Artistic License: Graduates at SO Fine Art Editions - The Gloss Magazine

Artistic License: Graduates at SO Fine Art Editions

SO Fine Art Editions profiles six recent NCAD graduates: Joanne Clerkin, Aoife Coss, Fiona Duffy, Sinead Killoran, Darragh Phelan and Marta Szymczyk …

The ethos of So Fine Art Editions has always been to encourage and showcase new artists and their work, while also providing a space where Irish art collectors can discover the latest trends in contemporary art. Here six emerging artists share their inspiration from biophilia to the realities of the rental market …

Marta Szymczyk

My work explores and exposes the complex world of make-up and its role in our planet’s future. The beauty industry is so over commercialised. As a beauty lover it worries me to think about the waste that is generated not only by expired make-up, but also by the extravagant packaging that comes with it.

Although I am concerned about all plastics that pollute our planet, my focus is on make-up products and their elaborate packaging. “Enhanced Natural Beauty” is a make-up brand I created as a platform to voice my concerns as well as propose alternative ideas about the beauty industry’s plastic waste. Utilising a beautiful aesthetic to expose the industries’ ugly side, my product launch is a platform for more serious conversations around our environment, especially about plastic waste. I see my work as a starting point for further conversations and education, thus the use of statistics is a constant throughout my work.

Sinead Killoran

I am based in Dublin and work mainly through the medium of screen print. My work explores childhood, memory and the fear of growing up which was heightened by Covid-19 and lockdown over the last year. I use escapism in my art through energetic markings, exploring my childhood to divert from these fears. My prints are playful, incorporating toys, patterns and lots of colours. I am inspired by Bauhaus and 1980’s post-modern art. I am very experimental with my prints often using lots of layers – mixing monoprinting with digital imagery and hand embellishments.

Joanne Clerkin

Throughout my practice I have been exploring “biophilia” and my own personal relationship with nature and how it positively impacts on my mental health. The biophilia hypothesis proposes that humans have an innate tendency to connect with other forms of life. We as a species have lived in nature for over 90 per cent of our existence. There is no doubt that this urge to connect with nature remains within us. With a deeper appreciation of nature and a stronger connection to it, the urge to protect it grows.

With the climate crisis looming, protection of the natural world is becoming extremely crucial. I find beauty and peace in my relationship with nature. Throughout my practice I have portrayed the essentiality of nature by connecting human organs to plants through drawing and animation. Fabric imagery is also present comparing the comfort that nature brings to that of a blanket. Personal experience and self-portraiture are also a key element of my work. I have created this work with the hope that it will inspire others to reconnect with the natural world and look after it.

Darragh Phelan

My work is at its base an exploration of the effect technology has on people and society. I attempt to examine and comment on the commodification of the digital realm and the human experience, a process characterised by mass online surveillance and data harvesting combined with targeted advertisement and propaganda to manipulate human behaviour. Algorithms and the harvesting of personal data are driving the profits of big tech companies at the expense of people’s privacy, autonomy and free will, which in turn affects the outcomes of democratic elections and processes. I believe these issues are important and that there needs to be public discourse and debate around them. The issues permeate every aspect of our lives even more so in the wake of the pandemic. The Internet has become a necessity, it is an essential tool that everyone must use. It is inescapable.

Aoife Cross

I explore the absence of home found in many rental spaces, with a focus on my own experiences renting in Dublin over the past five years – the reality of a lack of ownership that comes with short term renting. I explore this by making records of my past rented spaces through memory, using paintings and screen printing, breaking them down into three colours to simplify the space. Showing them as they are found and as they are left. Being confined to just a bedroom in most instances with no time or chance to personalise in order to help make them feel like home. Naming the spaces to their location emphasises the theme that no matter where you are, most rental rooms are the same: a bed, a window and a countdown to your next move.

Fiona Duffy

I have been influenced by Hito Steyerl’s collection of essays “The Wretched of the Screen” (2012). In my work, I explore the convergence of digital and physical culture, manifesting in these defunct and rotting objects. Looking at them as the inverse of the archive, the dark matter of our lives that we actively forget.

I examine abandoned objects discarded on the street and the aesthetic of litter floating around the city like perverse confetti, the loss of traditional methods of preservation and the disposability of corporeal memorabilia. Through anachronistic mediums such as film photography and copper etching, these items are depicted with painstaking care, lending them a permanence they have long since lost. Placed in vast, empty space that reflects an infinite virtual space that we cannot see or touch without technological aids. The isolation of these objects from one another reflects a process of personification. I explore my own feelings of uncertainty and isolation in these rapidly changing times.

Need to Know: “Graduates at SO” is on until Thursday August 21 at SO Fine Art Editions, 2nd Floor Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, 59 William Street South, Dublin 2;


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