‘Autopyre 1’, oil on canvas, by Ian Wieczorek.
The Hamilton Gallery in Sligo is running two exhibitions by Mayo artists, Breda Burns and Ian Wieczorek this month. The shows were opened by Cork artist Cormac O’Leary on September 5, and they continue to run at the gallery until this Saturday, September 28.
In his opening speech, O’Leary described Burns and Wieczorek as ‘Mayo based artists who have managed to absorb much contemporary influences while also engaging in traditional methods’. “They have both exhibited internationally and both have been awarded residencies in Ireland and Europe, both have growing reputations,” he continued, adding: “Both artists engage in figurative and landscape motifs but bring them to different and original conclusions.”
Breda Burns’s multi-media show, entitled ‘Fractured Edge’, contains works inspired by the view from her back door, which traverses over shoreline ‘mud flats’ out to Clew Bay. She documents ‘that great expanse of water in all its changing topography, weather and moods’, responding to ‘the cyclical interaction between environment and the individual’.
O’Leary praised Burns’s ‘varied and energetic’ work, which includes sculpture, performance, installation, photography and film and explores various mixed-media and painting techniques. “There is a sense of physical emersion in her work,” he said. “Like the swimmer diving headlong into a deep stormy sea, she seems to fearlessly take on the big spaces of her homeland and internalise that journey, expressing its unsettling motion and stillness in images that are both focused and warped by movement.”
In his show, ‘Blurred Visions’, Ian Wieczorek probes the ‘the impacts and implications of digital technology on contemporary society – how we locate social and cultural identity, and how we perceive the world’.
The oil-on-canvas paintings in his exhibition are inspired by low-resolution images the artist found on the internet. “Without their specific contexts and stories, these poor-quality and indistinct images transcend their original documentary intentions and, mediated by our personal experience, they take on a more subjective significance: they become more universal,” the artist explains. His subjects include images from ‘missing persons’ photographs, images of burning cars, images of people scaling barriers and dividing constructs, and images from the 2004 Iraq War.
Commenting on the body of work in Wieczorek’s show, O’Leary said: “Ian’s paintings are rendered with great skill and sensitivity with echoes of classical and modernist compositions- we are drawn to the familiar narrative, only to have our certainties and preconceptions challenged and undermined, like all the best art more questions are being asked than answered.”
Breda Burns and Ian Wieczorek’s exhibitions will be on show in the Hamilton Gallery, Castle Street, Sligo until this Saturday, September 28. For more information, visit www.hamiltongallery.ie.