An exhibition of work by Burren College of Art MFA students, due to take place earlier this year, will go ahead from September 24th.
Presence out of Place brings together the work of graduating Burren College of Art MFA students Chetan Bhakuni, A.S. Dutton, Nell O’Leary and Jenette (Jet) Rodriguez.
This exhibition was originally scheduled to take place in April 2020, though due to COVID-19 has now been rescheduled to September when we look forward to being able to welcome audiences to the BCA Gallery to experience their work in person.
My studio practice comprises of drawings, paintings and animation as a means to depict identity and complex familial relationships. Through autobiographical narration, I address concepts of societal suppression, feudal mentality, and domestic violence that fulfils the philosophical ideal form. Through my artworks, I create a space for a conversation to unfold between my mother, myself and the viewer.
My work is focused on material, primarily stone and wood; it explores the relationships that these materials share with one another, the environment, humanity, and their collective changes alongside time. I have an ancestral fascination with the characteristics of these materials, namely: the rough surface and everlasting durability of stone that can be melted away with acid, or sanded softer than silk, and the sinuous growth and flexible limbs of trees that can be moulded to any purpose, or organized to grow crystals. My goal is to subvert the prescribed purposes of these materials. I aim to refamiliarize the viewer with stone, wood and the elemental components of our world, to question how we determine their value, and to consider the ways in which we engage with these materials and the world they come from: now, before, and hereafter.
There is something that exists within the conceptual framework of a portrait that cannot be ignored: an implied intimacy, directness, and voyeuristic pleasure that accompanies the gaze of a viewer. The luxury that the audience is afforded is time and the permission to look. Within the context of contemporary portraiture, great attention is given to the application of paint and visual appearance of the surface almost as much as the subject matter itself. As my work slowly evolves from the comfort of the atelier system, I have become a researcher deeply engaged in the experiential, intuitive process of painting.
In my artistic practice, the possibility of interconnected other worlds, alternate planes of existence, or an underlying collective consciousness will always be a fascinating subject. I explore these fantastical thoughts and theories searching for an answer for my desire to create. Considering myself a mixed media specialist, I look to historical and contemporary art practices as well as life experiences to gather information on the shared symbolic meaning of images such as teeth, eyes and fantastical creatures. I am exploring an unseen world that somehow connects us all, and sharing it with a wider audience in all its exciting and surprising wonder.