January 12, 2010

Review by Sarah Lincoln

Review of Preponderance of The Small from The Visual Artists' News Sheet by Sarah Lincoln.

Click image for large version.

November 26, 2009

John Jones

'Untitled Graph Drawing No. 8'
Bewleys, Grafton Street

The chinoiserie of Bewley's provides the perfect backdrop for the geometric drawings of John Jones. Created on A2 graph paper, the final piece is the accumulation of many small marks with the finished product in this instance resembling the patterns on eastern textiles. Constrained by the formality of the pre-printed lines on the paper, they recreate the illusion of symmetry and harmony where it may not necessarily be.

November 10, 2009

Paul Hickey

'Weave #4'
Tennis Courts, Trinity College

Paul Hickey’s interventions brighten otherwise banal areas in the urban environment. Unexpected colour bursts challenge the viewer’s relationship with familiar surroundings and compel them to see it anew. His work also explores space and colour interaction as central sensuous elements. Previous works by the artist have been installed at a bus stop in Clare Hall and a phone box in Dun Laoghaire.

Speaking about his work he says, “Focusing on the correlation of the whole to its individual component pieces, I want my work to have a direct dialogue with the architecture and not to be confined by the picture plane but to fully discover architectural limits.”

For Preponderance of the Small, streams of Dulux paint swatches were woven between the railing of the Trinity College tennis courts adding colour to a quiet undiscovered area of the campus.

November 6, 2009

Liam O'Callaghan

'If I falter, if you falter, you will hold me, I will hold you'
Cathach Books, Duke Street

A stack of used pencil erasers atop a small shelf sits quietly in the back of antiquarian bookshop, Cathach Books. The piece, Liam O'Callaghan's 'If I falter, if you falter, I will hold you, you will hold me' is composed of erasers collected from the artists friends and colleagues, and replaced with new ones. Thus, each component retains a kind of charge from it's previous owner - of their creativity, but also a certain frisson of failure.

With humility and poetry, the work points to an acceptance of the inherent flaws in life and how through this acceptance we may come to experience a new wholeness.

Kate Maher

Charles Byrne Musik Instrumente, St. Stephen's Street

Kate's work does not always have a physical presence - often it takes the form of situations or encounters, carefully engineered by the artist, into which the viewer is introduced.

In this instance however, a wooden cube, with a partially open door on each side, hangs inside the window display of Charles Byrne Musik Instrumente.

Mysterious, yet oddly at home amid the shop's charmingly cluttered window display, the piece functions a nexus of possible realities, and acts as an open end to this trail of 21 artworks.

November 2, 2009

Margaret O'Brien

'Circus, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre

'1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,....' takes the form of three wall mounted panels covered in patterned wallpaper. In a painstaking and labour intensive process, the artist has picked out areas of the pattern and highlighted them with the addition of thousands of pins. The piece plays with flatness and depth, oscillating between image and object, between integrated architectural element and independent artwork.

It vibrates, shimmers into our awareness, before dissolving back into its architectural surroundings.

October 30, 2009

Review by Rosalind Abbott

Review of Preponderance of The Small from Trinity College's University Times by Rosalind Abbott

This month sees the Douglas Hyde Gallery run its collaborative project Preponderance of the Small, a part of its Gallery 3 initiative, alongside the two usual exhibitions in the gallery itself.  The project consists of 21 different artworks, by 21 young Irish artists, installed in 21 locations in close proximity to the original gallery. This alternative approach to exhibiting might mean that the collection isn’t as practical to digest in one sitting as a conventional display held under one roof, but this is clearly the intention. With participating venues including the likes of Bewley’s, the Powerscourt Centre and seven locations within Trinity College itself, the idea seems to be that you’ll run into the creations by chance as you go about your daily life. You can pick up a map of the featured venues from the Douglas Hyde Gallery or download one from their website – it’s worth keeping one handy so you know where to swing by, if you’re in the area.

October 29, 2009

Gillian Lawler

Freemasons Hall, Molesworth Street

Gillian’s painting is situated on the elegant Victorian stairwell in the Freemasons Hall. A pyramidal form hovers in the centre of the canvas above a skewed chequered surface echoing the Masonic symbolism throughout the building. The abstract work adds an air of mystery alongside the more expected formal portraits of past Freemasons.

Maggie Madden

'Untitled drawing'
Irish Architectural Archive, Merrion Square

Amongst the Eileen Grey models situated in the foyer Irish Architectural Archive, sits a sculptural piece by Maggie Madden. The vibrant multi-coloured wire construction almost shimmers jewel-like in its location. The three-dimensional drawing is painstakingly built up by the artist, with lines of wire reminiscent of architectural blueprints for a building. This is also hinted at by the linear patterns created on the Perspex upon which the piece sits. The innate delicateness of the piece is in contrast with the sturdiness of the surrounding models.

October 27, 2009

Soft Blonde Moustache

'Cyanotis Binocularis'
Royal Irish Academy, Dawson Street

In 1909 Darwin scholar, Robert Lloyd Praeger and his co-workers set out on the most ambitious natural history project every undertaken in Ireland - The Clare Island Survey. The current exhibition in the Royal Irish Academy focuses on how Darwin’s ideas influenced this undertaking.

In the same room Soft Blonde Moustache’s installation provides a humorous counterpoint to the exhibition. Visitors are invited to collect a pair of binoculars which leads to their own discoveries in the architectural detailing of the room. Between the iron work on the upper level, paper cut-outs of animals and sea creatures are inserted playfully, waiting to be discovered.

Tristan Hutchinson

Sony Centre, St. Stephen's Green

Tristan's film piece poetically conveys the monotony of the daily commute. Commuters sway in unison with the movements of the bus in which they sit. Isolated from each other and preoccupied with their own thoughts, the passengers are unaware how they move as one. The short film is played on a loop, echoing the repetitive nature of its subject matter.

October 23, 2009

Mark Beatty

Dining Hall, Trinity College

Mark Beatty’s drawings are the combination of many small individual lines and shapes which accumulate to create an overall image. Each mark is a building block to an unknown outcome that is only realized once the artist has finished the piece. With this meditative approach, the work grows slowly as the artist concentrates on adding each tiny mark. Beatty says his work “is alive while it is being processed and a relic when it is complete” suggesting the intrinsic importance of the act of drawing to his practice.

Laura McMorrow

'Cardboard Rocks'
Museum Building, Trinity College

Found pieces of cardboard, paper and inside-out boxes are rescued from mundanity in Laura’s exquisitely detailed drawings and paintings. Colourfully painted gemstones shine out from drab grey/brown backgrounds and appear as rediscovered treasures dug out of everyday existence.

It takes some amount of exploration for the viewer to spot Laura’s piece amid the cabinets of geological samples and fossils that are dotted around the Museum Building but the viewer is ultimately rewarded for taking the time to look more closely and examine their surroundings.

Jennifer Phelan

'Meeting Place'
The Berkeley Library, Trinity College

Meeting Place, Jennifer's sculptural installation in the foyer of the Berkeley Library, is based around a number of stacks of cutout sheets of coloured paper. Each sheet has had a form cut from within it - mutable, organic forms that seem caught in a state of transition.

The stacks are displayed on a low MDF structure, and the whole piece is accented with the addition of a highly polished strip of brass layed across the MDF surface.

Installing a floor based work in this extremely busy public area proved somewhat challenging - a challenge that resulted in a rigorous engagement with both the artwork and the location, for artist and curatorial colleagues alike. The result is an elegant and poised intervention into a breathtaking architectural space.

October 21, 2009

Hannah Breslin

'waiting for the happiness...'
Arts Building, Trinity College

Hannah's work, 'waiting for the happiness...', is made up many hundreds of tiny paper or acetate discs, upon each of which has been printed a single word. The discs are then assembled to spell out phrases or narratives. In this particular work, each component takes the form of a ring of these discs, each adhered to the walls or floors of the building in which it is situated.

During the installation, it became apparent that there was an almost performative aspect to the work. Hannah and her friend spent many hours quietly working with scalpels and tweezers as thousands of first year students rushed around the Arts Building concourse, as the installation took place during freshers week.

The 'undoing' of the floor based aspects of the work, as they are worn away and stick to peoples shoes, could also be seen as a kind of performance.

Niall de Buitlear

'The Found Bookmark Project'
National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street

Niall presents a selection of tickets, receipts, letters, note-pages and many other items which have all been used as provisional bookmarks and were found in between the pages of books in public libraries around Dublin during the Summer 2009.

Each unique item has been adapted from its previous existence: firstly, into a makeshift place-holder; and secondly, into an object of contemplation which asks the viewer to consider it's history and its reason for use.

Elaine Reynolds

'For a rainy day'
Oxfam, Georges Street

It took a long time to find a suitable location for Elaine’s film ‘For a rainy day’. We contemplated ideas about the environment and nature, which are present in the piece, but finally decided that its main theme of giving resources from a large repository to something more in need resonated perfectly with the charitable role of Oxfam.

Veronica Forsgren

Tourist Office, Suffolk Street

Veronica’s swathes of lush, green, flowery foliage (constructed entirely from recycled materials) have a way of evolving and adapting to whatever surface they have been attached to. Creeping up and around columns, spilling out of recesses and hanging like vines or cobwebs between archways, these simple but vibrant forms surprise and brighten up whatever environment they are installed in.

October 19, 2009

Maria McKinney

Tangos Dress Hire, Temple Bar

Viewing Maria’s piece from inside the shop-front window we are presented with a backdrop of Ireland’s Central Bank & Financial Services Authority – a symbol of economic power and austerity.

The humility of the small onion installation relates to riots in India, in the late 1990s, in which a number of people were killed. The fighting began over the increasing price of onions due to the expansion of the globalised food market.

The onion is also a symbol of the build-up of layers and things having more substance under the surface. The looping wire around Maria’s piece resembles flight paths around the globe and emphasises the connectivity of all people and places around the world.

October 8, 2009

Nina Tanis

'Untitled (concrete birds)'
The Rose Garden, Trinity College

Nina’s hand-sculpted concrete birds sit in their hundreds in Trinity College’s Rose Garden – a beautiful spot for contemplation and quiet amid the rush of the City Centre. Despite the simplicity of the birds themselves, there are many contradictions in Nina’s piece – the rough, man-made creatures have a strange tension within the paradisal gardens but the accumulation of the birds in to a unified pattern gives an overall sense of beauty and serenity.

October 7, 2009

Fiach MacHale

'Untitled (origami butterflies)'
Zoology Department, Trinity College

Upon entering Trinity College’s Zoology Department, one is greeted by all manner of fascinating natural specimens. Alongside these can be found Fiach MacHale’s installation which comprises a selection of origami butterflies folded according to different sets of instructions the artist found on the internet.

The piece echoes the variety in similar organisms in nature and the vivid colours reflect the continuous adaptations of life through natural selection.

Open House 2009

This weekend sees many buildings across the city opening for the Irish Architecture Foundation's annual Open House. Amongst the many buildings taking part are some of the venues involved in Preponderance of the Small - the National Library, the Irish Architectural Archive. Inside Trinity College: the Museum Building and the Berkeley Library will also be participating in this event.

The Douglas Hyde Gallery is taking part with tours of the gallery from 2-5pm on Saturday, 8 October.

For further information on Open House please visit:

Beth O'Halloran

'Let's go home, little bear'
Blooming Amazing Flower Company, Royal Hibernian Way

Walk through the Royal Hibernian Way in the mornings and it’s not unusual to see a pigeon hanging around the door of Blooming Amazing.

Every morning Debbie places a bowl of seed outside just for this particular pigeon. She has named him Henry and he has been visiting the shop for two years. Henry has become so tame that he even comes inside the shop while the ladies are working away and if he is not outside the shop, he flies down from is perch immediately once he hears Debbie’s whistle.

When installing, Beth brought along four pigeons. The one that resembled Henry the most was included in her installation.

In addition to her photograph “Let’s go home, little bear”, Henry can be seen alongside various other woodland creatures throughout the shop.

Laura Fitzgerald

'Nothing Lasts Forever'
Road Records, Fade Street

Laura Fitzgerald's installation consists of delicate drawings and objects intricately constructed from cardboard.

The drawings are interleaved among the racks of cds, and the objects (models of furniture, a house, a coffin) are incorporated elsewhere into the shop's display.

One of the objects, a model of a house lit from within, sits behind a peculiar interior window, which the shop's owner unearthed from within a wall some years ago.

September 24, 2009

Installation Photographs

Installation schedule (Red dots indicate completed installations)

Installing with Veronica Forsgren in the Tourist Office, Suffolk Street

Installing with Kate Maher in Charles Byrne Musik Instrumente, Lower Stephen Street

Installing with Paul Hickey in the Tennis Courts, Trinity College

Installing with John Jones in Bewleys, Grafton Street

Installing with Hannah Breslin in the Arts Building, Trinity College

Installing with Nina Tanis in the Rose Garden, Trinity College

July 8, 2009

Preponderance of The Small

September 25 - October 31
A Gallery 3 Project

Preponderance of The Small, an off-site project which forms part of The Douglas Hyde Gallery's ongoing Gallery 3 initiative, will feature works by twenty-one younger artists working in Ireland.

Each artist will exhibit at one of twenty-one locations in and around Trinity College, creating a trail of artworks. This is intended to give the viewer the opportunity to look anew at more familiar locations, while also highlighting spaces that are often overlooked.

The title, which derives from a hexagram in the Chinese I-Ching, or Book of Changes, points to the great power and value of small things. In a rapidly changing culture, at a time when many of yesterday's monumental gestures have proved to be empty, grandiose artistic statements seem superfluous. This exhibition is intended to question how we attribute value in today's culture, and to suggest that it is in small things that we may find our way forward.

The exhibition will feature works in a broad range of media, including painting, drawing, installation and video. Many are formally linked through their employment of small elements (marks, gestures, objects) which are repeated or accumulated in order to form a whole that is somehow greater than the sum of its component parts. In each case, beyond the formal relationship of the works, the attitude or approach of each of the artists is key.

The artists, works and venues were selected by a Curatorial Collective composed of three members of The Douglas Hyde Gallery's staff and three young Irish artists.