He was struck by the nakedness and ritual of his fellow swimmers likening it to the components of many of the (art) performances he had seen as a student. For Coyle both the swimmer and the performance artist ‘placed their bodies in very testing and physically demanding environments and frequently in the nude, though to my mind the swimmer was a ‘primitive’ artist…a primitive performance artist’ extract from ad marginem catalogue, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin 2000. ‘A probing of the issues arising from admitting the possibility of Performance Art being a legitimate form of art for Coyle’ *
Every day Coyle has bottled the water, recorded each experience in a diary, taken photographs of the coastline and has worked on large-scale drawings of the sea. To submerge yourself in this work is to submerge yourself in the experience of the daily swimmer. View the brooding skies; the crashing waves and occasionally the expanse of calm water as many of the photographs were taken while Coyle was in the water.
‘What and how will all this activity add up? That is truly the intriguing question that surrounds this work. For the moment, it is too close, Coyle presses our faces against the window and we are too contorted by the teeming wonder of his vision to catch sight of what it all might mean. Perhaps this is the artist’s intention to so obsessively and diversely present information both documentary and aesthetic that we are balanced, our reason thrown into the sea alongside him and we bob and float with all of the beauty of the risk and danger of swimming with our own mortality.’ *
* Patrick T Murphy, RHA Director, extract from catalogue essay
There will be a performance by the artist, in the gallery on the 25th and 26th March
Priority booking for Friends of the RHA on the 25th and 26th March, tickets €10.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 01 661 2558
Gary Coyle RHA lives and works in Dublin and was elected a full member of the RHA in 2009. He studied in NCAD, Dublin and completed an MA at the Royal College of Art, London. Coyle has had a number of solo exhibitions at the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin, Fenton Gallery, Cork and has performed his work at Dublin Fringe Theatre Festival, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin, Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Kilkenny Arts Festival, County Hall, Dun Laoghaire and the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris. Group exhibitions include Terror and the Sublime, Crawford Gallery, Cork, Paper work, Pallas Contemporary Projects, Something Else, Kilkenny Arts Festival and 10,000 into 50, IMMA. He has completed a number of commissions and has been awarded various awards, such as Davy Portrait Award, 2008, Portrait Award, RHA & US Council of Commerce, 2007 and he was also elected a Member of Aosdana in 2009. Coyle’s work can be found in the collections of IMMA, The Arts Council, The Irish Contemporary Art Society, Dublin, Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork, Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Mayo and Axa Insurance, Dublin. There have been 5 publications of his work dating from 1999 to 2009, all of which can be sourced through the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery.
A full colour catalogue will accompany this exhibition with contributions from Patrick T Murphy, Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes and Maeve Connolly.
Selection of images from the exhibition