Janus 18 January - 16 February, 2013
Janus Peppercanister Gallery Dublin 18 January â€“ 16 February 2013
The Roman god of new beginnings and transitions, war and peace, Janus is typically represented by a two-faced God, simultaneously looking to the future and to the past. The Romans bestowed the fitting title of Janus upon the month of January as it is a time for all to reminisce on the year gone by whilst focusing on the fresh start the new year brings.
This book was published by the Peppercanister Gallery on the occasion of the exhibition Janus 18 January – 16 February 2013 Peppercanister Gallery, Dublin, Ireland Copyright © the artists, the authors and the Peppercanister Gallery. Peppercanister Gallery 3 Herbert Street, Dublin 2, Ireland T: +353 (0) 1 6611279 E: email@example.com www.peppercanister.com All rights reserved. No part of this publications may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, elecrical, mechanical or otherwise, without first seeking the written permission of the copyright owners and of the publisher.
Editor Hannah Brogan
About The Gallery
Peppercanister’s first show of 2013 brings together original works interpreting the theme of Janus from many of Ireland’s most distinguished artists as well as a number of notable UK artist. The exhibition includes painting, photography, print, culpture and ceramic, as well as poetry by Michael Longley, one of Ireland’s most eminent poets. Along with regular gallery artists, the show sees the return of invited artists Mary Kelly, Brian King, Carolyn Mulholland, Rachel Parry and Michael Quane. Political ceramic sculptor Steve Dixon (Professor at the Manchester School of Art and inaugural V&A Ceramic Artist in Residence), Andrew Folan and John Kindness (who has recently completed his Gasworks sculpture on the quays of the River Liffey) will be showing at the gallery for the first time. Artists include: Liam Belton, Anne Griffin Bernstorff, Basil Blackshaw, Steve Dixon, Andrew Folan, Graham Gingles, Mary kelly, John Kindness, Brian King, Sonja Landweer, Michael Longley, deirdre McLoughlin, Simon McWilliams, Carolyn Mulholland, Abigail O’Brien, Gavin O’Curry, Rachel Parry, Michael Quane, Neil Shawcross, Andrew Vickery, Conor Walton and Charlie Whisker.
Bryan Murphy Director
Liam Belton is a Dublin based artist and member of the RHA since 1991. Renowned as a master of still life, his name is synonymous with extraordinarily realistic compositions that are meticulously rendered in his characteristic, cool tones. Mezzanine conveys an image of transition. A mezzanine level is a midpoint between where you have been and where you intend to go. The stairs and open door suggest coming and going, entry and exit.
Liam Belton Mezzanine oil on canvas
Recognised as one of Irelandâ€™s greatest artists, Basil Blackshaw was initially acclaimed for his mastery of traditional approaches to painting. He continued to develop as an artist, becoming most highly regarded for his very loose and gestural application of paint and a very distinctive and subtle use of colour. His artworks are often figurative in form yet executed using a non-naturalistic palate, rendering the composition in an expressionistic, even abstract way. This piece depicts a window with plant life on the outside. A window has the same connotation as a doorway, allowing the viewer to look to the future whilst remaining behind the safety of the glass until they choose otherwise.
Basil Blackshaw Wind oil on canvas
Political ceramic sculptor Steve Dixon is Professor at the Manchester School of Art and inaugural Ceramic Artist in Residence at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. His piece Janus is a colourful representation of the Roman God, each face pointing in an opposite direction. One is looking back on what has been whilst the other faces forward, focusing on what is to come.
Steve Dixon Janus ceramic
Folan is a conceptual artist who practices in print, photography and sculpture. Here he has combined digital processes to create a sculpture that is original and thought-provoking. The two faces mirror each other, welcoming and intriguing the viewers gaze.One is looking back, the other forward and the pages containing the story in between have been ripped from the book.
Andrew Folan Some Stories gicleĂŠ book, unique
Graham Gingles lives and works on the coast of Co. Antrim. Renowned for his unique wall-hanging box sculptures, Gingles has a distinctive vision and his complex sculptures are fabricated from a multiplicity of found objects and mixed media, ingeniously combined and saluted by perceptive critics. Janus is a truly engaging piece, absorbing the viewer with its theatrical qualities. The artistâ€™s portrait is cast in the negative but as the viewer peers to the side, a reflected image provides a glimpse of the face escaping into the past.
Graham Gingles Janus mixed media
Jacobâ€™s Joy is an interpretation of the Biblical story, found in the book of Genesis. This beautiful, playful painting refers to Jacob and his spotted sheed, in which Jacob, promised by his father-in-law that he could keep any spotted offspring, defied the laws of the universe, and indeed his father-in-law, by creating the impossible. God had previously appeared to Jacob in a dream to tell him that He would make certain the phenomenon. In doing so Jacob effectively won a heard of livestock, enabling him to provide for his new family. The artist, Ann GriffinBernstorff, has an encyclopedic knowledge of history and in fact breeds a particular type of spotted sheep on her land in Co. Wexford.
Ann Griffin-Bernstorff Jacobâ€™s Joy oil on canvas
Through Kelly’s lens we gain a momentary glimpse into the ward once occupied by Jenny, a young patient of Ireland’s psychiatric healthcare system. Her drawing and signature are surrounded by scratch marks on a Perspex barrier. These act as Jenny’s voice, which shouts, I am here, I was here, this is me! A remarkably moving piece, Jenny’s Moor highlights the complexity of changing circumstances within society.
Mary Kelly Jenny’s Moor acrylic lambda print
John Kindness is a multi-media artist whose work often contrasts material, image and reference in a humorous way. The Croghan Twins was commissioned through Breaking Ground, a percent for art programme launched as part of the Ballymun Regeneration project. The scheme aimed to expand and enrich the lives of the communities living there, removing adverse connotations. This work, while combining modern reclaimed material, echoes the history of fresco and iconography used throughout art history. It portrays the profile portraits of twin brothers who reside in the Ballymun area.
John Kindness Croghan Twins enamel, oil & gold leaf on car bonnet
Brian King is a Dublin born sculptor who studdied at the National College of Art and Design, becoming head of the Department of Sculpture there between 1984 and 2004. Having achieved various awards and recognition for his innovative work, King has received numerous public commissions which are typically large-scale, metal constructions that are abstract and minimalist in style and based on simple geometric forms. Cumeen Mound is a modern interpretation of the extensive, Neolithic burial ground that is atop the summit of Knocknacrea in Co. Sligo. It is believed to be the resting place of Queen Medb. Traditionally, burial grounds are a physical reminder and symbol of the transition between life and death
Brian King Cumeen Mound bronze, A/P
Sonja Landweer trained as a ceramic artist and achieved early international renown as one of the finest potters of her generation.She also has a keen interest in ethnic art and collects indigenous materials which she uses to create fine examples of avant-garde jewellry and sculpture. In recent years Landweer has turned her attention to casting her ceramic sculptures in bronze. Her forms are inspired by natural shapes such as exotic seeds and organic objects and she is celebrated for her innovatory forms and patinations. Suggestive of two eyes, this sculptural pair embodies diverse outlooks in life. Easily rearranged, a change in orientations allows for different view on the world.
Sonja Landweer Janus bronze
Michael Longley is one of Irelandâ€™s most noteworthy poets. Educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Instiution and subsequently reading Classics at Trinity College, Dublin he was Professor of Poetry for Ireland from 2007 until 2010. January is Longleyâ€™s interpretation of the New Year and all that it brings.
Michael Longley January
McLoughlin is a ceramic sculptor who was born in Dublin but now lives and works in Amsterdam. A fascinating dialogue between classical ceramic forms and functions surround her work. The perfection of her creations and their surface lends a far greater physical presence to the works than their size suggests. In fact, this constant quest for perfection finds close kin to Japanese tradition where the connection between beauty and skill is understood in a more subtle way than it is further West in the world.White is a piece that is full of movement, constantly changing shape and morphing as the viewer moves around it.
Deirdre McLoughlin White ceramic
Simon McWilliams is a Belfast based painter whose artistic subject matter is primarily urban architecture, especially large construction sites and botanical greenhouses which he interprets with a wild exuberance of colour. He has a great aility to capture large, emotionless structures and pass them through his painterly imagination, transforming them into things of beauty, surrounded by a dizzting chaos of colour. In this painting the familiar and placid form of a palm tree appears to morph into the silhouette of a bat with its wings outstretched, in full flight. The viewer looks up at the ancient form of the palm tree, stretching far into the unknown of the bright blue sky.
Simon McWilliams Bat Palm oil on canvas
Carolyn Mulholland was born in Lurgan, Co. Armagh. Having studdied at the Belfast College of Art, she has completed major sculptural commissions for institutions across Ireland and Northern Ireland. First Light examines the relationship between light and shadow. Reminiscent of the Stone Age passage tomb at Newgrange, this sculptural work makes reference to the winter solstice which, for Irelandâ€™s pagan people, marked the end of Winter hardship and the birth of Spring and regrowth.
Carolyn Mulholland First Light bronze, unique
This diptych work portrays the human eye from both the exterior and the reverse. The part of the eye that is visible to all is precise and composed while the part that is hidden from view, beneath the faĂ§ade, is chaotic and jumbled. First the artist took a photographic image of her own eye then, having printed it as a pattern, embroidered the detailed elements using coloured thread. A final photograph was taken of either side, allowing both to be effectively displayed together.
Abigail Oâ€™Brien Behind The i & The i acrylic mounted print
Manchester born Gavin O’Curry now lives and works in Dublin. Painting in primarily black and white he draws inspiration from photographs taken from culture, the media and everyday urban scenes. Interested by the gap between reproduced images and the physicality of painting, O’Curry uses paint to recreate images that connect both the familiar and the abstract. The resulting works depict certain snapshots in time, like clippings from a film reel. The Snow is a glimpse of Winter where dark resides over light, separated only by a brief meeting in the middle. With time however, light shall gain in strength and Spring will replace the snow with new life.
Gavin O’Curry The Snow oil on linen
This sculptural piece by Rachel Parry, a Co. Cork based artist, captures that moment where the past meets the future. The cocoon is a portal in which life is suspended and everything previous evaporates. All that exists is a sustentative energy. The artist constructed the shell by sewing together the cocoon of twelve Ceranchia Apollina moths, a native of Madagascar. The inner shell of the Ceranchia Apollina is lined in a golden substance that the artist then used to coat the figure suspended within. This is suggestive of the deity, Janus, son of Apollo the god of light and sun.
Rachel Parry Janus ceranchia apollina cocoons, wax, thread & steal
Michael Quane is a Cork born artist who studied at the Crawford School of Art and has exhibited internationally as well as throughout Ireland. Two is a sculpture with substantial presence. It depicts a human figure carrying the weight of another with him, symbolic of the struggle of past experiences.
Michael Quane Two Kilkenny marble
Considered to be one of the most innovative and exciting figurative artsits working in Ireland today, Neil Shawcrossâ€™ influences are primarily French and his artwork is infinitely varied and magically modern. In this work the artist has creatively painted the word Janus three times, one on top of the other. The top and bottom are a mirror image of the central script, challenging the viewerâ€™s comprehension of the piece.
Neil Shawcross Janus oil on board
This painting refers to the artist’s theatre piece shown at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin. For the show Vickery photographed thirty-nine individual works as slides and will project them, in rotation, onto a screen in a constructed model theatre. His paintings are usually related to personal memories and loosely based on reality. Each painting from ‘The Paradise  series come together to form a narrative that recalls Vickery’s relationship with the late artist, William Mckeon. As the viewer we stand in the middle of a rural road on a journey into the unfamiliar, the ground already covered behind us.
Andrew Vickery Drumgullion Tyrone gouache on canvas
Conor Walton is a Dublin born artist who now lives and works in Co. Wicklow. Having studdied painting at the Natiional College of Art and Design, Dublin, he graduated in 1993 and was awarded the Taylor Prize that same year. Walton has a prodigious talent for portraiture and still life and, using his extraordinary draughtsmanship and old masterly style, he creates artwork that is both modern and timeless. The Key is an image of the artistâ€™s son and represents the balance of life and new beginnings.
Conor Walton The Key oil on linen
Another work by Walton, Twins is symbolically representative of the theme, Janus. Here we see two seemingly identical faces lying side by side. The first is a darker, more confrontational depiction which is contrasted by the second, lighter more open interpretation.
Conor Walton Twins oil on panel
Charlie Whisker grew up in Bangor, Co. Down and now lives and works in Bray, Co. Wicklow. Sweet and sour images tend to litter his work, the tragic and the joyful. Whisker likes to involve the viewers, giving them a forensic type scene to piece together in their heads. His paintings combine stark graphics and cool light with occasional bursts of colour. This work depicts two skulls, assuming the traditional stance of the icon Janus. They represent mortality whilst the ladybird in the foreground conveys the persistence of life.
Charlie Whisker I Can Not Get My Head Around This oil on canvas
About The Gallery
The Peppercanister Gallery came into being as a result of the Murphy family’s lifelong involvement in the arts. Antoinette Murphy is a trained artist and art historian and has taught and lectured on Irish art extensively for many years. She established the Peppercanister Gallery at 3 Herbert Street, Dublin 2 in the autumn of 1999 with her son Bryan. Bryan began his career in Sotheby’s London office, before working at The Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin. He took over as Director of Peppercanister Gallery in 2010. The gallery is located in an elegant Georgian building near to Dublin’s bustling city center, and just a short stroll from The National Art Gallery. Known as Baggotonia, the area comprises Dublin’s historic ‘left bank’ and is associated with many of Ireland’s greatest artists and writers, including Francis Bacon, Mainie Jellett, Mary Swanzy, Oscar Wilde, Oliver St John Gogarty, W B Yeats, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan, Patrick Kavanagh and Flann O’Brien not to mention no less than four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature — W B Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. The annual programme includes a series of solo exhibitions and Group Shows. Gallery artists include the following: Liam Belton RHA, Neil Shawcross RUA, RHA, Breon O’Casey, Abigail O’Brien RHA, Charlie Whisker, John Bellany, Deirdre McLoughlin, Sonja Landweer, Anne Donnelly, Graham Gingles, RUA. Joseph O’Connor, Sarah Longley, Ann Griffin-Bernstorff, Robert Janz, Brian Ballard, RUA. Liam Roberts, and Albert Irvin RA. Works by the following artists are also featured regularly in the Gallery: Mary Swanzy, HRHA. Evie Hone, HRHA. Mainie Jellett, Tony O’Malley, HRHA. Gerard Dillon, Louis le Brocquy, HRHA. Patrick Scott, HRHA. Camille Souter, HRHA. Basil Blackshaw, HRHA.
Peppercanister Gallery 3 Herbert Street, Dublin 2, Ireland T: E:
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Exhibition catalogue for Janus, 2013