Graham Gingles: Boxes and Drawings, Fenderesky Gallery Belfast, 7th Sept – 7th October 2017

Boxes in the upstairs gallery – and few impressive drawings.  I like reading drawings – they tell what a final work of art hides. Note – I do not think of it as finished, just as of final version stopped to develop any further. But then with boxes, the size  would assert itself  stopping the imagination to go on and on.  Hence the occurrence of  a visual fugue or a  variations on a theme.  E E Cummings warns of  the need to respect unassailable creative integrity buoyed by relentless work ethic  without any “buts” and ” ifs”. 


In the following  video Gingles points out the difference between his concept of “boxes as art” and those made famously by Joseph Cornell.

The two salient points of comparison include the way Gingles makes the objects for each box as well as the box, and the motivation to strip ” death for a political cause”  of its mythical power over the present. Thus both the instrumental and the intrinsic values develop as one.

Reminiscent of Nietzsche idea of “renewal”  the boxes focus on the short circuit  between art, democracy and all embracing life – with a warning that we  cannot be sure that life in all its variants will win.  The desire to share what is unfinished has a glorious tradition, renewed in Europe in the 1968 movements – which, in a welcome coincidence-  renews the ethos of  Ce n’est pas qu’un rebut  at National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art  in Rome.  Ester Coen accompanies it by an  essay  E solo  un inizio.   Gingles makes high relief items, “protected by ” or “locked away” in elegant clean lines of boxes of wood and glass – as indeed “ it is only a beginning“.  The viewer is expected, asked, invited to complete the  proposed change.  If only this desire  was allowed to trigger the needed change. Regardless of the diversity of different items, the boxes create a desire  for cognitive shift.  Death calls for dignified respect, but life  calls for strong committment to  the presence and the future.

Apology for the absence of images  from the current exhibition.   The Ulster Museum  and Art Council websites  do not present an image of his work online.

The first image courtesy Helen  G. Blake



About Slavka Sverakova

writer on art
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