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Mark Clare and Cora Cummins

Mark Clare - FOLLY
Mark Clare’s exhibition, FOLLY, is a body of work consisting of Sculpture, Photography, and Video. The work endeavours to register a world that is in constant flux.

Clare’s working process has been drawn to the emblematic potential of an object, from architectural structures and sporting trends to everyday household objects. The work deals with the things we accept as symbols of how we live and the times that we live in, mixing elements of historical tradition and social trends, such as the world enthusiasm for ping-pong in the 1970’s, monumental public sculpture in former communist states, and the contemporary prevalence of surveillance of public space through CCTV. The connotations of a material used, the placement of an object within an environment and the historical association an object may portray are all areas of interest.

Mark Clare was born in London in 1968. He graduated from St. Martin’s College of Art & Design (1992), London with a BA (Hons) Fine Art Sculpture before completing a MA in Fine Art at the University of Ulster (2004). He now lives and works in Dublin.

He has had solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally including most recently My World is Over - The LAB, Dublin Ireland, The World Could Wait No Longer – Galleria XX1, Warsaw, Poland 2009, One Mans Terror Is Another Man Freedom- Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin and Platform, Vasa, Finland 2007.

Cora Cummins - Himmel und Hölle
Cora Cummins exhibition ‘Himmel und Hölle’ (Heaven and Hell)1 ponders the various significances of sites of escape and isolation, be they voluntary or forced, conscious or unconscious. Cummins’ work touches on notions of a tactical withdrawal; regrouping and re-gathering resources; as well as temporary or permanent ‘time outs’ from worldly concerns.

The imagery drawn upon in the works contrast sites and locations of serious thought reflection, research and creativity – against sites of consumption, leisure and hedonism. Cummins’ depictions of hermit’s huts, writer’s retreats and caves are suggestive of cultural resistance and opposition to an imperfect world. In contrast, golf courses and hotel complexes – epitomizing a culture of shallow consumption and mindless leisure; are depicted as under threat, cast under the shadow of looming clouds – suggestive of ecological, economic and moral doom – ‘trouble in paradise’.

In relation to this, the exhibition can be understood as both acknowledging the need to escape to ideal spaces – imaginary or actual - along with a wry critique of how sometimes the notion of retreats from the world can be tied up with self-delusion and pretention. After all, while withdrawal from the everyday world can be an opportunity for grand and serious imaginings of ideal worlds; there is also an ever-present risk of descending into self-indulgence and sulky posturing. Returning to the motif of clouds and weather systems, the work is concerned with the concept of the potential of in-between states and the ultimate impossibility of completely retreating from the flux and cyclical change of the world.

Cora Cummins was born in Carlow 1973. Solo exhibitions have included ‘Retreat’ (December 2009) Dunamaise Arts Centre, Laois, and ‘Means of Escape' (April 2008) The Lab, Dublin. She graduated from DIT in 1995 and completed a Masters in Fine Art in NCAD in 2003. She is a co-founder of Workroom Elsewhere with Alison Pilkington. Curatorial projects include 'Elsewhere from Here' (2004) Workroom, Dublin; 'All Yesterday's Parties' (2005) along with the Workroom Elsewhere publication project The Fold (2007).

(1) The title of the show is derived from a German name for the children’s fortune-telling game, utilising a folded paper construction – the form of which in geometry is described as belonging to the category of flexagonal forms.

This exhibition runs until the 4th September 2010 and admission is, as always, free.

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