Exhibition

James Merrigan, night-knight, 2011
Futures 11

FUTURES 11 is the third in the present series of FUTURES, a sequence of exhibitions that endeavours to document and contextualise the work of a selection of artists around who exists a growing critical and curatorial consensus. The FUTURES 11, selected by Patrick T. Murphy, Director and Ruth Carroll, Curator are Alan Butler, Vera Klute, Barbara Knezevic, James Merrigan and Shelia Rennick.

Alan Butler’s work makes use of appropriation and remixes cultural artifacts and icons by taking items that possess specific lineages and combines them with disparate elements in order to create works that represent other ideas and ‘truths’. This results in works that criticise realities which are constructed through the semiotics and narratives created by our consumption of information. His exhibitions often take the form of multi-artwork installations, which describe the consumption and the consequential misunderstanding of information across borders and different cultures. A post-modern cynicism is often present in the works, which also aim to be humorous in their depiction of the spectacle in modern society. While an underlying philosophical and conceptual groundwork dictate their formation, references to ubiquitous cultural, political and economic circumstances permits accessibility to the works.

Born 1981 in Dublin, Butler graduated with a B.A. in Fine Art from National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Dublin in 2004. He then completed an M.A. in Fine Art, LaSalle College of the Arts, Singapore in 2009. His work has featured in projects and exhibitions in IN_FLUX Limerick, RUA RED, Dublin, 2011, Dublin Contemporary 2011, UM Intermedia Exhibition, Portugal, Death and Sensuality: Appropriating sex and violence in contemporary Irish art, San Francisco, Solas Nua, Washington D.C. (forthcoming 2011), École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, Seven Art Fair, Miami, The Mermaid Arts Centre, Wicklow, 2010, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin, Cake Contemporary Arts, Kildare and 126, Galway, (solo) 2010, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Singapore, 2009, Hatje Cantz Con prefazione
di Angela Vettese, Venice, 2009.

Vera Klute’s practice is fed through observations from her immediate, everyday environment. She examines patterns of behaviour as well as social and psychological mechanisms to understand the often ironic and absurd nature of daily living. The work explores the human habitat from the viewpoint of a natural scientist attempting to classify and categorize – to find pattern in chaos. Thematically this subject is approached from two perspectives: on the one hand, her work deals with personal anxieties and social interaction with the outside world; on the other, anatomical explorations and pseudo-scientific apparatus are used to suggest new explanations of the familiar.

Vera Klute was born in 1981 in Salzkotten in Germany and lives and works in Dublin. In 2006 she received an Honours BA in Fine Art from Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology. Awards include: Emerging Visual Artist Award, Wexford Arts Centre, 2009, Arts Council Bursary Award, 2008, 2009 and 2011, Emerging Artist Award, The Gallery, Newry, 2007. Klute has been included in many group shows worldwide. Her solo shows include the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, 2011, Wexford Arts Centre, 2009 and The Lab, Dublin, 2006. Her work will next be seen in New video works by Irish artists at Tampere Art Museum, Finland in 2011.

Barbara Knezevic’s sculpture and installation works are posited as a means of working out, a probe with which to test the viability of ideas. The work is concerned with the transformational potential of an art object. Ordinary materials are manipulated to transcend their original mundane usage and become something other than themselves. Intervention moves the objects out of the territory of the ordinary, towards an unexpected and sometimes unnerving outcome. Present are questions of the politics inherent in modes of labour and production, but also the mystery of existence and of our relationship to objects. A consideration of transience is offered; objects and meaning are presented as temporary, un-stable and fundamentally contested.

Barbara Knezevic is an Australian-born artist practicing in Dublin. She attended the Sydney College of the Arts where she received a Bachelor of Visual Arts and completed her Masters in Fine Art at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Dublin. Recently, she was awarded a Project studio at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios and South Dublin County Council Artist’s Bursary Award. Recent solo exhibitions include Alderamin Rising at Queen Street Studios, Belfast, In pursuit of a state of uncertainty, Kings ARI, Melbourne, Australia and Firstdraft Gallery, Sydney, Australia. Recent group exhibitions include New Connections at RUA red and the Claremorris Open curated by Lisa Le Feuvre.

Sheila Rennick’s distinctive paintings show glimpses of a strange and distorted world, which exists in the artists’ imagination. Dark humour and pathos infest each of her candy-coloured narratives, and wonderfully drawn figures, dogs, men and cats emerge from expertly rendered thick impasto oil paint. The characters in Rennick’s paintings derived from photographs, stories and passing moments or events. She mixes reality and the everyday with imaginary elements – animals and people often work together to resolve something within the paintings. Rennick’s work can be ironic and at other times it can be simple and direct with its intentions. Painted in thick brushstrokes in sweet pastels with shades of darkness, she works directly onto the canvas from collage and carefully selected imagery.

Born in Galway 1983, Sheila Rennick graduated from NCAD with a degree in Fine Art painting in 2004 and was co-recipient of the CAP foundation award. She went on to complete an MA in painting in St. Martin’s College, London in 2006 and was one of thirty artists selected from across the UK for the notable Jerwood contemporary painting exhibition which was held in London in February 2007. Rennick has had a number of solo and group exhibitions including High heels and bulldogs at Monstertruck Gallery and Studios and Dodgy Heaven at the RHA Ashford Gallery. She became the first graduate of NCAD to exhibit at the colleges new gallery with a painting and drawing show entitled Hot Body Ugly Face Syndrome. In 2010 she participated in a Group Painting show entitled ‘The Fold’ at VISUAL in Carlow and in 2011 had a solo exhibition New Paintings at the Hillsboro Fine Art Gallery. She is represented by Hillsboro Fine Art Gallery, Dublin. In November 2011 she will travel with Monster Truck Gallery and Studios for a three-person show at Solas Nua, Washington D.C.

James Merrigan insets video, audio and text in built environments, that play with the darker aspects of society. He will install a scale-specific installation, entitled night-knight, at the RHA, that will endeavor to challenge perceptions of time and place, with base materials found at the currently static and uncanny construction site.

James Merrigan is an artist and art writer. Since 2008 he has been part of numerous group shows and had six solo presentations of new work: …could we talk before and after…(Part 1), Queen Street Gallery, Belfast, 2008, Hardware at thisisnotashop, 2009, Fedex Dorothy at the Masonic Hall, Birr, 2009, it means… at 126 Gallery, Galway, FONTS FOR TELEVISION, off-site office block, Part of Unbuilding Project at Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, 2010 and The Truth Spoken as Word, Roscommon Arts Centre, 2011. He has written art reviews for Circa online and the independent online art writing project Unbuilding in Words (as part of the Unbuilding Project). In October 2010 he created the online art writing journal +BILLION-, which publishes bi-weekly reviews, articles, and video/audio conversations with artists. He is currently leading a series of art writing workshops concerned with art writing and criticism at the Mermaid Arts Centre, which will result in a printed publication entitled Process–ional Geographies.

Future art projects include: So Long Roger Fenton… curated by Claire Feeley, Monster Truck Gallery, September 2011, a printed publication under the banner of Fugitive Papers with Fiona Woods and Michaële Cutaya and a solo show at the LAB in 2012. He is the recipient of the 2010/11 Irish Residential Studios Award at the Red Stables, the Visual Artists Ireland Writer Award 2011, and the Arts Council Project Award 2011.

Selection of images from the exhibition