Thursday, 13 August 2015

New artwork to celebrate the refounding of the London Irish Cultural Centre


Practice run: soldering for the first time
A few months ago Collette Mackin, director of the Irish Cultural Centre in London asked me to donate a piece of artwork to help raise money for the redevelopment of the Irish centre in West London, my response was no. Instead I suggested that I would produce a specific piece of art, which reflected the development new centre and its aspirations to promote ground breaking, contemporary culture.

My first thought was to produce a sculpture using recycled building materials from the development of the new cultural centre. But when I met Collette over lunch to discuss the idea she had other ideas. From under the table Collette proceed to pull out a large heavy bag to asking me, “Can you do anything with these”? I opened the bag and peered into it, to find a large quantity of keys. The keys came from the old cultural centre, demolished to make way for the new building. Each key unlocked, doors, cabinets, storage space, lockers, filing cabinets and other locks of other descriptions. I took the bag, not knowing whether I could turn the keys into the artwork that I hand in mind.

Apart from the significance of the keys I also had to deal with the technical aspects of bringing the keys together in a way that was going to be interesting. Keys are 2 dimensional so trying to produce a 3D piece of artwork was not going to be straightforward. One of the underpinning aspect to my technical approach is to use every day objects which are familiar and turn them into artworks that are simple in tone and colour but yet have great depth and perspective. Its about creating simplicity and complexity at the same time in order to draw the viewer in. With this I set about developing the artwork were I created a work with all the above qualities. From a conceptual level I has managed to generate a narrative with the artwork were it could be suggesting that this is the key to unlocking new contemporary culture, something that will be main ambition and driving forces of the new Irish Cultural Centre into the further.