Thursday, October 30, 2008

Open Lens

These are just some of the photographs that caught my eye yesterday. They are by American photographer Sarah Small. She caught the photography bug at the age of 13 and regularly used her younger sister Rachel as a subject. Armed with a Pentax K1000 she spent many of her teenage years walking around her hometown Washington D.C capturing images.

She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2001 and has gone on to create some stunning photos. She has been the recipient of numerous awards such as Art and Commerce’s Emerging Photographer and American Photography 24; and her work has featured in Life Magazine, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times. Her photos have a wonderful quirky quality and i really like how real people (complete with scars, stretch marks and wrinkles) feature in her work. It feels as if there's an interaction between the subjects and the viewer, rather than a model posing and the viewer gazing.

She states "I create bold images of disquieting subject matter packaged in candy-coated color, nervy compositions, and close croppings. I photograph the rawest emotional underbelly of scenes that I both find and fabricate. My subjects are often found on the fringes- bodybuilders, twins, prostitutes, aliens; or, they are found in the every-day - mom, dad cousin, co-worker, but I transform them all in a way that renders them iconoclastic, theatrical, and intentionally confrontational. I photograph force, chaos, and intimacy.

For more of her work and further information click here

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

You Know You Want To

And now for something completely different!!

I've been a busy bee over the past 2 weeks with gallivanting round parts of Europe and sleeping and trying to get prepared for moving to Canada. But there is one particular event that I'm excited about for many reasons, one being I'm gonna be doing something at it! IMOCA (Irish Musuem of Contempory Art) are officially launching on November 7th and will be throwing a fundraising party on Friday 31st October. It's gonna be a mixture of art, music (Bands and DJs), performance and film. Gonna be a blast and something different for Halloween!

Using a live web video connection to noise noodle chefs in international cities including New York, Seoul, Vermont and Kiel. Bassai Dai is a networked Noodle making Noise Jam! Party Goers will be invited to serve themselves noodles from Bowls mounted on spinning home made DJ decks or become part of the action by providing Mario Kart music by playing the Super Nintendo which will be mixed with sounds from Kiel in Germany where Patrick Wagner and Heiko Wommelsdorf are also cooking Japanese Ramen Noodles with sound machines!

Kunal Gupta will be providing vocals while Dong Eun Kim responds with live painting from Korea. Donnacha Cahill will be chopping vegetables on an electric guitar while vinyl will be shredded by Ane Sagatun and Emma Wade amongst others. Ramen Noodle Chef Supreme Joan Healy will be cooking, cooking, cooking while that tenuous link between the discordant sounds from around the world; which will be held tight by Ivan Twohig on the mixer.

Plus with under a week left till the US presidential elections scary stories will be told, read over skype from the book "The trial of Henry Kissinger" by Christopher Hitchens. Other events include a Super Mario Kart Championship, an exhibition of CCTV mixer piece "Random Me" by artist Benjamin Gaulon and there will also be a screening of the film "Lessons of Darkness" by filmmaker Werner Herzog.

Smooth liquors and cocktails provided by Delbert Grady and Jack Torrence from The Overlook Hotel

Fancy dress essential.

tickets 12 euro available at door/ NCAD student union/ email IMOCA
start 8pm

in association with Quarantine Gallery Project #003

How to Get There

Friday, October 24, 2008

Busy Signal

My brain is working slower this week due to travel and tiredness hence no posts. Shall be back early next week. In the mean time behold the tune that has been haunting my waking hours and as of last night also my sleeping ones....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Adiós lluvia

So guess what i'll be doing between Sunday morning and Tuesday Evening?
Approx 1917km equals lots and lots of mix cds and coffee :)
Woohoo sunshine!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cup o' tea an' a slice o' cake

Currently distracted and disinterested. Smothered with flu and attempting to comfort myself by watching kids TV on YouTube. One in particular warmed the cockles of me 'art...watching this i regress: aged 5 or 6,sitting in front of my grandmothers fire chewing on a fig roll. Ah bliss...Now i'm off to make a cup of tea

Thursday, October 09, 2008


A fool and their money are easily parted....i wandered into Brown Thomas and wandered out with the above...
Somewhere my 15 year old black lipstick wearing self is laughing. Hmmmm

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Empty Fingers

Listening to this makes me long for the days when i had a harp to play. Anyone got a spare one hanging around that needs some exercise? LOL.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Ivan Twohig is a painfully talented Irish Artist and Sculptor based in Dublin. He has the motivation, talent, curiosity and drive that (in my opinion) great art stems from. He incorporates a wide range of media including electronic art, video, sculpture and installation in his work.

Twohig studied in GMIT and emerged with a distinction in NDAD and then a BA in fine art sculpture. He went on to graduate from a MA specialising in Art in the Digital World in NCAD. He has exhibited in France, Norway and Ireland and has worked on public art commissions and design websites for art related projects.

He uses technology in ways that i find fascinating, for example his piece 'Wallpaper Player' which featured in a recent exhibition in Clare. Wallpaper Player' allowed visitors to the exhibition to 'play' wallpaper like an audio tape. Using a DIY aesthetic visitors used a drill to scroll the wallpaper past a web cam which then translated the pattern into piano keys that played out through a loudspeaker. Literally translating an visual image into an aural noise.

I spoke with him recently and asked him about his influences amongst other things:

Any artists in particular that influence you?

Ok So... I am going to list a number of artists that I think have exerted the more influence over my aesthetic than others. These are the names that I return to over and over. I must note that every artist I see influences my work. And I look at so many artists work on a daily basis if I could even produce 10% of the number of images i consume I would be happy, but at the moment I think that percentage is more like .0000001% of the images I consume. So I guess I am unhappy right now. Also when I say 'image' I use the term in its widest possible sense, so the term artist is not just visual but encompasses other art forms, but I will stick mostly to visual artists.

My Father's obsessive compulsion to cover any surface with objects and my mother's frenetic desire to construct and deconstruct the family house. These have been the two most psychologically formative influences on me. I'm not trying to be melodramatic or over-Freudian. This is simple fact. I am the product of my environment.

Gary Hill for his piece crux in which he attached a video camera to each major joint on his body. This triggered my fascination with the bodily relationship to mediated space and recorded space.

Mona Hatoum has to be one of the most amazing sculptors ever! Her mastery of visual metaphor blows me away every time. I saw her work in a retrospective of 20th Century Art at Tate Liverpool last February and her work was more powerful than anything else on show.

Marcel Duchamp's art identified and reflected the paradigm shift in artistic production and mostly because he exposed the illusion of and originality.

Jeff Koons because he embraces and criticizes capitalism at the same time.

Maurizio Cattelan has to be the greatest contemporary sculptor in my book.

Brody Condon/Cory Archangel made me realise that my cultural heritage is more Mario than Michelangelo.

Buckminster Fuller: I grew up designing space ships based on the geometric structures of Buckminster Fuller. The book Order in Space by Keith Critchlow is probably the most important book I have ever looked at. Its all about Geodesics and Fullers mathematics. I finally saw his work in New York this summer.

Haruki Murakami is probably the greatest writer ever.

Umberto Eco: Travels in Hyper reality, that's why!

Jean Baudrillard/Marshall McLuhan I believe are the most important thinkers of the last century. Everything they have predicted is becoming reality and not many people seem to care (which ironically they predicted would happen)

David Lynch because his crazy movies make so much sense.

Inspiring places or spaces?
Transit, Non space is the most interesting space. I think I define myself best through the displacement I feel. The longer I am in a space the less it inspires me so I like to keep moving or either changing the space. Stasis is death, Dynamism is Life.

What do you do when the going gets tough in the studio?
There is so much cool stuff in the world and so many people don't seem to care about it. They just take it for granted that things have their place in the world and that's that. I just like to tease out the other potentialities of everyday things. When things get tough I run away, the faster I run the more endorphins are released and then I feel better.

How would you life change if art was no longer a focus, if you were no longer allowed to create art?
I would have loads of money and a respectable job and a girlfriend and I would be content to while away my days doing mundane but pleasing things and enjoy my life probably more than I do now.

Ultimate goal as an artist?

To one day have someone tell me I am no longer allowed to make art.

Ivan has been awarded a residency with IMOCA and is currently working on a new project.

All photos are from pieces 'The Unfinished Fall' and 'The Fall'

For more of his work:

Monday, October 06, 2008

Reality Meets Poetry

No other song can evoke such a strong reaction in me-i feel like i can't breathe when i listen to it, my stomach twists and i feel uneasy . It's a dark and beautiful piece of work from Ursula Rucker and The Roots, and originally featured on the album Things Fall Apart. Rucker is one of my favourite poets and she consistently creates powerful prose.Her work deals with issues that are painful to face such as the topic covered in the song above. Her voice is distinct, and has a quiet elegance.

Friday, October 03, 2008


Surely there is grandeur in knowing that in the realm of thought, at least, you are without a chain; that you have the right to explore all heights and depth; that there are no walls nor fences, nor prohibited places, nor sacred corners in all the vast expanse of thought.

Robert Green Ingersoll

Image: Eleanor McCaughey

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Karen Dalton has become one of my favourite musicians in the past six months. Her name was mentioned to me a few years ago and i scribbled it down in a notebook. It was only when i cleaned out a box of paperwork and found the notebook that i decided to find some of her music.

Dalton is a forgotten treasure of American music, she was a blues singer and a banjo player who was associated with the 1960's Greenwich Village music scene. She also played the 12 string guitar. Blessed with a distinctive throaty voice she has been compared by some to Billie Holiday (Dalton apparently hated the comparison). There is something in her voice that just cuts right through my heart. Born in Oklahoma of Cherokee heritage she moved to New York in the early 60's. In Chronicles Bob Dylan recalls her as "funky, lanky and sultry". "My favorite singer in the place was Karen Dalton. Karen had a voice like Billie Holiday's and played the guitar like Jimmy Reed."

Her records were not commercially successful. She was uncomfortable playing live and also with recording. In order for Fred Neil to catch any of her music he had to lie and pretend that he wasn't recording.

Dalton released 2 albums whilst she was alive: 'It's So Hard to Tell Who's Going to Love You the Best' and 'In My Own Time'. Dalton had a painful past (a failed marriage and eventual estrangement from her children) and this may have fueled her addiction to alcohol and drugs. After she made 2 albums she removed herself from her old life and became heavily involved with using heroin and other drugs. Eventually she spent time on the streets and crashing where she could. She died in New York in 1993. The cause of death was from drug abuse and an AID's related illness.

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