Author Archives: Slavka Sverakova

About Slavka Sverakova

writer on art

Islands and Myths, Belfast Exposed, 29 June – 18 August 2018

NOT ENOUGH SPACE  on WordPress.  This post will be on https://slavkasverakova. blogspot.com     Thank you, wordpress, for holding my  201 posts….                             Not enough space on … Continue reading

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Marilyn Arsem at Transactions, Belfast, 3 May, 2018.

Sitting on a bench in front of the Castle Court shopping centre in Belfast, Arsem did some hand sewing.  At her feet two bags – one with bodies and heads of  soft toys she bought whole but dismembered, the other … Continue reading

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Brian Wallace, Pieces, June 2018, Engine Room Gallery, Belfast

This kind of playful courage to reminisce on gestural abstract expressionism belongs to this painter’s youth and memory of it.  The broken world of strong hues without attachment to a story  or an object is naturally suitable to express a … Continue reading

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Mark Francis Fenning, Polaroid Boys, Ards Art Centre, until 30 June 2018

During a passive contemplation it all looked like polaroids: white framed,  round frame, no frame, and assemblage.  As if multitude of sameness were exercised to include differences. As images of male persons, faces or torsos, they tell of identities.  Until … Continue reading

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Sarah Wren Wilson, A Meddlesome Meeting, The Sunburst Gallery Newtownards, June 2018

  Two of the eighteen exhibits  blur the distinction between ” an object” and ” a process”,  that defines the whole exhibition.  Made of plaster and pigment  the horizontal  floor assembly (below)  differs from the  curvilinear “blobs” installed in the … Continue reading

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End of Year Degree Shows, Ulster University, Belfast, 2018 :Karl Hagan

This reproduction subtracts, distorts the dynamics of Hagan’s brush marks, they are like solid  coat of paint, whereas  the surface in real viewing is a gossamer of vapours. Even where it is  divided  by breaking line,  the hue flirts with  … Continue reading

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End of the Year Shows, Ulster University, Belfast, 2018, part 2: Szabo and Canning

  Attila Szabo mines the rich vein of power of play, imagination and science: ” I enjoy combining art with electronics. Art that comes alive using the magic of technology and technology that brings people together instead of replacing them.” … Continue reading

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End of Year Shows, UU, Belfast, 2018 June 8 for a week

I have managed to see painting and sculpture only. The tenor of the exhibited work was to make visual thoughts accessible in some familiar material that should move the viewer to relinquish the fear of the new.  Sufficiently different from the … Continue reading

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After an Act. Golden Thread Gallery Belfast, 26th May – 14th July 2018

I just read that Boo Saville  sands back painted layers until the canvas gleams. (https://frieze.com/article/damien-hirst-spotlights-emerging-talent-his-newport-street-gallery-show)   Vanishing of  brushstrokes and tones  until the canvas shines   vanishes also a  painting canon like  the albertian window, gesture paintings etc.  Reminds me of Hans Magnus … Continue reading

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Pat Harris, Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast, 24 May – 23 June 2018

Compared to Pat Harris’s  recent paintings of flowers the marks above are not only heavily saturated  but in the process of metamorphosis – a man’s body with arms stretched apart  took orders from Ovidius  Naso, marking the vase and the … Continue reading

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David Moore, Lisa and John, Belfast Exposed, May 4 – June 16 2018

The eighteen  photographs Pictures from the Real World  are displayed  in a rumbling visual essay of small formats that accentuates the feeling of gentle trespassing into  private lives, this time with the  enthusiastic agreement of the participating family.   If the … Continue reading

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Clare Gallagher, Verges, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, May 3 – June 30 2018

Clare Gallagher does not name each image in the set of Verges, instead, she gives the viewer the choice to attend closely  and directly to the subject her photography,  weeds:   ” They defy preoccupations with property and boundaries, growing wherever  suits … Continue reading

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Charlie Scott, What Fell From the Mountain, The Georgian Gallery, Newtownards, 19 April – 24 May 2018

“Growing  surrounded by the silent bogs, lakes and halted railway line in Co Donegal, I am interested in nature…” would have been enough of an introduction to Scott’s  peaty paintings.  Nevertheless the young painter  feels the pressure to propose  an … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Magill, Headland, Ulster Museum, Belfast, 11 May – 23 September, 2018

  In a sight rooted practice the similarities and differences between these two  images have defining power.  They define even those images that are on their own.  These landscapes are a modern equivalent of Plato’s answer to Timaeus asking  how  … Continue reading

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The Fragmented Mind, MAC, Belfast, 4 May -29 July 2018

It is an exhibition  and  several events that include: Friday Lunchtime Recitals (horn, cello, orchestra, harp), poetry reading on a Saturday, screenings a films on Tuesdays, lectures on Thursday and nine workshops offered by artists Sharon Kelly, Ursula Burke and Tonya McMullan.  … Continue reading

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HELEN G BLAKE, New Paintings, Fenderesky Gallery Belfast, 26 April – 18 May 2018

Fourteen images each  in one of three sizes favoured by Blake for years now –  are beautifully displayed in a gentle embrace of pristine white walls.   They are reminiscent of abstract paintings rewarded in 2006 by the Turner Price … Continue reading

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Helena Hamilton, Semblance and Event, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown, 7April -23 May 2018

Light.  Invitation to unthink the familiarity of the tube lights, the inevitability of a particular use.  Standing near it, watching, looking, walking around, near and away,   reminded me of  Keyezua’s  recent comment on her photographies: “After finishing at the Royal … Continue reading

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Listening Wall at QSS, Belfast

Iris Garrelfs  contribution to the current Sonorities Festival  in Belfast   consists of 30 A4 sheets with printed words  displayed in groups on the walls of the first room of the QSS gallery. (irisgarrelfs.com/listening – wall) The second room houses a video, hand … Continue reading

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Ashley B Holmes

Essay for Ashley B Holmes 

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Alastair MacLennan – a visit to his studio at Noon of 10th April 2018

On his kind invitation  we met in front of the Flax Art. The lift was made dysfunctional by someone not heading the printed advice to close both gates when leaving. MacLennan’s  studio has almost Corbusier inspired  ribbon windows  on two … Continue reading

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Sinead McKeever, Antenna, Millennium Court Art Centre, Portadown, Feb 2 -March28, 2018

The transformatory power of McKeever’s exhibition is apparent when the space is seen without  her installation, Antenna, during an earlier exhibition. McKeever’s installation effortlessly seduces the useful rational construction to abandon its mathematical precision and to  join in a play.  … Continue reading

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Dan Shipsides / Shipsides and Beggs Projects, Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast, 22 March -20 April, 2018

Armscliff; Great Western Oil on Canvas, Dan Shipsides,1994 To meet the word on its own terms,  to meet the world on its own terms is  an art immensely rewarding yet immensely difficult.  The title of this painting  has a letter R … Continue reading

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Eanna Mac Cana: Och Ochon, Crescent Arts Centre Gallery, Belfast, March 19th – 31st 2018

Multitude of caps of tea.  Disposable plastic. Ocean full of plastic and dying whales may not have been in this artist’s intended context – but they are, as the erosion of the  anthropocentric model of life progresses through our consciousness. … Continue reading

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Ausrine Suratkeviciute at Household Belfast , 2018

By a chance this appeared in my inbox: “Being: New Photography 2018,” the latest exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art’s ongoing for up-and-coming photographers. “Being” is a gripping survey of how photographers today are dealing head-on with the knotty things that … Continue reading

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Mark Shields, at F E McWilliam Gallery, Banbridge, March 1 – May 19, 2018

I sense that Shields’s  process dominates the image by piercing intention with invention and chance.  Reminiscent of John Cage.  By “herding “creation, principle and belief together. Shields  named this exhibition The Inaccessible Land … quoting Georg Buechner’s ” beyond the endless searching”  … Continue reading

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‘Four Northern Women’, Engine Room, Belfst , February 1 -24, 2018

Art objects by Anya Waterworth, Sarah Falloon, Joanne Jamison and Leanne McClean benefited from the  daylight  in the smaller rooms  of the gallery.   The windows were never far away from the surface of the small formats luxuriating in an imagined … Continue reading

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THERE and NOT THERE. GTG Belfast. 01.03.- 21.04. 2018

Curated by Sarah McAvera, in a thoughtful display, the small gallery room  elegantly housed four  large images ( The Illusion of Purpose II., IV, V, X. all  110 x 110cm, 2017 All in edition of  5)  by Victoria J Dean … Continue reading

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DAVID GODBOLD:Nightfall – amplissium terrarum tractum , Golden thread Gallery, Belfast, 3 Feb – 10 March 2018

An unexpected move to use Latin  as a title of an exhibition these days… the words are written in neon tubes above the painting titled  Three little words, (2010, neon, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 115 cm, sorry my mobile … Continue reading

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STUART CALVIN, The Earthly and the Uncharted, 25 Jan – 24 Feb 2018, Ulster University Art Gallery, Belfast

David Haughey  accompanied the installation with a breathtakingly beautiful essay extracting deep understanding of human condition from materials and hues while mapping the roots in ancient philosophy.  Applied to current EU strategies with migrating people it dips this art near … Continue reading

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The Quiet Club in Florida, 2016

They were artists in residence  with the Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva, Florida, in January 2016. Published the album in 2017. Playing every day at 2pm in a shed on Jungle Road they created this work. The sound work is organised into … Continue reading

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Listening to DANNY McCARTHY: Rauschenberg Scores

I have a memory (drowned in the decades of forgetting)  of an summer evening open air  piano concert at the Maeght Foundation  near Saint-Paul de Vence: the pianist played the same score marks vertically, horizontally, clockwise, anti-clockwise, on a diagonal…. … Continue reading

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Ronnie Hughes,Strange Attractors, The Model, Sligo, 16 April – 22 June 2017, catalogue, 71pp

I have not seen this exhibition. I have seen some of his earlier  paintings at Fenderesky Gallery. This  essay exists  because Ronnie   Hughes generously  sent me the handsome  catalogue published by The Model in 2017. It contains two essays, CV … Continue reading

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Bob Raymond, this moment:missives from another world, 2015

“This book came about because we felt compelled to share Bob Raymond‘s work with a wider audience after he died unexpectedly in 2012″  – so Jed Speare starts his Preface to the volume of 192 pages printed on square 25 … Continue reading

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Alastair MacLennan,Lie to Lay, 2017

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Air A Lair,organised by Summerhall, Edinburgh ( 2nd August -24 September 2017) the catalogue contains brief tributes by Richard Demarco, Dominic Thorpe, Paula Blair, Roddy Hunter and Brian Patterson. and a substantial, insightful, erudite  … Continue reading

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Anka Lesniak, Invisible inVisible, 2017

With a subtitle  “Women disconnected from the history” the paperback  was published by Stowarzyszenie Sztuka i Dokumentacja (ISBN 978-83-931176-6-6). I have added ISBN so that you may identify the book,  missing little signs and accents in writing Polish names on this … Continue reading

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Colin McGookin: The Joy of Eastern Compositions, October – November 2017, EastSide Gallery, Belfast

Curated by ArtisAnn commercial gallery  18 acrylic paintings on either paper, board, fabric, or linen and one oil painting on board, in a style McGookin has preferred since  his wife taught him to paint on silk, formed  The Joy of … Continue reading

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Charlie Scott – From the Water, from the Bog, 2017

It was a part of the group exhibition  Process Extended, at Goose lane Gallery, opened on November 2nd 2017.   Artists exhibiting in the backroom of the Tivoli Barbers were  Hannah Clegg, Hannah Johnston and Megan Kerr and Charlie Scott. 

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Shonky:The Aesthetics of Awkwardness, MAC, Belfast, 20 October 2017 – 14 January 2018

 The exhibition aims to explore the nature of visual awkwardness through the work of artists and architects Arakawa and Gins; Cosima von Bonin; Niki de Saint Phalle; Benedict Drew; Justin Favela; Duggie Fields; Louise Fishman; Friedensreich Hundertwasser; Kate Lepper; Andrew … Continue reading

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Willie Heron: Sculptures and works on paper, Fenderesky Gallery Belfast, 12 October- 10 November 2017

They  exceed a size of hand, of handheld art like Books of Hours, whose investment in private thought is difficult to surpass. Yet, the need to protect freedom of thought is as great and urgent as in the 20th C … Continue reading

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Hughie O’Donoghue: The Tempest, Carlisle Memorial Church, Belfast, 10 – 28 October, 2017

The slowly self-destructing 19th C neo- gothic building has offered genuinely enhancing milieu to view the tarpaulin sized paintings. The Steady Drummer and Night Visitor are both 12x18ft and Cargo measures 12x24ft. With the smaller paintings  the installation has evoked … Continue reading

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OLGA DZIUBAK: “large array of negative feelings”, Array Studios, Belfast, 5th – 8th October 2017

The title and some sentences from texts by Valerie Solanas and Ulrike Meinhof  introduce the viewer to  Dziubak’s  installation of lens based art  made during her residency at the Array Studios. ”permanent state of emergency to make violence unnecessary men … Continue reading

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Art of the print….

  The Art of the print.   The  title of my musing about print borrows the name from the first of the two exhibitions celebrating 40 years of Belfast Print Workshop.    Installed by Fenderesky Gallery ( Aug 3rd – … Continue reading

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Jayne Cherry at Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown, 5 August – 27 September 2017

  As many of my readers, I have not seen this exhibition. Jayne Cherry kindly sent me  a link to the video  made  with sensitivity to mute poetry  by Stu Calvin.   She also emailed  two related  still images that  in … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Helen Blake, David Crone, Tony Hill: Works on paper, Fenderesky Gallery I, Belfast, Sept 7 – Oct 7, 2017

Works on paper – what does it mean to you? It is a specific art speak  born out of undisciplined open ended dionysian intoxication with multitude of materials an artist can use to make visual art on the ubiquitous paper. … Continue reading

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ALISTAIR WILSON: Signs and ciphers, GTG Belfast, 3 August – 19th September 2017

I open up with a paraphrase of  recent research: Like so many artworks, the brain is largely an object of mystery. One secret yet to be discovered is how the fragile folds of matter locked inside our skulls can not … Continue reading

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Unafraid Yellow (August 4 -31) and Unafraid Blue (September 8-28) at QSS, Belfast, 2017

A variant of these  toy  was soldiers exhibited, not so lushly yellow,  spiralled around a column supporting the gallery ceiling could have been  easily overlooked. In a spirit of Barnett Newman’s aesthetic discourse my first image here represents both the … Continue reading

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CAPTURED: Rich, Rugged and Fresh, Goose Lane Gallery, Belfast, 7th – 23rd September 2017

My first visit to this small gallery behind the Tivoli Barber’s  shop in North Street happened courtesy  the painter Gary Shaw.   Until this encounter,  I failed  to register an art group  Belfast Bankers, a name inspired by  the group … Continue reading

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Part 6 Cumulator 7 – just the rest of images taken by Jordan Hutchings – 7/7/2016

         

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Keith Sheppard, Reflections of Nebulae 2, Arts and Disability Forum Gallery, 03.08 – 08/09 2017

Interpretations of Sunrise from  Gliese 581c? Indeed that is what the artist named it as. “How might a sunrise appear on Gliese 581c? Gliese 581c is the most Earth-like planet yet discovered and lies a mere 20 light-years distant. Although … Continue reading

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