Second Floor, The Institute, Enniscorthy, Wexford

Open View 16th October 2015 @ 7pm
Runs Until 31st October 2015

Co-Curated by Trudi Van Der Elsen & ACW Alumni John Busher

Sift is a co-curated project initiated by John Busher and Trudi Van Der Elsen. Without addressing a specific theme, the works examine emerging developments in contemporary painting practice. Sift is a reference to the physical act of filtering through source material, unearthing ideas, and the unexpected which can result from this. A common thread is formed, where image making, photographic referencing, place and memory rise to the surface. Largely grounded in the premise of figurative painting, the individual art practices explore a territory where this concern borders on abstraction.

The practice of Will O’Kane is concerned with the significance of everyday objects, that which surrounds us or may otherwise be over looked. A coat hanger, a half opened book or a decorative picture frame, personal artifacts all enmeshed with a history of their own. Discreet narratives left unfinished, O’Kane’s cryptic works never tell the whole story. Similarly, Kate Murphy’s work explores the curious human attachment to objects. This significance oscillates across ordinary material that is accumulated in particular settings. Wallpaper is seeped in generations of grime, the fissures withholding the unspoken. A patched makeshift watchtower seeks out refuge, inviting pedestrian solitude. Current preoccupations reevaluate the function of traditional painting surface, and enter into an intangible sphere of perplexingly tailored symbols and motifs. Noelle Gallagher renders wraithlike dwellings and interiors with loose references to habitation. Through a process of deconstruction, she rebuilds the surface, eroding the underlying deposits of paint to eventually reveal. Traces of human presence stand evocatively, an abandoned wheelchair, a static earthmover straddles on the edges of urban decline.

The works of Joan Sugrue offer a window into a peculiar world, one filled with barely intelligible figures. A jarring pallet, redolent of late 19th Century interiors rests alongside ill-defined swaths of colour. A silhouetted form floats over a solid emerald ground, her glowing ribbon fastened securely in place. Sugrue’s forms meld into the background, often seen through the dimensions of adornment. John Busher’s practice is concerned with a bodily sense of space. Figures often wander aimlessly through settings that are difficult to pin down. An agitated painterly approach suggests an underlying tension. The act of repeatedly working out the surface allows a space where a variety of sources inform the work.

Place is a major concern in the practice of Trudi Van Der Elsen, particularly sites of historical importance. Architectural forms are obsessively rendered down, an otherworldly presence articulated in the subtle nuance of colour. Observed from above, they edge their way into the visual language of abstraction. Painting forms a large part of her multidisciplinary practice. Positioned in a Victorian (1896) dance hall, Sift offers a juncture where this diversity can be reimagined. Over a number of months, all artists will engage in dialogue to explore the shared concerns of their practice that will eventually conclude and unfold in the space. This dialogue will examine literary connections that may emerge, and eventually provide a framework for works through a series of spoken word events. Writer Caroline Busher will write a series of short stories in response to the works that will be exhibited alongside the show. Author Peter Murphy will engage in a series of performative events. Enniscorthy Choral Society will respond to the space through works selected by choral director Donagh Wylde.

John Busher