LCGA Events

Connolly/Cleary present Still life with...

Thursday 3 June 2010, 6pm
The Hunt Museum, Rutland Street, Limerick

Connolly/Cleary | AIB Art Prize 2009 | LCGA | MIC | Hunt Musem

The project is inspired by Patrick Hennessy’s magnificent Still life painting from the permanent collection of Limerick City Gallery of Art. Still life with... reconstructs the original Still life as a 3-dimensional set, inviting you to step right into the painting. It provides a meeting place for pixels and pigments, for moving and fixed images, for shimmering light and hard matter, for young and old. Depending on the visitor’s reaction, the exhibition can be a drawing exercise, a performance, a dialogue between old and new, a reflection on pictorial space... or simply a game.

In Ireland, we have a theatrical culture that allows us to imagine what is behind the scenes, but if I were to ask you what is behind the picture, you might be forgiven for replying ‘the wall!’ ‘Pictorial space’ is not in our everyday language. All the more reason to explore it. Still life with… offers us a walk through an imagined space behind the picture plane. Like Alice through the Looking Glass, the work invites the spectator to step through the frame into that imaginary space behind the painting. It makes a bridge between old media - painting and sculpture - and new media - computers, video and digital printing.

This giant Still life then passes back into two dimensions, as video: three interactive video projections surrounding the set allow the visitor to become part of a series of ever changing new digital Still lifes, contemporary interpretations of the classical painting genre.

Still life with... is a space into which the viewer can step—to be part of this three-dimensional exploration of painting currently under construction in Limerick. Eighteen young student teachers - from Mary Immaculate College at the University of Limerick - are busy building the giant fruit that will form the heart of the installation, while the artists Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly are elaborating three interactive installations that will interpret movement and stillness. Every year The AIB Prize identifies emerging Irish visual artists and helps them launch their career through the staging of a showcase exhibition in a publicly funded venue. Winners of the AIB Prize 2009, the artists hope—through this ground-breaking project—to push the boundaries of educational models for cultural projects, and so the choice of working with student teachers was a judicious one. The project will impact not only on the young people directly involved, but will resonate on future generations of children through the experiences and confidence gained by their teachers in working with contemporary art. Still life with... promotes a multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning in the Visual Art Education in MIC (Department of Arts Education & Physical Education in the Facility of Education in MIC ). It advocates a student centred approach to active involvement, reflection and the exploration of a variety of artistic techniques in contemporary art.

Once installed, Still life with... is as much about what moves as what is still. The interactive video projections study moving bodies - people - and how they interact with the still objects of the installation. Meanwhile easels invite visitors who might prefer a more traditional approach to take up a pencil and draw their own still life. Cleary and Connolly’s work is on the cutting edge of contemporary art practice, and this new installation uses interactive video programming that they initially created for LCGA, and which they have since fine-tuned for such major international institutions as the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Guangdong Museum of Art in China. This new work pushes Cleary and Connolly’s ideas of inclusive art practice further than ever before. The three dots suggest that the project is unfinished, incomplete without… you.

Award winning Irish artists Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly live and work in Paris, where they moved in 1990 following architectural studies in Dublin during the 1980s. Patterns of behaviour, both in cities and within our institutions, are a central preoccupation of their work; and these they examine through narrative and interactive video, installation, photography, and text. Cleary and Connolly see their work as an ongoing engagement with the world.

Recent solo exhibitions include: Pourqui pas toi at the Pompidou Centre; Moving Dublin at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris; Here There Now Then at the Limerick City Gallery of Art, Ireland; and Yokohama House Guests at the Yokohama Triennial, Japan.

Recent group exhibitions include: Sombras e Luz, Sesc Pompéia, Sao Paulo; Noughties but Nice, 21st Century Irish Art. LCGA, Limerick; TULCA Season of visual art, Galway; Do Something Different, the Barbican Centre, London; Tina –B, National Gallery, Prague; Global Tour, W139, Amsterdam.


Opening Reception at Thursday 3 June 2010 at The Hunt Museum, Rutland Street, Limerick, Ireland.

Phone +353 61 312833

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The Limerick City Gallery of Art acknowledges the financial support of AIB prize 2009 and the Arts Council in making this exhibition possible. Still life with… is in partnership with The Hunt Museum and Mary Immaculate College at the University of Limerick.

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