy. I will use whatever method or means likely to accomplish my ends and this will often expand beyond drawing/painting and sculpture. With much of my work, including Island, the sculptures are curious, liminal objects while the drawings serve to fold and unfold the elusive narrative. Both elements perform separate but related functions, so the work might be encountered as a series of fractured connections, which amount to an openended model of thought.

OP Where does your imagery originate? DOC On a superficial level, the imagery I use could be perceived as solipsistic or hermetic and perhaps on some level these images are a reflection of an inner world. However, it is not my intention to create something overtly esoteric or private. Instead, I want to recover some kind of critical vitality by arousing wonder and curiosity, or, like Gide, I want to know ‘who will deliver our minds from the heavy chains of logic.’ So, to answer the question, the images emerge from tangible but disparate sources, such as, books, art

(historical & contemporary), film, newspapers, and so on. Through recurring elements, such as the chair, I intend to exploit the burdensome symbolism of the object. Through its omnipresence in my work, the chair becomes an unwitting provocateur: it is an accepted totality within the miniature tableau but a bewildering conundrum for the viewer. This is the tension I am interested in, between wonder, confusion and failure. MN My visual research is broad and includes sources such as painters from the Northern Renaissance, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Pieter

‘the sculptures are curious, liminal objects while the drawings serve to fold and unfold the elusive narrative’

Sucking on a lemon, watercolour, watercolour pencil, pencil& pencil on cut and torn paper

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Insula, sculpture, Damien O’Connell 2010

the scenics used for model railways was important to me also, I felt that the ‘fakeness’ of the materials might suggest to the viewer a detached or removed view of the land and lean towards issues surrounding stereotype and identity. I wanted there to be a strong sense of narrative as the viewer worked their way around the piece. I wanted there to be that same sense of navigation in the large watercolours. I often don’t have a very set plan for my work but rather start with a general idea and through working with the materials

allow for them to somewhat suggest the eventual outcome of the work. I try as much as I can to push the materials as far as I can. As I mentioned already my little notebook is very important to me. I jot down notes on artworks and ideas for artworks. Generally these notes could be expressions that I heard growing up, quotes from books or visual ‘diagrams’ of ideas for future work. OP Are there any artists out there that you really admire and maybe influence you?

DOC There are many artists whose work I am continually drawn to, Mark Manders, Fischli & Weiss, Julian Rosefeldt, Paul Thek and Bas Jan Ader, to name a few. Samuel Beckett and Flann O’Brien have had at least an equal impact, for the transgressive laughter that resonates through their work. MN Yes of course, the ones I have mentioned already as well as many others. I try to expose myself to as much art as I can without getting overwhelmed! Ideas can come from the unlikeliest

Monument to Lent after Breugel, sculpture, Damien O’Connell 2010

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places sometimes, so I try to be open. OP How did you find exhibiting in Occupy Space? What did you think of the similarities between your work? DOC It was an interesting space to negotiate and sometimes had quite a transformative effect on the installation. The dark room felt especially cavernous, given the miniature nature of my work, placing the small Monument to Frugality piece in this solemn concrete mausoleum created a further disruption of scale and expectation. Beyond the surface similarities in our work, it was interesting to uncover the more subtle thematic connections, such as our separate approaches to belief systems. I think one way of describing the exhibition is that I observe the island from a detached distance whereas Mary has a more immediate presence, in other words, she is onshore while I am adrift! MN I was really happy to exhibit in Occupy Space, I think the space itself is great with a lot of scope to work with. Personally it was a great chance for me to show some of my bigger pieces. Working with Damien was very enjoyable, although we had never actually met before, running up to the show we kept in good contact via

e-mail, so I felt we had been acquainted already. The whole process was very democratic between us, the installation was discussed and mulled over and we got on very well. It was a very pleasant experience working with Damien. OP What are your plans for the future?Any upcoming exhibitions? DOC My next solo show will be Monument with Pallas Contemporary Projects in Dublin as part of their artist

initiated summer program. I have also been working closely with the curatorial group Tall Tales in London, and have upcoming group exhibitions in Bearspace and The Elevator Gallery, London. MN Yeah, I’m showing five watercolours in COE 2010 in my hometown of Claremorris in September, so looking forward to that. Also I was selected to exhibit in a three-person show with Peter Burns and Anne Hendrick by Patrick

Murphy at the Roscommon Arts Centre in late 2011. I am working toward a solo exhibition in the Linenhall Art Centre, which is in 2011 as well, so I’ll be busy working away in my studio at the Red Stables.

And a great tumult came from the ground..., mixed media, Mary Noonan 2010

‘one way of describing the exhibition is that I observe the island from a detached distance whereas Mary has a more immediate presence, in other words, she is onshore while I am adrift!’

New Wonder Cure, mixed media, Mary Noonan 2010

Deus Ex Cathadra and Precipice, sculpture, Damien O’Connell 2010

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Interview
AF Hi Gareth, so tell us a bit about your academic background, where you did your degree and your Master’s, did you have any influential tutors or peers? GJ My interest in a career as an artist began later than most, in fact it came at a time when I was a full time chef working abroad in New Zealand. Being in a new environment and different culture gave me the opportunity to diversify my creative skills from cooking to painting and sculpture. In 1998 I enrolled on a full time one year diploma course at a local art college called ‘The Learning Connexion’ in Wellington, New Zealand. The course gave me a basic practical understanding of artistic techniques and methodologies. After a year my visa ran out and I returned to Ireland where I continued as a chef for three years but I was intent

Gareth Jenkins
Gareth talks to Aoife Flynn about his practice and upcoming exhibtions

Installation View 2010.

‘My interest in a career as an artist began later than most’
on pursuing my interest in art (especially painting) further. With no portfolio or any secondary education to speak of my only option was to return to education as a mature student at the local Further Education Centre in Abbeyleix, Co. Laois in 2003. After successfully completing the ‘Fetac level 5 Arts, Craft and Design’ course, I submitted my portfolio to a handful of Art institutions around Ireland and was lucky enough to be accepted at the Limerick School of Art and Design. After completing my four year ‘BA Honours in Fine Art Painting’ in 2008, I moved to The National College of Art and Design in Dublin where I recently finished a two year Master of Fine Art post-graduate degree in research by practice through painting. The courses themselves although very insightful and useful on so many different levels were only as good as the students and staff that breathed life into them. I met many tutors and peers whose advice and encouragement helped shape my current practice and whom I shall always hold in high regard and to name them all would require a sequel to this publication.

DSC 0014 - Acrylic on board - 30cm x 33cm. 2010

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‘the concept is born out of fragmented memories of architectural forms’

AF I remember your work had a strong technology theme when we did our degree course, did this carry on into your Master’s? GJ Technology as a theme didn’t carry over directly but there are some recurring elements and motifs that resurfaced through the research process. There are concepts of geometric forms and a use of sharp edged line, but instead of using those to relate directly to in this case a technological object; I now use them to create illusions of space and structure.

DSC 0001 - Acrylic on board - 2ft x 2ft. 2010

AF What kind of themes and concerns are explored in your practice? How did they change from your Bachelor’s to your Master’s? GJ The paintings I produce are to a degree intuitive, by which I mean I start straight in to painting without any back up drawings or sketches. Over the past couple of years I have taken and collected hundreds of photographs of architectural structures and spaces from the urban landscape that I use to reference the linear and sharp edged forms and structures inherent in my

work. One of the main concerns in my practice at the moment that came out of my time on the Master’s course at NCAD is my interest in the painting as object. To put it another way I am interested in treating the application of paint as a constructing process, building up different layers and thicknesses of sharp edged marks. In a similar way I am also experimenting with constructing physical 3-D structures that are referential of painting as the constructed object. Looking back on my practice at bachelor level my themes have changed in the way

I am not so concerned with referencing an area or idea directly. For example my work at the moment is not linked directly to architecture or urban landscapes; it is more that the concept is born out of fragmented memories of architectural forms. Over the last two years I have also gained more confidence in decision making with regard to exhibiting my work, i.e. what to hang and how much work to show, whereas at my Bachelor exhibition I felt I had exhibited too much work.

Installation View 2010.

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‘my process is intuitive, it can move in different directions depending on what I am trying to do’

AF What about your process in general? How do you work? GJ As I mentioned previously my process is intuitive. It can move in different directions depending on what I am trying to do. In some cases, especially in my current body of work if I am dealing with sculptural concepts as well as a painting process, I will begin by looking at or taking photographs of interesting forms or structures. Then I will start to make a variety of models/ sculptures out of what is lying around the studio, this usually takes the form of cardboard or wood and again will be very abstract and intuitive in nature. At any given moment I might begin to lay down a variety of forms or linear marks using acrylic paint on board and a masking tape that will usually reference fragments of the models or photographs so in this sense the process is quite organic. The colour of paint usually comes from a photograph of a particular structure but can change or be layered over quite rapidly. My choice of acrylic paint over oil paint came out of a sheer lack of patience. Accustomed to oil paints at Bachelor level, I carried on with them into my Master’s course but they were too messy so I had to change my process and materials to acrylic in order to speed

DSC 0002 - Acrylic on board - 2ft x 2ft. 2010

DSC 0012 - Acrylic on board - 21cm x 21cm. 2010

up the process and to allow me to create a tighter line. Canvas had to be exchanged for MDF board as well, because I needed a sturdier ground to paint on which also allowed me the ability to sand the paint off if I was dissatisfied at any point. AF Are there any artists out there that you really admire and maybe influence you? GJ There are artists I admire and there are also artists that influence me. Any artists that are out there working away at the moment even though they are struggling to survive financially would be an artist that I admire. There are plenty of artists and writers I have befriended along the way whom I keep in

touch with that are finding it tough and I respect them for their convictions. As for artists that have influenced me I would have to say out of the many, Tomma Abts, Frank Nitsche, Thomas Schiebitz, Thomas Nozkowski and Richard Tuttle. All these artists have influenced my practice in that I have found interesting links between their processes and my own, whether it is similar application of paint or use of materials or their outlook on art and the contemporary world in general. AF You went straight from your degree into your Master’s, looking back now would you have preferred some space from the whole academic aspect of college or was it important

DSC 0010 - Acrylic on board - 2ft x 4ft. 2010

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DSC 0003 - Acrylic on board - 29cm x 33cm. 2010

‘going straight into the Master’s for me was a positive step’

DSC 0005 Acrylic on board 29cm x 33cm 2010

for you to keep this up, to keep the momentum going? GJ Going straight from my Bachelor’s in LSAD to the Master of Fine Art course in NCAD was not an easy decision at the time. I was right in the middle of the dreaded thesis, trying to get to grips with the final term of practical work and Teresa (my wife) and I were expecting our first baby. We both decided I should apply and if it was meant to be I would get on to the Master’s at NCAD. After the interview I was sure I had blown it and I was already making plans for life after the Bachelor’s. Anyway I received a letter saying otherwise and I started the course in NCAD about two weeks after Teresa gave birth to baby Naomi, timing is everything

I guess. There were a lot of moments on the Master’s that I regretted being there; I had notions of making the wrong decision usually when my practice seemed to be stagnating. In retrospect with the nature of my practice feeling unresolved, at the time of finishing the Bachelor’s, I now believe that going straight into the Master’s for me was a positive step that I now do not regret. For other artists it could be a different story and I think it depends on the individual’s needs at that time. I would recommend most Bachelor’s students take a few years out to get to grips with their practice in a real world scenario before taking the next step towards a Master’s, as some people will never need to do the course.

AF Is being able to work alongside other artists important to developing your practice after college? GJ Again it depends on the individual, some artists prefer to be alone and others need the constant stimulus of fellow artists for their work to flourish. Personally I am quite happy to work on my own but it is also useful and sometimes important to be able to be in contact with other artists and friends from time to time. I usually email or phone friends once or twice a month for a chat and even arrange to meet up at events like gallery open nights. Sometimes I arrange to meet up with friends to visit exhibitions once a month to keep up with trends in contemporary art, an important part of any artists practice.

AF You have a studio space near your home, what are your plans for it? GJ Living in a small town does have its advantages sometimes with regard to studio space. For the past two years I have been very lucky in that I was given a free space in an old closed down primary school which is within walking distance from home. There are no signs of it being reopened at the moment so I am safe there for the foreseeable future. AF Has the recession affected your practice at all? GJ Having only just left education after six years I am not in a position to say anything concrete about the recession and

my practice personally. There are artists out there that are still having sold out exhibitions, and there are still grants and bursaries available. However it does go without saying that when there is less money available most people are going to see purchasing any form of art as a luxury and not a necessity, but for now anyway it seems there are still some opportunities out there. Whether they are there next year or the year after we will have to wait and see. AF What are your plans for the future?Any upcoming exhibitions? GJ At the moment I am working towards a group exhibition in September with a collective known as

‘prettyvacanT’ who put on exhibitions in disused spaces around Dublin. In October I will be exhibiting as part of the ‘Table of Contents’ project at the Limerick School of Art and Design and in November I have my first Solo show in the ‘NAG’ at the Cross Gallery, Francis Street in Dublin, so short term I am pretty busy. Next year and the foreseeable future I am not sure, I will continue with my practice and apply to future projects and exhibitions. If I was given the choice I would jump at the opportunity to become a tutor at a third level college of Art while also continuing with my practice as I am always interested in continuous discourse with students and artists alike.

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My main area of research surrounds how and why artists use humour in their work. This is a subject that Ihave been studying for the best part of two years. My own practice doesn’t really follow any one particular line of enquiry, it’s more a series of reactions to whatever is happening to me in my life. In that way my practice is similar to a sense of humour. I am concerned with themes of originality, value and the whole notion of being ‘an artist’ and art-making, but of course, that’s really the only thing I can make work about, as that’s the only thing I’ve been thinking about for the last four years. It’s like when you’re writing an essay in secondary school, they tell you “write about what you know”. Basically I make work about trying to make original work. I am also very interested in the thin line between ‘paying homage’ and ‘ripping off’. I often use humour as a communicative device in my work, sometimes it is subtle, other times it more overt. My work is very reactionary. I can go for months without having an idea, then something might happen, or I’ll read something or have a conversation and than I’ll have AN IDEA, I’m sure that’s the same for everyone. A lot of the time the artists that I am researching will have a huge influence on the way I’m working. I can look back at my portfolio and see what artists I was reading about at the

Beth Fox

Recent graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design talks to Occupy Paper about her practice and new exhibition

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“A lot of the time I don’t do anything, I just watch TV, then I have an idea but usually it only takes five minutes to make. Then I go back to watching TV” Christian Boltanski

time that I made a specific piece. That used to worry me, but now I think it’s okay, I’m all for acknowledging influence, embracing unoriginality. I was worried that I didn’t make a lot of work until I read this lovely interview with Christian Boltanski, he said “A lot of the time I don’t do anything, I just watch TV, then I have an idea but usually it only takes fiveminutes to make. Then I go back to watching TV”. That sort of sums it up really.

The idea of the degree show work stemmed from the system that is currently in place in the sculpture department vis a vis The Degree Show. We are all told to write a proposal for our Show three months before the actual event in order to lay claim to a suitable space in the gallery. Due to my own practice being quite interchangeableand reactionary I had no idea what I would be making three months down the line, and I hated the idea of

having to write one proposal as a sort of culmination of four years study, and have to stick to it. I couldn’t decide which one idea to stick with. I ended up writing loads of proposals. I wrote proposals for work that I had made in the past, proposals for ideas that had died along the way, proposals for work that I would like to make but could never afford, and proposals for other artists work, that I ‘appropriated’. Then I just decided to stick the proposals up on the

wall. I liked the fact that the viewer would have to try to visualise all this work that wasn’t there. In a way it was like a really minute form of institutional critique. As well as being very economic. Gavin Turk is obviously an artist that I really admire, his work is funny but more than that. His work is all about value and authorship, which is obviously something that I am also really interested in. I remade his plaque for my Degree Show. I liked the idea that something that was made for a show in

the Royal College back in the 90’s was being remade in Limerick twenty years down the line. I also love Stutervant as well, since she’s all about copying.The artists that she chooses to copy are what make her so interesting though I think, often she replacates an artists work before they’ve even become established. Other artists that I love and have ripped off are Felix Gonzalez Torres, Sarah Lucas, Douglas Gordon, David Shrigley, Gillian Wearing...Lots of the YBA’s... (not so Y anymore!)

I’m currently living in Brighton working and trying to save money as I’m starting the MA in Fine Art in Central St Martins at the start of October. My Degree show is going to be re-exhibited in Cork in September in a show of recent Graduates selected and curated by Ian McInerney from the Black Mariah.
Beth’s show in the Black Mariah, Cork opens Septemeber 10th and runs for a week

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Review Dana Schutz
Deirdre Kelly reviews Schutz’s new show ‘Tourette’s Paintings’ at The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin
Thursday 15th July, saw Dana Schutz give an artist’s talk in the Douglas Hyde Gallery, TCD to mark the opening of her exhibition, Tourette’s Paintings. A large group gathered to hear the selfdeprecating American, a graduate from Cleveland, Ohio, talk us through her new body of work. She exhibits from the Zach Feuer Gallery and a number of her works are in all the major North American Galleries as well as the Saatchi, London. The first impression upon walking into the gallery is one of colour, brightness and a feeling of summer due to the bright oranges, reds and yellows that populate her work. The colouring is reminiscent of the Fauvists and indeed one of her larger works has a Matisse style decorative patterned background in intricate swirls of blue and black. There is also a sense of the cartoonish humour of Philip Guston with inflated and overblown grotesque features enveloping each figure in different hues of pink and red. Francis Bacon’s distorted features also comes to mind so it is clear that Schutz carries a weight of art history throughout her concept. There is a good sense of humour emanating from the work which Schutz claims was not a deliberate act on her part but one gets the impression from the artist herself that this humour is an essential element of her own make-up. However , it is a more black than whimsical humour in that there is an underlying sense of gloom or unhappiness prevailing. The title of the exhibition comes from the fact that Schutz can feel stifled or awkward around certain situations almost as if she

Dana Schutz, Swimming, Smoking, Crying, 2009. Oil on canvas, 45 x 48 inches. Collection Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas, gift of Marti and Tony Oppenheimer and the Oppenheimer Brothers Foundation.

suffers from this syndrome herself. For instance, her piece, Poke, came about as she was sitting in a restaurant with her friend and as he was talking, her mind was overflowing with questions. ‘Why hadn’t she noticed before how blue his eyes were?’ ‘What would

his reaction be if she suddenly leaned over and poked him in the eye?’ Her images therefore are her visualisations of thoughts and impressions going on in her head which she knows that if she carried out in real life, she would be considered as someone

strange, someone on the periphery, someone that people do not quite know what to make of, in essence, someone with Tourette’s Syndrome. This someone however has far more complexity and intelligence than is apparent to the viewer. Swimming, Smoking,

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Dana Schutz, Shaking, Cooking, Peeing 2009, Oil on canvas 72 x 60 inches Private Collection

Crying and its counterpart Shaking, Cooking, Peeing came about through a mixing of elements or actions that cannot be accomplished together. One or two are capable of being performed simultaneously but when the third angle is added, the result is impossible. Even women with their ability to multi-task are inhibited by this third element. Schutz recalls how as a teenager she loved to swim and while underwater shout her head off to release her tensions. She always thought that being underwater muted her screams until she heard someone shouting while swimming and realised that everyone had been able to hear her all along! This led her to think of things that it was not possible to do while swimming. Crying and swimming go nicely together because nobody realises you are actually crying. Smoking and crying also seem complimentary but swimming and smoking are a no-go, an impossibility.Shaking and cooking can combine when one is performing tasks in the kitchen. Peeing and shaking are also possible but again adding all three together just does not work. She thus works with the idea of opposites and

contradictions which are clearly more subtle than apparent from her imagery. This opposition conveys an air of tension in the work although the artist herself would not be drawn on this. She does not feel any anxiety or apprehension when undergoing her process but she accepted that if that was what people felt than perhaps it was a subconscious act on her part. She is perhaps, she admitted, releasing built-up anxieties through her work. One image has a distorted face with sharp protruding angles emanating from his/her throat. Schutz recounts how this autobiographical imagery came about through her own panic and embarrassment. She did not have the correct change one day in a store or department and found her ear flaring involuntary, which she shows in the image, while her throat contracted and she could not get the words out. It felt like a bird had been trapped in her throat and the only way she could project this sense of helplessness was through an image of a sharp and distorted throat. Obviously then there is a lot more to Schutz than playful, colourful and gestural painting.

Exhibition runs at the Douglas Hyde Gallery from July 16th to September 15th 2010. A catalogue is available from the Gallery to accompany the exhibition. www.douglashydegallery.com

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OP Hi Laura, so can you tell us what kind of themes and concerns are explored in your practice? LMcM I am concerned with the reinvention of found objects, approaching each object differently, depending on the surface. I use a wide range of mediums including paint, collage, drawing, and print to convey a narrative that comes about by presenting a number of different images collectively. I aim to create work that requires a second glance from the viewer by subverting traditional methods of hanging. My recent work explores themes of geology, taxidermy, and drunkenness. OPYou use a lot of found and discarded materials and that’s been a continuous thing since college. Is that something that comes naturally, are you quite a collector? LMcM I’m a hoarder, I can’t throw anything out. I’d like to think a lot of artists have the same problem! It just makes more sense to me to recycle what is close to hand. I’m particularly prone to collecting cardboard packaging, and I do my bit for society by keeping the charity shops in business.

Focus

Laura McMorrow
Laura is a graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design and is currently a member of Wickham Street Studios. Here she talks to Occupy Paper about her practice and recent exhibition.

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OP A lot of the images you work from are found images too, does the collecting aspect also apply to your source material? LMcM I used to work from my own photographs, but one day I decided I wanted to paint a polar bear, and it wasn’t feasible for me to take the photo myself. So since that I’ve been using Google image search. It’s like having a photographic memory. Except everything is slightly different to how you remember it. I have folders of source material saved on my computer, they are often poor quality, but act as a good starting point. The vastness of information on the internet means I have used images from many different sources, including a pregnancy blog, and stills from youtube videos. I think scrolling through pages of thumbnails provides a bombardment of images, that echoes the found nature of the objects I work on.

OP What can you tell us about your process in general? Give us some insight into how you work LMcM My work is quite process based, I sit at my desk surrounded by clutter, and develop ideas I have either stored in my brain, or in my notebook. There is a playfulness in my approach to making paintings, and my studio has been compared to a laboratory. There is work everywhere, paintings balance on other paintings, and pieces leaning on the ledge of the skirting board. I tend to use every available space. The work is small scale, but when presented collectively they play off against one another. My work tackles the boundaries between real and illusory, presenting the works as artefacts are an import parallel to my paintings. OP Are there any artists out there that you really admire and maybe influence you? LMcM I was really impressed by a Fergus Feehily show I saw in the Douglas Hyde Gallery recently. I also admire Thomas Mailaenders’ work. He’s a French artist I’ve come across recently. And Hank Schmidt in Der Beek, because he’s funny.

‘There is work everywhere, paintings balance on other paintings, and pieces leaning on the ledge of the skirting board’

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‘ If the studio is busy, I feel more inclined to make work’

OPYou won the Contact Studio Bursary in college and you’ve also been working in Wickham Street Studios since last year, was it important for you to keep working in a studio environment and do you think that being able to work alongside other artists is important to developing your practice, especially after college? LMcM It’s great for bouncing ideas around, and for motivation. If the studio is busy, I feel more inclined to make work. I was lucky to get a space in Contact Studios, which was a great space for the transition from college to real life. Then the Wickham experience led to the involvement with Occupy Space, which has been invaluable. And it feels like we have really contributed to the art scene in Limerick.

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OP You had an exhibition recently in Belfast, how did that come about? Are you looking forward to starting the MFA in Belfast this year? LMcM I submitted a proposal to Queen Street Studios Gallery, and having the show there in July was a great introduction to what Belfast will be like when I move up in September for the MFA.

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occupy.space@gmail.com
Disclaimer: Occupy Paper is free and makes no profit from the publication of any materials found therein. Occupy Paper is a publication for the dissemination of artistic ideas and will not be liable for any offense taken by any individual(s) resulting from any material contained therein.All images in Occupy Paper are the sole property of their creators unless otherwise stated. No image in the magazine or the magazine logo may be used in any way without permission of the copyright holder. Submissions: All works submitted to Occupy Paper must be the sole, original property of the contributor(s), have the appropriate model releases, and cannot interfere with any other publication or company’s publishing rights. Occupy Paper is edited by Aoife Flynn, Occupy Space/Wickham Street Studios, Limerick, Ireland.

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