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Artists: Sligo IT

Title of Exhibition: Future Perspectives

Date: Friday 9th June - Friday 23rd June

About the Exhibition: Third year graduates from Sligo IT. Contributing artists include Keith Murray, Brian Cahill, Rebecca McGuinness, Miriam Doran, Kevina Morris, Gabrielle Flynn, Ken Gunning, Aengus Coyne, Malika Kral, Adam Flynn, Edel Haran and Emma Finlay.

Artist's images and Statements

Keith Murray

My work was created through the investigation of animals that get drunk or high in their natural habitats. A lot of animals go out of their way to get drunk or high off natural means. For instance monkeys and other animals will eat the fermented marula fruit and get intoxicated, or monkeys will agitate millipeads to spray their natural cyanide on themselves to stop insects biting them but they will also get a high off this. Dolphins will pass puffer fish amongst each other while getting high off the poison it secretes. Reindeer have been used by shaman to filter the strength of mushrooms because their stomachs cant handle the negative qualities of the fungus. The shaman would then drink the reindeers urine to reach a higher level of consciousness.


Brian Cahill

The work of Brian Cahill is concerned with the crucifixion of Jesus. The Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, foresaw the execution of the King of kings and likened him to the unblemished lamb, led to slaughter. There are many pictorial elements to consider in the scripture narrative of the events leading up to his death but for the sake of simplicity the focus of attention in Cahill’s work has been on the lamb and on the thorns. The lamb is seen as an innocent victim and the thorns represent not only the crown of thorns that the soldiers twisted together to place on his head but they are also sharp, dangerous and aggressive ensnaring anyone who ventures near them. The sharp nature of the thorns also represents the nails that held his hands and feet to the cross and the lance that pierced his side. The choice of materials in the manufacture of some of these works draws on consumerism and this is appropriate considering that the life of Jesus was consumed in his death on the cross and we can receive him today in the consumption of the Eucharist.

Rebecca McGuinness

As an artist the main theme that I have explored is pathways and journeys but with a twist. I like to focus on a specific shape which involves curved lines and repeating them over and over until I am happy with the result I get. In my lino prints I like the idea of lots of different lines meeting in unexpected ways and the effect that they can play on your eyes. With my drawings I focused on a calmer approach from a distance however when you move closer your eyes focus on the obsessive repetitive lines within the pieces.



Miriam Doran 

My theme is focused on The Repel of The 8th Amendment. As a painter I give no definitive opinion, but I emphasise with the plight of the many thousands of girls who are faced with stigma of having to make the trip to England for abortions. 
The rocking horses are a metaphor for taking control in the context of messengers - interpreting them according to one's own view. A ROCKY RIDE.



Kevina Morris

I think people like to believe that there may be something more to the mundane reality of human existence. Sometimes we find and create ‘worlds’ of our own - comforting places in which we can escape to for whatever the reason.
In this body of work, I am trying to evoke the viewer into visiting this world. One that may be filled with magic and witches, blue seas and sandy hot beaches, the rooftops of an olden city long forgotten, or even the ancient temples of civilizations passed. Cloaked in a veil of abstraction, my drawings act as a portal in which the viewer can determine what they see.
The main values within my work are; nostalgia, the media’s influence on society, the fantastical, mythological, and an ‘other world’, married with a strong emphasis on process and colour. In making this body of work, I maintained a vanilla process of filling balloons with water and ink, bursting the balloons onto a large sheet of paper, and then placing objects onto the water-logged paper so that they would leave shadows of where they were when the ink dried around them. This process continuously evolved with each time I did it, and I also experimented with scale.
When creating my artwork, I like to use a wide variety of materials and mediums such as; balloons, tattoo inks, acrylic paints, water, wool, and any recyclable materials I find useful. I also have a tendency to recycle the waste product from my process back into the work.



Gabrielle Flynn

I escaped from a conventional job three years ago and have been studying fine art since. I am in my third year of a Fine Art Degree Programme at the Institute of Technology Sligo in the Republic of Ireland. In my present body of work I am interested in the narrative of place.  The place is County Leitrim where I live but could be anywhere in rural Ireland. The writer John McGahern who lived in and wrote about Leitrim also inspires my story. Images of the everyday in rural Ireland interest me with and without figures. There is always a story behind a building, an interior or a person. It is all portraiture.  I wish my audience to see the place through my eyes and to add their own story to the image. I work with photography, drawing and oil paints on canvas. My photography is mainly used to capture images from which I will either draw or paint. Photography aids me on focusing and isolating images in which I am interested. Painting allows me to explore this world adding value and meaning to the photographic image. In painting I use layers. I usually start with one colour on the complete canvas in order to unify the painting.  I then build up layers of colour and tone to convey the image. My method is to use an expressive brush stroke and drips. Sometimes I use rubber and other items rather than a paintbrush to make marks. I believe in making expressive marks, which can then be interrupted again. In my drawing marks are equally important and the interruption of them equally so. 



Ken Gunning

I explore and experiment across traditional mediums as well as items found or searched out. Often discarded, and recycled I bring a sense of play to them turning them into structures that sit in the space of the gallery and leave room for the viewer to piece the layers together and form a functional piece that can be viewed from multiple angles. My concerns are focussed on the multi aspects of the human condition and role within the modern world. The more I engage with the work and experiment the more apparent it becomes that insecurity is opportunity to secure in the making. Growing up in South Africa and witnessing violence brought on by the social and political state, I engage with the material to form a relationship that is subtle yet highlights the scars that remain. Conforming to state law in South Africa meant as a male I was eligible to complete compulsorily national service at the age of seventeen. This conflicted with my beliefs and I witnessed the insecurity of a state enforcing its power, having a negative impact on all its citizens in the end.



Aengus Coyne

As an artist I am very pre-occupied with social classes and divisions. I see these divisions as very destructive mechanisms within our society. By categorizing people into groups decided by race, sexual orientation, financial situation, and most dangerously religion and nationality, we immediately create opposites! These divisions are reinforced daily through advertising, t.v. shows and most worryingly the news, which are mostly controlled by a few wealthy people. This is why I mostly work with charcoals or black and white paint, as tools to highlight the contrasts between social classes and the eternal conflict between darkness and light.



Malika Kral

Malika Kral uses figurative imagery that suggest alienation and suffering. Disfigured abstracts and damaged walls tell the stories of places and people she has encountered. Her large scale paintings are composed of colourful patterns and incorporate the written word, adapting poetic aspects. A directed chaos through a blend of the traditional abstract and high art with urban and street art. She shows the darkness and light of human nature. Kral's work is industrial and heavy yet still somehow remains tenuous and delicate. She shows a complex range of human emotions and addresses identity and sexuality through an assemblage of memories. Kral enjoys and embraces a diversity in her work – installation, paintings, sculpture, collage and photography which she then brings to work in union. Malika Kral was born in 1984 in the then communist Czechoslovakia but currently lives and work in Ireland.



Adam Flynn

My practice involves an investigation of, the figurative form and a relationship between scrap or waste building materials. Having a background in construction my practice is based on materials I am familiar with. I engage in a manner which allows the materials to be seen for what they are as well as a figurative fragmented form.



Edel Haran

The topic of interest for my artwork is the imagination, creativity has been the purest connection to my inner world. Creating my own wonderland lets me introduce people into my inner world. My works are created using materials such as plastic, photography, collage, paint and spray paint. Each piece that is created begins without a fixed composition, and without a specific narrative idea in mind, it’s all guided by intuition. I aim to create art that will rekindle the imagination and that will provide a temporary escape into the fantastic and surreal, allowing the viewer to rediscover their own imagination and sense of wonder in their everyday life. 



Emma Finlay

In my work, I delve into and explore the realm of celebrity culture and the media, specifically through the eyes of a young female, while mining popular iconography and the obsessive nature of fame and the celebrity cult throughout my work alongside sub-themes of beauty, idealism, identity, advertising, sexuality and pornography. As a young woman myself, I experience first hand my generation’s obsession with beauty and the constant strive for ‘perfection’, derived from the saturation of beautiful and successful women that are presented to us every day in the media; on TV, in magazines etc. The media and the cult of the celebrity strips us of our inherent confidence and fuels our obsession with perfection and this is what has inspired this series of drawings. The media and these 'god-like' celebrities which we admire leave us with a false perception of what beauty is and of what we should aim to look like, which can cause havoc on us both emotionally and physically. This series of fragile, soft and delicate graphite drawings depict the distortion that is present today within the media. The female faces in these drawings are dainty and almost ‘doll-like’; their inherent ‘perfection’ has been altered by various levels of distortion – random inanimate objects, body parts and layered faces, melting into one another. This distortion represents the distorted reality that is presented to us in the media on a day to day basis.  Stripped back from the harsh, glossy and colourful world that is typically representational of the media, we begin to see a more fragile and vulnerable side to the female. The distortion in these drawings echoes the turmoil young women go through while striving to be happy with their appearance; the layering representing how we constantly alter our image to look like a certain Kardashian or to follow the latest trend that we seen in Cosmopolitan.