‘The dominated do not remain in subordination because they misunderstand the existing state of affairs but because they lack the confidence in their own capacity to transform it’ Jacques Rancières from Aesthetics and its Discontents
An oak tree is suspended, inverted, and slowly turning between the upper and lower spaces at Highlanes Gallery, a former Franciscan Church. Tree by Joe Hanly is the starting point for Disruptors, a group exhibition which also includes emerging, established and senior artists, Robert Armstrong, John Byrne, Felicity Clear, Jingze Du, Hannah Fitz, Marie Farrington, Kevin Gaffney, Cliodhna Harmey and Gary Reilly and seeks to interrupt sense-perception and expectations.
A dictionary definition of Disruption is ‘an interruption in the usual way that a system, process, or event works’, historically carrying negative connotations associated with damaging and/or preventative forces; the word Disruption in the 21st century has also acquired, tentatively, more positive associations with innovative techniques in industry, commerce and design in which the disruptor becomes the prompter for new avenues of enquiry and invention – Silicon Valley, Elon Musk, and the writings of business guru Clayton Christensen in Disruptive Innovation, while also in the advancing of social and economic justice in ‘Les Gilets Jaune’ (yellow vests) and ‘Occupy Movement’.
Including painting, sculpture, video and installation, the exhibition itself resists a single narrative, although the works themselves may individually allude, often with some humour, to real sentiments around such universal issues as environment, borders, identity and being, as well as more formal issues within the poetry of their craft and materiality.
Presented on the occasion of the annual Drogheda Arts Festival 30 April – 6 May 2019 and in association with Age & Opportunity as part of the nationwide Bealtaine Festival – celebrating the arts and creativity as we age