The Nissan Art Project will this year host an exhibition of paintings and drawings by emerging artist, Paul McKinley, from 16 March until 22 April at the Royal Hibernian Academy in Ely Place, Dublin. This is a new departure for the Nissan Art Project, which sets out to present a series of exhibitions focusing on the work of promising young artists.
Paul McKinley’s work uses snapshots of an urban park to re-present un-peopled places in a dense, highly detailed style. His use of colour and texture vibrate to animate parkland scenes, while his astonishing attention to detail evokes speculation on events or situations that may have occurred in these places.
The artist’s nine paintings for the exhibition Farewell Chestnut Avenue, are almost forensic in their approach to the park scape and seek to act as emotional triggers for subjective perception/memory. At first glance, McKinley’s brushwork recalls Seurat’s famous ‘pointillism’, the surface painstakingly constructed from minute patches of separate colour. His aim, however, is not to replicate the colouristic intensity of classic pointillism, or its naturalism. His paintwork, almost sculpturally built up, is more distancing and detached, reflecting our new pixilated visual world.
The exhibition will also contain 7 monochrome drawings, again meticulously layered in a non-formulaic way to achieve a rich depth of tone.
About the Nissan Art Project
The Nissan Art Project was established in 1997 in association with the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The project was created through the desire to provide meaningful and financial support for artists working in Ireland. Nissan Art Projects included neon texts from Molly Bloom’s Ulysses monologue in nine city centre locations by Frances Hegarty and Andrew Stones (1997); the memorable Ghost Ship by Dorothy Cross (1998) and Dan Shipsides’ Bamboo Scaffolding (2000) at the Carlton Cinema, Dublin.
In 2002, The Nissan Art Project changed its focus and was taken behind the walls of The Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin. At this point, the project aimed to give painters in their mid-career the opportunity to receive their own exhibition and catalogue in the splendid RHA gallery. 2002 saw the work of John Noel Smith, a Berlin-based Irish painter which was followed by an exhibition by Barrie Cooke in 2003. In 2004, the Nissan Art Project was represented by Martin Gale, culminating with an exhibition of work by Stephen McKenna in 2005.
This year the Nissan Art Project once again re-directs its focus to emerging artists. Paul McKinley is the first artist in this series, McKinley’s exhibition entitled Farewell Chestnut Avenue, will be exhibited in the RHA from Friday 16th March – April 22nd.
Selection of images from the exhibition
McKinley was born in 1973 in Birmingham and now lives and works in Dublin. He has exhibited regularly in Ireland since 2002 including a solo exhibition in Old Museum Arts Centre, Belfast (2006); Square Root of Drawing, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios (2006); Plane, RHA Gallery (2006); Crawford Open 4 (2004) and Claremorris Open (2002). He had a membership studio in Temple Bar Gallery & Studios for the last four years and is currently on a studio residency in Draiocht, Dublin. He was also awarded a public art commission from Breaking Ground Ballymun Regeneration’s Per Cent for Art programme in 2002.