Join WE ARE HERE exhibiting artists Ursula Burke & Tom Fitzgerald as they discuss, The Brazen Head (2016) and Black Rainbow (1980), both on loan from the Collection of the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon part of the exhibition, and their wider practice, live on Zoom from Norway & Ireland, Wednesday April 6th, 7pm.
Ursula Burke is an Irish artist who works in a variety of media including Porcelain Sculpture, Embroidery Sculpture, Soft Sculpture and Drawing. Burke's work explores abuses of power in many realms of the social and political in the West. Often, taking a Northern Irish context as a critical point of departure from which to generalize her approach outwards to international concerns. Formally, her work appropriates tropes deeply invested in the Classical, and re-inserts them in the contemporary, aiming to create a conceptual bridge between the Classical 'ideal' (in form/society) and the 'reality' of contemporary post-conflict Irish society.
Each imperial dynasty, particularly in Roman history, sought to emphasise certain aspects of representation in an effort to legitimise their authority. Using Parian porcelain, famed for emulating the carved marble sculptures from antiquity, The Brazen Head adopts visual tropes and surviving fragments of the Classical tradition. The surface of this sculpture defiantly reveals an absence of facial features in an attempt to destabilise conventions around the classical ideal in form. Rather than enshrine the heroic or powerful, it aims to capture the darker side of revolution and conflict, formalising violence caught at a moment in time.
Born in Limerick in 1929, Tom Fitzgerald studied at the Limerick School of Art & Design where he later served as head of the sculpture department. His practice includes sculpture, drawing, painting, installation and temporary environmental interventions. He was a founder member of Limerick's annual EVA exhibition in 1977. He was elevted to Áosdána in 2001.
Solo exhibitions include Spirit Music at Limerick City Gallery of Art (2022), A History of Silence at the Ashford Gallery, RHA (2006); The Ministry of Dust at Limerick City Gallery of Art (2004); a retrospective at Monaghan Museum (1999); and at the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, the Rubicon Gallery, Dublin (1998); at Project Arts Centre, Dublin (1995); and the Hendriks Gallery, Dublin (1985). He has participated in group shows in France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Hungary, New York and South Korea.
He has received bursaries from the Arts Council and the Department of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Scott Tallon, Walker Award (1982), and the Oireachtas Gold Medal (1981). Public commissions include Leaf Litany at the University of Limerick (1998); Land Litany in the Irish Pavilion at EXPO 2000, Hanover (2000); The Singing Cosmos at St. Lukes Hospital, Dublin (2000); The Numbers Game at Limerick County Hall (2003); Voyage of the Alchemist in Dundalk, Co. Louth (2006).
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Artist's Talk - Ursula Burke - WE ARE HERE (Zoom)
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