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Contents Foreword Philip Napier


The Coffin Collective Trevor Bacon

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Caoimhe Barry


Michelle Costello


Ciaran Doyle


Ann Ensor


Daisy Gaffney


Kaylin Hackett


Josh Joyce


Aoibhin Killeen


Clare Martin


Sinead Purcell


Fi Rooney


Denis Shankey Smith


The McWilliam studio in use




The Last Word


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Foreword September 2012 Looking backwards I am checking my rear view mirror just to make sure the trailer is still there. The trailer is loaded with the weather boarded wall segments of the F.E. Mc William studio. It bears a careful sequence of numbering and alignment marks to facilitate its faithful reconstruction since its removal from McWilliam’s home in London years ago. It has been in storage in Banbridge for a number of years spanning the development of the beautiful F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio in the town. A near-replica studio has been constructed in the Gallery garden: thus, after due diligence, the original studio was offered by the Gallery through public advertisement, to anyone who could make a pitch for it. September 2012 Looking forwards We are interested in what a group of new sculpture students at the National College of Art and Design might make of the proposal of this unassembled studio in their studio - an artefact, a monument, a time capsule, a useful thing, an irrelevance, a presence, an absence, a cuckoo or a Trojan horse - potentially lots of things and nothing. By locating the studio in their studio (with the promise to bring it back when it has ceased to find value), we are interested to see what happens. It is of course a fragment, a prop within a series of educational propositions that are based on developing activity, discovery and critical reflection.

February 2013 Looking out This publication, developed by 2nd year sculpture students at NCAD is the result of their own collaboration. It offers us a space to reflect on experiment and connection in relation to the building blocks of sculptural practice. There is the very particular space that exists when the proposal for a work - the idea - meets the reality of its making - its form, its materiality (or demateriality), its situation, and how it communicates. Often the art lies in this dialogue between proposal and reality, and the dynamic relationship between how meaning is made in relation to how it is proposed. Attending to this is critical because it is a site of learning, a space of opportunity and a place of discovery. I would like to thank the artist, researcher and educator Sarah Browne in particular for her ability to inform, motivate, encourage and guide. My thanks also to Dr. Riann Coulter, Curator at the F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio for her support in seeing and acting on the potentials of this project, and the confidence to see things through. There is something particular about the F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio in its engagement with a large and growing audience, fulfilling that fundamental transmission through sculptural activity of making a space into a place. Professor Philip Napier Head of the Faculty of Fine Art National College of Art and Design, Dublin


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The Coffin Collective


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Trevor Bacon

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Caoimhe Barry

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Michelle Costello

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Clare Ma

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Clare Martin

Ciaran Doyle

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Ann Ensor

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Daisy Gaffney

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Kaylin Hackett

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Josh Joyce

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Aoibhin Killeen

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Clare Martin

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Sinead Purcell

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Fi Rooney

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Denis Shankey Smith

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The McWilliam studio in use


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Coffin Collective Launch - 12th October 2012


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Redesign - 26th November 2012


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Exhibition - 14th December 2012


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Index Trevor Bacon, An Embrace of Sorts & Domestic Infinity Loop Left: expandable polyurethane foam, polythene sheet and wire mesh sculpture. Right: still image from video, 4 minutes. Caoimhe Barry, This Isn’t Going to Work My work attempts to overcome the resonance of the things people say by having control over them, physically. Michelle Costello, Lapsing Sequence of stills from a time-lapse video, documenting an alginate cast of a beaker. Ciaran Doyle, Tools My work looks at the importance of tools for different people and experiments with colour, material and function. My work in the exhibition is a machine for making sculptures inspired by the abstract forms of F.E. McWilliam. The drawings here were a tool that I used as a storyboard to help piece a video together. Both works follow the transformation of playdough forms.

Ann Ensor, REMAINING These images consider the mould as ‘remaining’, and having a further function as a photographic image. Daisy Gaffney, Amorphous My work concerns itself with the curious relationship we have with objects and how we try to understand our environments through the things we surround ourselves with. I have explored this through creating ambiguous objects that evoke feelings of uncertainty whilst simultaneously evoking a sense of familiarity. Kaylin Hackett, Unfolding Narratives I am concerned with the value of words, language and communication. I have transferred pages from an old book on the guidelines of a workshop onto latex material. I have preserved these words within latex to preserve the importance of books in a time where technology is growing and the value of books is declining. Josh Joyce, Blueprint of wall panel - W 9


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Aoibhin Killeen, Extremities My work has a sense of curiosity. To me, an element of fun, humor and simplicity is always memorable. F.E. Mc William's series of bronze leg sculptures made me think about how significant legs really are, and these pieces I have created using reflective perspex are designed to give legs some attention. When we talk to people we focus on their face and upper body. Legs are often viewed in a sexual way and I believe they deserve more appreciation: they are our mode of transport, our means of supporting ourselves, and without them we can't do many basic but essential things. Clare Martin, Continuous Lines and Intimate Moments I have been working with the concept of intimacy. This has included the making of three user-specific tables (image right), an impression of a hug, and a piece where I recorded myself whispering anonymous secrets through cardboard tubing (image left).

Sinead Purcell, Records & Autopsy Our most identifiable feature is our teeth. Dental records are often used to identify bodies of car crash and burn victims, when no other traces of DNA remain. With this in mind, I cast ten sets of teeth, burnt them, and made corresponding dental records. These teeth were then displayed on a table alongside the records, allowing viewers to closely inspect them. Autopsy is a continuation of this idea, and is about looking at objects in a different way, seeing what is usually concealed. Car parts are organised according to weight on an autopsy table of sorts, with an overhead light made from a broken headlamp. Viewers can walk freely around the table and look closely at the important pieces that make cars run, that they may not know about. Fi Rooney, Woman of Suspension Left: Studio workspace (showing F.E. McWilliam research). Right: Documentation of self-suspension performance. Denis Shankey Smith


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The Last Word Our learning as second year sculpture students has to date been framed by twelve wooden panels, measuring roughly 1.8m across and 2.4m from top to bottom. Since the beginning of this academic year, we have built, un-built and rebuilt these panels into a studio to accommodate our needs as students and as artists. More than this, the space has grown with us, transforming where necessary and becoming an unseen extension of the work. This book is both our documentation of the space as a whole, and our individual responses to what it has been to have existed within.

Traditionally a studio within an art college is made up of flat white MDF walls forming something similar to office cubicles where the ‘artists’ work, however, the McWilliam studio afforded us the opportunity to work outside this norm. It gave us the autonomy to build a studio that moulded not only the work we made, but the way we made. As our needs changed so did the studio, going from The Coffin to an exhibition space to the studio it is now, referred to as The Stables. We have been undertakers, we have been artists, we have been jockeys, but more than all this we have been The Coffin Collective.


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WITHIN THIS [SPACE] by The Coffin Collective Second year students of the Sculpture Department National College of Art and Design, Dublin This book is produced on the occasion of the exhibition The Artist’s Overcoat: Exploring the Studio and Collections of F.E. McWilliam March 16 - June 9, 2013 F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio 200 Newry Road Banbridge County Down BT32 3NB Northern Ireland

Designed by Christopher Fullam Coordinated by Sarah Browne Printed by Dargan Press All images & texts copyright the artists Published by the F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio 978 1 908455 07 9

This book is number

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of a limited edition of 100

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Within This [Space]  
Within This [Space]