Artistic Licence: Six Reasons Why You Should See James Earley’s New Exhibition

JAMES EARLEY‘s new exhibition “THINGS FALL APART” opens next week at DOLLARD HOUSE

Earley is internationally renowned for his large-scale street art, especially for his work on Blooms Hotel on Anglesea Street in Temple Bar, Dublin. The hand-painted façade mural, created in 2014, remains Ireland’s largest piece of public art to date. His work is in private collection in Ireland, Europe and the US as well as in the Irish Embassy in Paris.

Since graduating from NCAD in 2003 with a BA in Visual Communications, Earley has been an integral part of the Irish graffiti and street art movement. His work was part of a four-piece stamp collection from An Post in 2017, alongside his street art peers Maser, Conor Harrington and Fin DAC. Fashion forward wheelchair users sport James’ bespoke wheel cover design, part of the Spring 2018 Collection from Irish fashion brand Izzy Wheels.

Earley’s new exhibition “Things Fall Apart” is a celebration of stained glass, which re-imagines the traditional art form. He combines old techniques and materials with contemporary processes and materials.

Earley is celebrating our national heritage in this exhibition and is reinvigorating a traditional art form, by elevating it from a passive, decorative discipline to something progressive and contemporary. Earley explains; “Stained glass is a wonder in its very process of creation and its materiality. The dramatic presence it commands within a space through its tone, texture and scale makes for a wholly unique experience. Our national heritage in stained glass is remarkable, and for the large part neglected, I’d like to revive the practice and produce high quality, modern, Irish stained glass works with a global reach.”

The exhibition celebrates Earley’s own ancestral artistic heritage. Founded in 1864 by Thomas Earley and Edward Powell, on Dublin’s Camden Street, Earley & Company produced stained glass and ecclesiastical furnishings. They were one of the most significant businesses working in stained glass and marble throughout Ireland and the UK from the mid-19th century, into the late 20th century. Thousands of Earley & Company’s works can be found in cathedrals, churches and ecclesiastical buildings across the world, including Australia and Argentina. In Dublin the grisaille window in St Kevin’s Church on Harrington Street in Dublin in 1903 was created by Earley & Company and remains the largest of its kind to date.

The collection of works in Things Fall Apart are a mixture of old and new materials and processes, embracing technology and fusing it with traditional disciplines such as stained glass, silkscreen printing and painting.  There are several, complex treatments employed, unique materials demanding a unique approach.

Need to Know: “Things Fall Apart” will run from Thursday May 24 to Sunday June 3, at the new exhibition space of Dollard House on 5 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2. The exhibition will open daily from midday to 7pm. 

www.jamese.ie

Penny McCormick

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