Homecoming II

Homecoming II

Collaborative Artist Exchange

Homecoming II

Collaborative Artist Exchange

This was the last instalment of a collaborative exchange programme between Void Art School, Derry and ISFCI, Rome, curated by Maria Rosa Sossai and Claudia Rampelli from ALA Accademia Libera delle Arti.

Five young artists from Derry took part in a two-week residency in Rome exploring the medium of photography within the context of contemporary art. Hosted by the Istituto Superiore di Fotografia e Comunicazione Integrata (ISFCI) and under the tuition of Ottavio Celestino, the Northern Irish artists had unfettered access to professional equipment and key facilities. Earlier in the year, five Rome based photographers had visited Derry and work created during the two residencies was exhibited in both cities.

As a result of this residency exchange, the artist collective META was formed by participating artists from both cities and is still actively making work and organising exhibitions in both countries.

Artists:
Joe Carlin | Shauneen Colhoun | Eoghan Deane | Gianmaria De Luca | Vincent Fahy | Giorgia Fanelli | Pierpaolo Lo Giudice | Andrea Musicó | Emma Nicholas | Niamh Roberts | Agnese Sbaffi







Homecoming I

Homecoming I

Collaborative Artist Exchange

Homecoming I

Collaborative Artist Exchange

Following the success of Mourning Becomes Electra in 2013, Homecoming was the first leg of the second year of an artists exchange programme between Void Art School and ISFCI Rome, curated by Maria Rosa Sossai and Claudia Rampelli from ALA Accademia Libera delle Arti.

This cultural exchange was held at Void Art School, a multi-discipline art school within Void Art Centre, led by Damien Duffy. Five photography graduates from Rome visited Derry and took part in a two-week-long workshop exploring the medium of photography within the context of contemporary art. Teaming up with five young artists from Void Art School, they collectively created work that was later exhibited both in Derry and back in Rome. The also had the opportunity to meet with exhibiting artists and associated practitioners within contemporary art practice in Northern Ireland. Some of the participating artists from both cities are still collaborating after having formed the META artist collective.

Artists:
Joe Carlin | Shauneen Colhoun | Eoghan Deane | Gianmaria De Luca | Vincent Fahy | Giorgia Fanelli | Pierpaolo Lo Giudice | Andrea Musicó | Emma Nicholas | Niamh Roberts | Agnese Sbaffi







Paul Sullivan

Paul Sullivan

Four Square Dry Cleaners

v

Partition II (The Debt Machine)

Paul Sullivan

Four Square Dry Cleaners

v

Partition II (The Debt Machine)

The Four Square Laundry series, Sullivan’s long running exploration of the IRA’s 2nd October 1972 ambush of a British undercover Laundry operation, is presented here as an update on the project ahead of a film reconstruction of the event. The drawing sequences were developed after new information on the incident came into the public realm. Through the use of doubling every drawing with slight variations – each one referencing either a Republican or a British version of events – the Four Square Laundry series mirror the immediate and long-term points of counter-claim evident from oppositional factions in any war situation, thus making the notion of what is truth and what is lie almost subservient to what needs to operate as myth within the cultural and media contexts of the given situation.

The new video installation made during the Art Arcadia residency reveals the actual (or one of the actual), Four Square Dry Cleaners’ vans that were used by the British Army’s covert Mobile Reaction Force (MRF).

Paul Sullivan is an architect and is the founder and director of Static Gallery, Liverpool (www.statictrading.com).
Static is concerned with the processes of creative production, exchange and trade and the structures that support these processes within the local and global economy. Static are often commissioned to undertake art, architecture, academic and critical writing projects whilst at the same time being the commissioning agents, producers and curators for small to large scale art, architecture, publication, symposium and music events.

This project is part of Art Arcadia’s exchange programme with The Liverpool Irish Festival.









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Liverpool Irish Festival

Liverpool Irish Festival

Watch me grow / A trip here a trip there

Liverpool Irish Festival

Art Arcadia and Locky Morris

In 2019 Art Arcadia and the Liverpool Irish Festival tag-teamed a residency to create Watch me grow/a trip here a trip there, an installation spanning the duration of the Festival from its base at Sefton Park Palm House. Paola Bernadelli fuelled a visual dialogue with Locky Morris, an artist living in Derry (Paola’s usual home) creating a series of images, which we printed daily as part of the exchange. It was an exchange of ideas, spaces, talents… and the results are charming, funny and unexpected.  

Gregory McCartney, Abridged editor and Art Arcadia residency alumnus, reviews the work for the LIF2020 newspaper:

____

Everything eventually becomes black and white. Grand narratives get replaced by other grand narratives and we are seemingly always placed in somebody’s political, economic or social taxonomy. Even the democracy and fragmentation that the internet promised has failed to live up to expectations. Subtlety is a threatened species in the online eco-system. It’s a place where everyone shouts. Even in an art world that supposedly embraces diverse approaches it’s the overblown and loudest work that often get all the attention. Which isn’t to say I have any objection to bombast. Anyone who has encountered anything I do can confirm that I have a taste for the epic. However, the epic can be found in the most subtle, fragile, ephemeral thing. The biblical passage in which God appears to Elijah as a breeze is a classic metaphor for beauty and awe in the gentlest of circumstance.

And Art Arcadia/Paola Bernardelli and Locky Morris’s Watch me grow/a trip here a trip there residency work is epic in the classic and contemporary sense of the word. Each day, Paola Bernardelli would wander around Liverpool producing a photo, to which Locky Morris would respond with one created in Derry. The result is fascinating; an abstract, subtle, sometimes sensuous dance of form and formlessness.

Another thing about contemporary existence is that it is not abstract. You’d think that we’d be exhausted from the on-the-nose directness of our lives and perhaps dive into a mysterious abstraction, but we don’t for the most part. We just try to shout louder than everyone else. What I love about Bernardelli and Morris’s correspondence (and it is a correspondence, if not the traditionally textual variety) is its epic quietness combined with a bubbling vitality. This isn’t an easy thing to create or even maintain. Think of all those paintings, those studies in form and expression slowly fading in modern art museums; the air and light seemingly draining any vitality they originally possessed from them. They actually look better in photographs. I’m doing some of these artists an injustice of course; Yves Klein’s paintings look as vibrant as ever, for instance.

Bernardelli and Morris’s photographs -whilst in the same painterly tradition- expand and update it to a wonderful degree, including the detritus, vibrancy and humour of contemporary Liverpool and Derry’s everyday existence. Every part of these photos is important and the content -though of ‘everyday stuff’- is certainly not banal (to use a word favoured by dodgy philosophers and unimaginative curators). These photos are however political (with a small ‘p’) in the sense that they do reflect the forces that shape their and our world. They don’t preach or offer any definite answers though. This would limit them. Art, to paraphrase James Thurber, doesn’t always have to be first at the barricades.

I’ve always been a bit conflicted about residencies. On the one-hand they are brilliant in generating experiences of new and unfamiliar places and people. I had a great residency in New York a few years ago. On the other hand, it’s pretty much impossible to go on a lengthy residency if you have a job, or a family, these days. I like the snapshot nature of this residency: a few days intervention in Liverpool culture for Art Arcadia resulting in work for Locky Morris to respond to. Perhaps there’s a prescience to it; we now find ourselves corresponding remotely and often obsessing over the minutest of details. In fact, it is somewhat ironic that it’s such a tiny, invisible to the naked eye, virus that has caused such a massive upheaval in our daily lives, leaving us grasping for familiarity and often at odds with one and other.

There’s joy, sadness, pathos in these photos. In a time in which we literally cross the road to avoid people it’s important to remember we still are human. In a time where connection is potentially life threatening these photos show the power and the poetry of connecting.

I’ve liked Locky Morris’s work for a long time, in particular his (for want of a better word) ‘post-Troubles’ practice. Those little humorous interventions in the everyday brim with warmth and power. If I can show you ‘fear in a handful of dust’ I can also show you love, hate, sadness, joy. In other words, I can show you humanity and what it is to be human. We need this more than ever these days. Similarly, I have liked the ‘process’ that is Art Arcadia; its questioning of the concept of the residency; its integration of the internet and social media, in particular into this concept. Locky can take part in a residency without leaving home; I was part of Art Arcadia’s excellent Lockdown Residencies series without leaving my sofa.

One thing tragedy does is make the world a bigger place and at the same time a smaller one. The pandemic is raging across the world making it strange and distant, but we are confined to our home towns and to our computer screens. It doesn’t mean we can’t come up with powerful, beautiful things though. As this project proves: we can find meaning and indeed new meaning in the smallest of things and in the most familiar places. This is vital, particularly these days.

___

In partnership with Liverpool Irish Festival, Sefton Park Palm House and St Augustine's Heritage Site.

Kindly funded by Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council England and DCSDC.















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Edy Fung

Edy Fung

diaries. monuments. memory.documentation. event. pandemic.archive. digital identity. encoding. decoding. commemoration. deja-vu.
always-already. burying shame. treehole. wintercounts.

Diaries. Monuments. Memory...

artist residency september - october 2020

exhibition 15 - 19 December 2020

Edy Fung

Memories from two pandemics are showcased simultaneously in this space. Selecting 14 entries of the artist’s own online diaries from the 2003 SARS pandemic in Hong Kong, Edy Fung carefully decoded this written record of memories into Chinese telegraph code and then morse code scripts during her residency at Art Arcadia. Each of them were burnt onto a full goat skin, displayed in timber skeletons of tombstones, translated from a section in St Augustine’s graveyard. She is interested in exploring how the methods of documentation and recording ranged and evolved in histories and cultures, from monumental engravings, winter counts to digital diaries, social media accounts and the Internet Archive.

Responding to this site-specific, sculptural representation, the artist has written a series of 14 new diaries, published online in Art Arcadia’s instagram page during 1st-14th October 2020, reflecting living and lived moments in parallel to this pandemic in 2020. The content of these 14 posts were converted into morse code, presented here as an immersive sonic form that is synthesised and shaped over the course of 2 hour and 9 minutes.

Working at the interface between the physical and the digital, Edy Fung seeks to understand how our material world is conditioned. These include exploring underlying systems, ecologies, ideologies and technological shifts that are dominating our everyday values. She works with images, videos, sound, text, installation and exhibition-making, treating them as ingredients and tools to test her inquiries and speculations about the present world phenomena. Her intermedia practice embarks as material experiments - abstracting, dissecting and sampling the essence of existing ideas to configure different possibilities. This year, the subjects around signs and representations are in the centre of her exploration. 

Edy Fung is a multidisciplinary artist, musician and curator currently based between Derry and Stockholm. She holds a BSc (Hons) at Welsh School of Architecture, MA Curating Contemporary Design at Kingston University in partnership with the Design Museum, and completed an MA Architecture at the Royal College of Art with a distinction in her dissertation. Her approach from the expanded field of architecture has taken her to pursue directorship at Catalyst Arts Gallery 2017-19 and fellowship at CuratorLab at Konstfack 2020-21, crossing from design disciplines to the visual arts and intermedia. Additional information can be found on her website: https://edy-f.com

This project is in partnership with St Augustine's Heritage Site and is kindly funded by Derry City & Strabane District Council, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and The Ireland Funds.

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