+ . 05. 16.
bare. adjective verb
without addition; basic and simple.
without clothing or covering.
uncover and expose to view.
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Stephen Burke Re-appropriating the illegitimate paintings of Dublin City Council.
Are you too cool for this? Article by Conor Foran.
Neil Dunne Exploring the relationship between materiality and space in the urban context.
The land of states and scholars Article by Kate Reilly.
Aoife Dunne Fabricating identity and creating environments which play with sculptural and digital space.
Abyss A collaboration exploring the theme of isolation through structure and distress.
To intern or to emigrate Article by Jane Gleeson.
Interview with Bob Gray Bob Gray, co-founder of Red&Grey talks about going from being a first year student to a first year tutor.
bare On his work
‘Buffing’ is a term for graffiti removal that utilises a painterly aesthetic to mask urban scrawls. I find the layering process highly engaging as it replicates the aesthetic of minimalist and abstract expressionist paintings but doesn’t carry the same legitimacy as the paintings themselves. I aim to give them legitimacy through the work I create by forming visual responses to what I see. The layers of paint that Dublin City Council use to cover up graffiti have become art, but the creators are completely unaware of it.
Stephen Burke stephen burke
Fine Print, NCAD
bare Future work
I plan to document Dublin City Councilâ€™s buffs by extracting a group of their artworks. I intend to do this through the installation of wooden boards in areas around the city. After the installation Iâ€™m hoping these boards will be scrawled on and marked so I can notify the council in the hope that they will buff these boards. Once this is complete I can uninstall the boards, complete with Dublin City Council paintings. instagram: @stefano.bardsley email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You’ve heard it before, right? You’ve probably even done it yourself. In fact, everyone has done it. We’ve all pretended to know a band, movie, book, or even a person, just to prove we’re cool. Before I started in NCAD, I imagined it as a hub for hipsters, a kind of Hogwarts – ignorant to the mainstream ways of the outside world – where no one admitted they listened to Rihanna and everyone wildly lied about knowing the most obscure band’s new EP in the fear of being discovered a fan of the mainstream. Indeed while I did prepare myself for this, I admit I was slightly shocked when I heard Calvin Harris blaring from one of the studios one evening. It seemed the mainstream had leaked into the most impermeable of hipster fortresses. It’s not just art students who suffer from such a trend, however; everyone can relate to this. We all know people who go out of their way to avoid what is popular – people otherwise known as hipsters. No one ever confesses to being one, though. To be grouped is against their very nature. Their desire to be unique and different eliminates the idea of a label, yet unintentionally they band together to form troupes of pretentiousness, or (in their words) good taste. Those who do openly confess to being a hipster clearly have just come straight from the mainstream, right? First rule of being a hipster: you’re not a hipster. Or something like that. (I wouldn’t know. I’m not a hipster.) Yet you can’t deny there’s a bit of hipster blood in all of us. We all take a little pride in doing, seeing, or hearing something before it becomes ‘the thing’. When something you’ve enjoyed privately suddenly becomes popular, it’s hard not get worked up. For the longest time it was all yours to milk, and when it gets snatched up by others you can only declare: “but that’s mine!” – why? Shouldn’t you be happy that finally other people realise your favourite artist’s brilliance? Indeed it can be said that when a hipster trend sails up the mainstream, it begins to leak. It loses its value, and its worth – at least in the eyes of the hipsters. Take Electric Picnic for example. Originally a haven for hippies and alternatives alike, in recent years it has come under scrutiny for catering to the more mainstream crowd. Even Claire O’ Mahony of the Independent commented about this year’s festival: “And can it get any more mainstream than Sam Smith as a headliner?” It is undeniable that many of the would-be Oxegen attendees were present at Stradbally last year, with their denim shorts, their (badly done) face-paint, and the classic flower headband. I mean, Christ, they’re not even trying to look like hipsters!
8 Conor Foran discusses what it means to be cool.
Are you too cool for this?
Illustration: Peter Smyth.
But are the hipsters themselves to blame? If we take Florence + The Machine as an example from Electric Picnic 2015, we can see the fate of an act once revered by a different crowd. Florence was seen as quite alternative and had hipster appeal – whatever that is – when she first belted out the likes of Cosmic Love and Rabbit Heart, but now she has somehow fallen deep into the mainstream and is, even by iTunes’ standards, considered ‘pop’ music. As if to say she has been corrupted and has ultimately become unlistenable while so-called hipsters scurry to follow new, unknown artists until they become big enough to be waterlogged by the mainstream. Can it then be said that it is, in fact, the mainstream that damages such artists? Over-exposure, record label demands and inexorable fans hungry for new material can most definitely choke any artist and deprive them of the breathing space the hipsters politely gave to them – of course – in order for them to hone their art. It is also interesting to note that Icelandic singer Bjork, perhaps one of the most eccentric artists of our time, once compared art snobbery to saying that, “Fillet Mignon is brilliant food, but bananas are stupid to eat”. In other words, accepting the importance of variety when it comes to art is essential in understanding and enjoying all art, and when ultimately forming a valued opinion. Does this then explain why hipsters so desperately crave to escape the mainstream? As with many other aspects of their life, they desire to be different, to stand out from the conventional, all in an effort to preserve their unique identity. Art institutions and their students are notorious for being pretentious, with an attitude of being “holier than thou” when it comes to the arts. However, it can definitely be said that, as art students, it is important to embrace as much as you can. Through doing so we form an individual opinion and ultimately we educate ourselves – or are we too cool for that?
Neil Dunne Damn Fine Print MFA Fine Print, NCAD
On finishing his degree in Print
I went through a weird thing, I suppose most people probably do after they finish their degree, of not really knowing what’s going on. Once you’re back in a creative environment though, it all starts to piece itself together. I started working in Damn Fine Print in September 2014. The major difference between working there and in the college print department is that it’s predominantly a commercial studio. It was interesting to fluctuate between the two of them because you’re always learning about all these different things.
Difference between an MA and a BA
The major difference between an MA and a BA is that there is minimal contact between you and your tutors, so a lot of your work is very self directed. It’s definitely on your own initiative to make work. I think a major thing for me was that I didn’t go straight from a BA. During my year out I was kind of doing my own work anyway, so this year it all kind of fell into place. It’s nice to be back in a college you know quite well though, it’s kind of beneficial – if you ever need to get anything done you know the avenues to take or the people to talk to. www.neildavidjames.com twitter: @neildavidjames
Lately, an admittance of truth has been creeping up in the back of my mind. A question has posed itself to me, a question I am not afraid to ask. A beam of enlightenment has projected itself on to me from the heavens, and a sudden knowledge and wisdom has been bestowed upon me. (Well, maybe that’s slightly dramatic. It wasn’t quite like that. It’s exaggerated. And untruthful. It’s actually a lie. I’m sorry.) The burning question is thus: why do we drink alcohol? This is a discourse concerning a topic much ignored in our society. Like the subjunctive, the culture of consuming alcohol is mindlessly ignored and unquestioned by the masses, and seems to always have been. Now, the majority of people enjoy alcohol. After all, we are in Ireland, and our tiny country is famous for being drenched in a delicate mixture of whiskey and rainfall. It's part of our heritage really; we are all spiritual auld men, sitting at the bar of life, drinking away at our numbered pints of Guinness. What I just want to point out is how strange it is that most of us are completely okay with drinking a magic potion in order to feel witty and appealing. The first answer that comes to your mind is quite simple. It’s obviously fun. Who doesn’t want to go and get absolutely bananas on 3 for a tenner Jaegerbomb deals, shift a mouldy one, pass out in the bathroom stall and then vomit all over the taxi on the way home? It’s the ultimate dream.*
14 Kate Reilly questions drinking culture and the surreal experience of a night out.
The land of states and scholars
Illustration: Liam Trumble
*It’s not the ultimate dream at all. **Once you’re of legal age obviously (down with underage drinking, say no to drugs, etc).
What I’m questioning are the cold, hard facts of this ancient social tradition. Imagine if someone who has never encountered modern society (e.g. someone from Roscommon) arrived down into the middle of your generic Dublin nightclub. They’d be horrified. Absolutely scarred. A sweaty, tumultuous sea of youths grinding against each other in time with the perpetual beat. Multicoloured flashing lights highlighting the droopy-eyed, flappy-jawed masses. The acrid smell of vodka and blackcurrant mixed with lust. They’d be desperately screaming questions to one another above the strains of Tiesto. “Why are those girls wearing no clothes?”, “Why is the floor so sticky?” etc, etc. We have been born into a culture that is in love with drink. It’s nigh impossible to escape it. Pass your exams? We’ll have a few to celebrate. Fail your exams? We’ll have a few anyway. Wedding? Birthday? Death? Anniversary? Wednesday? All reasons to partake in alcoholic beverages to excess, stumble back home, and wake up the next morning with a mouth as dry as an Egyptian’s sandal and a few flashbacks of the night before. Not that I’m saying there’s anything wrong with it at all. **
On her work
At the minute I am experimenting with lots of different found objects and working on the creation and manipulation of environments. My work is heavily based on aesthetics, so my work always develops from playing around with interesting colours and shapes. I like the process of deconstruction. I like the challenge of creating something from nothing and constructing new forms and functions.
Aoife Dunne Media, NCAD Digital Art Direction @ Superhero Mag
My practice is very playful, sculptural and strongly focused on the conversation between costume and identity. I like to use the language of clothing through video and performance to express or hide my identity and experiment with the creation of alteregos. I try to suggest how identity is often an unstable compromise between social dictates and personal intention. I think that in a society increasingly focused on image, Âwhere the single greatest influence of a first impression is someoneâ€™s physical appearance, does what you choose to wear define who you are? And can you manipulate and create new realities about yourself in this way of nonverbal communication? I feel clothing and appearance can be seen as a great extension of your personality and is an integral part in the process of self realisation.
On her influences
I am super super super influenced by what I observe on a day-to-day basis. I am not someone of routine so I constantly try and engage with new places/people. I find that this helps me to stay inspired and excited about what I do. I live a very fast paced lifestyle and get bored really easily so it’s important for me to put myself in different situations and meet new people in order to create interesting work. Artists I’m crushing on at the moment would be V anessa Beecroft, Julia Dault, Donn Huanca, Erwin Wurm, Alex Da Corte, I could go on and on, I have so many!
On work outside college
Outside of college I work as a creative director and stylist. I started when I was 16 so I’ve been doing that for 4 years now. After a lot of hard work (x100000) I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with some big brands and build a strong enough portfolio to team up with other creatives abroad. I usually try and keep this work separate from my studio work which can be difficult and stressful at times but I’ve found that they both tend to bounce off each other which in the end strengthens my fine art practice.
aoife dunne On her personal style
I honestly never know how to answer when I’m asked “where did your style come from?’’ I have no idea. I’m not really sure I think of style as something you develop, I think style is instinct. In terms of describing it, l haven’t a clue. I find myself attracted to typically ugly and garish pieces and then mixing them with clashing colours and patterns. www.aoifedunne.com www.facebook .com/AoifeDunneStylist instagram: efadone
aoife banks & colton mcguirk
A collaborative project between photographer Du Jingze and fashion designers Colton McGuirk and Aoife Banks.
For Abyss we wanted to capture a sense of isolation and mental deterioration. We did this through the use of sharp and elongated silhouettes in Aoife’s designs and distressed, frayed finishings that feature prominently in Colton’s designs. We chose to set the shoot in a derelict convent to further the theme of solitude and decay. This combination echoes the story of the inner demon’s victory against its host.
aoife banks & colton mcguirk
Fragmented Deterioration by Colton McGuirk is inspired by the deterioration of the mind and body. The inspiration for this collection grew from the sense of isolation and neglect prevalent in historic mental asylums. The collection features stiff fabrics combined with delicate, raw edges. Each garment contains a layered, frayed element as the distressed garments echo the decay of the victims and the institution. De|Form by Aoife Banks is inspired by body dysmorphic disorder – an illness characterised by extreme preoccupation of the mind over body image. Each garment in the collection is a visualisation of the sufferer’s perceived deformity or defect in their physical appearance. Juxtaposing the black leathers with the light, sheer fabrics lends to the sense of the desire to be hidden whilst always being exposed.
Du Jingze website: www.dujingze.com instagram: @kooqy
Aoife Banks email: email@example.com instagram: @aoifebanks
Colton McGuirk facebook: Colton McGuirk Designs instagram: @coltonmcg
Jane Gleeson discusses life after art college.
To intern or emigrate?
26 For a number of current NCAD students, this year marks the final haul before we enter into the daunting realm of employment, but, and I’m sure the entire student body will agree, it also resonates with the fact that employment might not be so easy to grasp once we have completed our studies, especially with an art college degree in hand. For others, employment prospects may be slightly easier to secure, whether the student has gained a reputation by presenting the mother of all grad shows or like myself and has spent every spare moment in unpaid internships at the benefit of networking and gaining experience to improve potential career opportunities. I am aware it can be difficult to pin down paid employment in the arts in Ireland, although I’m sure that article has already been covered from each corner of our little provincial Isle. Since the recession hit I have watched friends and family flee from Ireland in pursuit of a better career path. Some have returned, and I’m not so sure if others will at this point. The decision to stay represents that each of these emigrants have succeeded in finding a decent wage abroad, and upon return dreaded the possibility of repatriating to Ireland to be faced with a scarcity of employment prospects. The option to intern is not always undertaken enthusiastically as it is unlikely that the intern will receive a wage. Few legal guidelines are enforced to protect the rights of the intern or the employer, but interning has become a significant step in attaining employment in Ireland in most industries. In the UK a series of guidelines have been set in place to protect both parties, one of which demands that the intern has to be paid if they are at graduate level. Visual Artists Ireland (VAI) have created several steps to aid in the development of this aforementioned situation by publishing a document of suggested guidelines that establishments should adhere to. During the summer they enhanced their research by releasing a poll which asked readers “Should Visual Artists Ireland advertise unpaid internships?” the result revealed that 42% of people explicitly said no, a meagre 15% voted yes and the remaining 43% confirmed that internships should be advertised on the basis that the position abides by the guidelines encouraged by VAI. Therefore it is evident that the majority of readers agree that the current situation of not paying interns is unfair and is crying out for change.
illustration by: Eric Stynes
On the other hand, there are subtle signs of reform appearing in Dublin at the moment. In 2007 Atelier, Detail and ZeroG amalgamated resources to create the Three x3 internship – an amazing opportunity for three graduates, which provides experience in the three studios while offering a substantial wage. VAI also offered a paid internship position in their publications department highlighting the opinion that interns should be paid for their duties. The Celtic Tiger has been and gone and there are indications of better times ahead for our current commercial climate. Hopefully the arts will start to reap financially in this process and in turn develop the necessity for enforced guidelines and payment for all members of a working team in arts establishments.
Bob Gray is a first year lecturer, graphic designer, co-founder of Red&Grey design studio and past NCAD student. He talks to us in the Cross Gallery about going from being a first year student to being a first year tutor.
On working after college
Bob Gray When I graduated from NCAD I worked in Design Factory for 3 years. Then I moved to Amsterdam and worked for a company called G2K for a year and a half. In Holland the approach was very different to here. My creative director was more like a tutor in 1st year. For one annual report I did, I interviewed animals for the Zoo. Another one we did for Gamma — which would be the Dutch equivalent of Woodies — we got the flyers that they would put through your door, I put them in the guillotine, and then we put them into the annual reports. You’d open it to see half a page of annual returns with half a guy’s head and drill. And anyway, it got nominated for best annual report in Holland. It was that approach of making things and learning from making stuff and not looking at what everybody else has done, and just trying to make what they’ve done better.
On the studio
The atmosphere in the studio is very important. If you have an atmosphere where it’s all about deadlines and getting things out the door, it’s going to reflect in the work. Whereas if you’re doing something where it’s like “OK let’s print that out, spray it, bring it downstairs, burn it and then bring it back upstairs and see what we can do with it” then there’s an atmosphere of play and learning from making rather than just going straight to the internet for research. We’ve a really good library now, at first it was very much design focused but now it has a load of art books, architecture, photography, science — a whole manner of stuff there, it’s far broader. You go into our studio and it’s not that different from the core studios, there’s stuff all over the walls and stuff everywhere. We rent space to people in the studios who aren’t designers, it’s really interesting to have them in the room and hear their comments. We like having people in the studios who aren’t in design, we value the cleaners’ comments as much as each other’s.
On beginning Red&Grey
I came back to Dublin in 2003 and there weren’t many design studios. I remember looking around thinking “Is there anywhere I want to work for?” and the answer was no. So I started Red&Grey in my brother’s kitchen kind of going “right… I’ve got a company.”
On Red&Grey’s Process
Over the years we’ve learned to hone our process. We’ve gone from problem-solving to problem-seeking. We have a much more holistic view now of how people do things. We try to find gaps and fill them with interesting things that will benefit the company. When we interview people for jobs the first thing we ask them for is their notebook because anyone can produce a finished product – we want to see their process. Going out and actually talking to
people as part of your research process is vital. You can survey people online and use Survey Monkey or whatever, but honestly you would be better off going out and surveying an actual monkey. A while ago, Maynooth University asked us to do suggestion boxes but with those, people often give you the answers they think you want to get. So, we printed t-shirts with “Suggestion Box” on the front and got people to go out and actually talk to each other.
BOB GREY On going back to Core
After the crash I did the Pivot Dublin project (a bid for Dublin to be the design capital of Europe). It gave us a chance to design at the top table and it was interesting, because after that, our work slightly changed. I’d kind of gone from that moment in 1st year where I started to understand how to research, I still remember some things John Waid said to me. In 1st year it’s 80% research and 20% output. In Red&Grey it’s 50/50, but after Pivot it was back to 20% research. I considered quitting, doing something else but then I went back to NCAD, back to Core year. I was asking students questions that used to be asked to me and then questioning why I hadn’t been asking them to myself.
What happened then was that the work in the studio started to change, I went back to doing more research. I started doing other stuff at the time as well, I started doing a project with a photographer and messing around with sculptural stuff with a textile designer from NCAD. I've started to work an awful lot more collaboratively with other people which was a real positive aspect of Pivot. So now when I work with a photographer I work with him, rather than commissioning him to take the shots and then just them into a brochure.
We also did Design Feast, where 50 people from the city were invited to an art gallery on Parnell st. Your ticket in was a chair – you had to bring your own. Some people brought a kitchen chair, there was an architect there who brought one of his own chairs, some people made chairs and at the end, everyone sitting around on all these chairs, a little bit tipsy, all on the steps going onto Parnell Square. Then they dandered off down the street with the chair in their hand, trying to get it into their taxi. With projects, you can’t just do the obvious thing or the first thing that comes to your mind. If you have a brief for a gallery and you just do it about it being a gallery – then how does that make them different to any other gallery? What do they do that’s different? Everything you do needs to be offering solutions that go beyond the obvious.
Deirdre Rawle Editor Visual Communication, NCAD deirdrerawle.com
Lucas Garvey Creative Director, Designer Visual Communication, NCAD le-mou.com
Contributors Liam Trumble
Illustration instagram: @whalecat
Conor Foran Co-Editor, Writer Visual Communication, NCAD conorforan.com
Illustration firstname.lastname@example.org instagram: @burtdurd
Thanks to NCADSU for funding our mag. Find out more @ www.bare-magazine.com instagram: @baremag twitter: @baremag email: email@example.com
A magazine concentrating on exposing and promoting artists and designers in NCAD, Dublin. Creative Direction & Design.