Discussion Blog

This blog has been set up to provide a forum to discuss the works included in Exit, Pursued by a Bear an exhibition put together by third year art students from IADT, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland.   Each post contains an image and statement from one of the participants.  Feel free to leave comments about the work.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Fergal Dunne Where did you say he was from?'

Title: 'Where did you say he was from?'
Medium: acrylic on gesso prepared chipboard, 110 x 125 cm

I am for the language of painting; the expressive potential of colour, gesture and composition.

Mark Rothko once stated that a painting 'lives by companionship'. I have come to understand of this companionship as the dialogue between the potential and the limits of both the material and the artist's identity as a living, conscious, and sensitive being. A painted surface becomes significant with the application of the painter's mind; an imbuing of immaterial spirituality into physical, primary, lived experience. All that is sacred to the painter, the person, all those things that that define living, are poured onto the surface into a documentation, a report if you like, on the joy and the anger, the conquests and the defeats, the salutes and the insults.

Tension, I have found, creeps, seeps and floods into my work time and time again. Never comfortable in a definition, I pull characteristics from all ends of a concept, lay it out, and allow the conflicts to breathe amongst themselves. In this work I have taken an innocent question, 'where did you say he was from?', put into a context with a seated, barefoot figure, and tied that to a reference to the peacekeepers of our nation, and played all three together in a cocktail of associations, which bring up questions of security, corruption, racism and liberty, to name but a few, and applied these ideas to expression through the integrity of paint's communicative materiality. Paintings, for me, should shout, whimper, retract, whisper, collapse and boil, like an open, hesitant mind engaged with this world with which its interacts.