Artistic License: Hennessy Art Fund for IMMA



Barbara Knezevic, ‘The Last Thing On Earth’ (2016)

Works by four contemporary female artists were purchased by the Hennessy Art Fund for the Irish Museum of Modern Art Collection 2018, announced last week. The artists recognised are as follows:

Dublin-based Barbara Knezevic attended the Sydney College of the Arts, where she received a Bachelor of Visual Arts and completed her Masters in Fine Art at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Her sculptural arrangement “The Last Thing On Earth”  is framed by the proposition: “What if this is the last thing, the final material to be pulled out of the ground, the final piece of stuff that has not already been purposed by humans.” The “thing” referred to is a multi-sided marble object at the centre of the work, around which a constellation of other objects including a photographic backdrop, tripods and archaeological tools, mirrors, and an iPad are arranged.

Susan MacWilliam, ‘Pull Down’ (2016)

“Pull Down” by Northern Irish artist, Susan MacWilliam, is a black and white silent video which explores forms of portraiture and the mechanics of looking and recording. It continues MacWilliam’s previous explorations of spiritualism, conjuring the dark spaces of the séance room. It observes the repeated collapsing and slumping of a girl through the viewing lens of a camera and draws attention to the role of the camera as observer of the spirit medium within historical psychical research studies (the study of paranormal, especially parapsychological, phenomena).

Mary McIntyre, ‘The Path to the Distribution Point of Light’ (2015)

Mary McIntyre lives and works in Northern Ireland and her “The Path to the Distribution Point of Light’” explores the audience’s relationship with photography. McIntyre has constructed a low platform and stage-like structure, which adds theatricality. Each step taken towards the photographic work becomes self-conscious, as the viewer’s footfall is acoustically registered on a wooden incline.

Helen O’Leary, ‘Refusal’ (2014) and ‘The Problem with Adjectives’ (2017)

Wexford-born Helen O’Leary’s work “Refusal” uses oil and wood while “The Problem with Adjectives’” uses egg tempera and oil emulsion on constructed wood. O’Leary’s work has been described as an un-writeable novel. Her paintings contain panels fashioned from pieces of previous paintings, cloth and materials at hand in the studio. O’Leary has described her process as “knitting” with wood, “cobbling together paintings out of the ruin of their own making.”

Need to Know: The Hennessy Art Fund for IMMA Collection exhibition is free to view and runs from May 10 – September 16,

Penny McCormick

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