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Indepth Arts News:

"Down to Earth: Work from the IMMA Collection"
2004-06-05 until 2004-06-25
Wexford Art Centre
Wexford, , IE Ireland

An exhibition of works from the Collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art opens to the public at Wexford Arts Centre on Saturday 5 June 2004 as part of a collaborative project between Wexford Arts Office, IMMA’s National Programme and National Irish Bank. The exhibition is part of the Art Alongside project which was established in 1998 as part of Wexford County Councils Arts Education Programme. Down to earth combines artworks by Irish and international artists in a variety of media and includes drawings by Kathy Prendergast and Nick Miller, prints by Paula Rego and Antoni Tapies and sculpture by Richard Wentworth. The exhibition will also include works by students from nine participating schools.

The aim of Art Alongside is to provide children and adults of Co Wexford access to and a dynamic and relevant experience of the visual arts, while simultaneously establishing a formal structure through which artists can work professionally in an educational/community context and continue to maintain their own practice as artists.  Art Alongside is funded and supported by Wexford County Council, the Arts Council and the nine participating schools.

The theme for this years Art Alongside project is Down to Earth. This project explores earth materials, textures, tactile qualities, colours, landscapes, the environment, each person’s own connection to the earth and the earth itself. The project involved facilitating the exploration of this theme through paint, drawing, photography, clay, plaster, papier-mâché and materials collected from the environment.

The painting South Africa Memory Series, no. 1, 1991, is one of a series of works that resulted from a visit the artist Nick Miller made to his parents' former homeland in 1991. In a statement by the artist he said, “The series was concerned with my understanding and perception of encounters with human relationships of family, race, politics, economics and responsibility. While travelling I felt my mind and eyes to be like a video recorder, with extra functions of smell, touch, thought and emotion. I was never sure what would remain, all my senses were overloaded with the reality of the experience. On returning to Ireland, I tried to retrieve images like organic 'video-grabs' from my memory bank. They naturally came to an end when I found myself starting to invent memories for art's sake."

Kathy Pederast’s, City Drawings, 1992 (ongoing series), of the world’s capital cities, are based on contemporary maps which show the manmade geography of our cities. Prendergast plays on the thrill of recognising a city through our memories of personal events that unfolded there, even though the maps are devoid of place names or written signs. From the organic sprawl of London to the grided order of New York each city drawn on its own terms, whether dense and overbearing or a frail collection of lines signifying where people live.

The National Programme is designed to create access opportunities to the visual arts in a variety of situations and locations in Ireland.  Using the Collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and exhibitions generated by the Museum, the National Programme facilitates the creation of exhibitions and other projects for display in a range of locations around the country.

A series of workshops will be held alongside the exhibition as part of the Branching Out project supported by National Irish Bank.  Branching Out is a programme designed by the Irish Museum of Modern Art and National Irish Bank to be national, inclusive and participative, bringing the visual arts to the community and providing opportunities for the community to get involved.

Richard Wentworth
Glad That Things Don't Talk
zinc, rubber, cable, lead
34 x 68 x 33 cm
On loan from the Weltkunst Foundation

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