Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Went in to Limerick with the intention of shooting some footage in the city, however, the weather was too bad. Continued to edit video work.
The content of this video is quite similar to the other works in progress insofar as it addresses notions of perception and cognition. We are drawn in by the flashing lights; trying to comprehend the unspoken narrative within. The sound of wind, again, brings a sense of the organic to the piece when, like a shot out of the blue, a blue shot rings out loudly disrupting the senses........... normal service is soon resumed; lights softly flashing, breeze gently blowing......... a shot rings out again; unsettling, disturbing, agitating..... we will not again be fooled...... the breeze stops; then silence.............another shot, damn, fooled again. Then silence again, anticipating more disruption................but nothing.

'Disturbance' Work in progress.

Monday, March 29, 2010


It is Easter holidays but the college is opened so went in. I had planened to get some more footage, but this time in the city. (Obviously I can't use the shotgun although it would be brilliant if I could) Still, I will chance using a rock to break the mirror, and sweep it up afterwards, and just hope nobody calls the gardai ! I will have to do it at first light when it should be reasonably quiet It was raining so will leave it until it is fine. Did some more video editing; also experimented with the shotgun sounds I recorded.


Had a tutorial with Alan regarding the MA application; he has given me some sound advice. (As usual).I suppose the tutors gain so much more experience in artistic matters, through constantly researching artistic practice; it's great to get the benefit of their experience. Got feedback from progress review; have to say I was devastated. It was the worst review of my studio work that I have ever had in my almost 4 years of college. There seems to have been some misunderstanding on my behalf as to the requirements of this progress review; I didn't realise it was a requirement to actually show the work I was doing; I was under the misguided notion that we were just to carry on with our work as usual. As a consequence of this, the tutors were mistakenly led to believe that I had no work done, when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. I explained this to Alan and proceeded to show him some of my work; he said he will mention this to Aine, but I will arrange an appointment with Aine after the holidays to discuss the matter with her. I suppose that was always going to be the downside of going down to Georges Quay; the tutors not being aware of the work I am doing. I will have to address this after Easter; I had originally planned on moving back to the main building after Easter any way; now this is imperative.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Went straight down to Georges Quay to begin work. Added another layer of paint to the 'bullett'; also added some "blood grass", I suppose it is loosely based on the term fields of blood. I had some lead strips which I used to create a "Prison bars" effect; again a reference to the non-liberation that the use of the bullett actually causes; keeping the users in their own pseudo-reality.
As said before, we are all well aware of this aspect of our cultural reality which has insidiously come into our lives (Murder, Death, Kill) in modern day Ireland, and while we all bare our disgust and contempt for the perpetrators of these heinous acts, these acts for the most part are subsumed to the nether regions of our collective consciousness; it is soon swept under the proverbial carpet, and life goes on as usual. As a respose to this I have obtained some more empty shotgun cartridges and have begun painting them 'nice happy colours'; to put a gloss on them, to put them under the carpet of paint.
Carried on editing video work.


Went up to Belfast for the MA interview. It was a long day; left at 7am and didn't get home until 1am. They were nice enough people, and it was very informal.Walked around some of the studios after; the work was of a high standard, and the most of them were using either painting or drawing in their work. Had plenty of time for reflection on the journey.
One thing that I did notice up there was the unfriendliness of the drivers of the two black cab I used. Normally those guys would be ever so chatty and friendly. One of them never even said thanks; it was like he was doing ME a favour, rather than me paying him for his service. Saw an ex student up there, (Julie Lovett) and said hi but got no response; perhaps she didn't recognise me, or maybe she did ! LOL

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Artist Richard J. Williams went on a course today run by the Arts Office North Tipperary County Council. The title of the course was 'Keeping safe' Child Protection Awareness Raising Workshops. The course did exactly what it said on the label ! The course is aimed at artists who may at some stage work with people under the age of 18; be it in schools, the community and so forth. It is a 2 day course; another day in April, and it is grant aided so it is free to participants. Apparently, most organizations now require that the artist undertake courses like this, so I decided to avail of it just in case I ever need it. It is certificated also. It was quite intense but was well worthwhile. I met a couple of ex students from LSAD there. This was the first day I have missed in college since I started there, and I am missing another one tomorrow as I have an interview at University of Ulster.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Shot some more footage yesterday. It looked perfect in the view finder but when I downloaded it today, I realized that the background was out of focus, so I will have to do it again. It was the usual fiasco with the computers in the multimedia room; one did not work, another one had a dodgy mouse which made it impossible to use and another was not configured for premiere pro. Finally got it downloaded onto my own computer and did some editing.

'Shattered reality'; work in progress.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Forgot to mention that I went to a talk by David Brancaleone at the Faber studios in Limerick. The talk was about socially engaged contemporary art practice. It was good to hear that he has kept himself well informed as to contemporary art practice; the arguments of different writers etc. I was the only undergraduate there from the Limerick School of Art and Design.
Carried on editing the video work. Had a quick chat with Alan Keane about the prospective MA study; he seems to be very enthusiastic about it and he will advise me on aspects that will strengthen my proposal, it is great to get this professional advice on this matter. The library has got a new copy of Guy Debord's "The Society of the Spectacle", someone had stolen the copy they originally had, so have got it out and will read it as it is appropriate to my work. I have skimmed it online before so have a fair idea of it's contents. Have booked out the 3cc video camera again for this week end; I will see if I can get some better footage this time; Matt Gidney has given me a couple of pointers that may help.


Carried on editing the video work; I am getting more proficient at using premiere pro. Actually got a notion to do some drawing and painting ! Drew a quick sketch of a used shotgun cartridge; I dipped my fingers into some red acrylic paint and placed them over the drawing; it was a metaphor for blood on one's hands which I suppose is a metaphor itself for the taking of someones life. I am in the process of getting some more shotgun cartridges; I believe I can use them in my work, I will also get some bullets. Put some more fingerprints on a sheet of white paper and quickly moved my hand across the page; it was meant to as if they were "shot" across the page. They resembled heads, so I added matchstick bodies to them.(I hope no psychiatrists ever read this; they'll send the men in white coats for me! LOL). Also started a painting on mirror paper of the shotgun cartridge;(by using the mirror paper, I want people who look at the painting to actually relise that they are in the painting, and that the shotgun cartridge, or shall we just call it a bullet, is not only a part of the cultrual reality of life in limerick (Not just Limerick) but that if effects the life of every individual on some level). I added the words at the top "This will liberate me" (A colleague who works with ".........." says that they believe getting into a life of crime, drugs, and so forth, will liberate them. However, the REALITY is the opposite; it keeps them in limited circles; but, this is their reality.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Unfortunately, the footage has not turned out as good as was expected. I had a chat with Matt and then Nigel about it to see what they would suggest. (When the mirror shattered it caught the reflection of the sun, and the result was like a photo flash over the whole sequence of the shattering mirror). Matt says perhaps a higher frame rate might be an option to get a better result in slow motion; he is going to refer to the manual, hopefully I can get the desired effects. Nigel has suggested that I shoot some more footage, but this time on an overcast day. Went to the "Art in the Making" today; an ex sculpture student was giving a talk about his work. He and a couple of other students have got a studio/exhibition space on Catherine Street Limerick called Faber Studios. It was interesting to hear about the group/studio dynamics. Apparently, there is a lot more to having a studio than meets the eye; he is trying to organise artist talks/visits etc, something which he had not envisaged himself doing. The MA students were having a critique today down in Georges quay. I was in two minds as whether to stay and get the benefit of the crit, or to go and give them some privacy; I chose the latter; hard enough to be in a crit with your peers, without a pesky 4Th year being there too ! LOL
Nigel mentioned that one of my submissions to the "Table of Contents" website was published; I had almost forgotten about it.

(Photograph of workspace; published on the "Table of contents" website.)


Spent most of the day getting footage for video work. A cousin of mine assisted me with the shooting (sorry for the pun!). It went well, although the biggest problem was the sunshine; it was very hard to see the video camera screen. Of course, it was on my mind that there was a chance that the 3cc camera might get damaged in the process, but thank God it didn't. Went in to college and managed to get the footage downloaded onto my computer. I also made a sound recording of the shot gun being fired; one at low level and the other at high level, to see which one would be more suitable. Got that downloaded as well.

Shattered reality. Experiment.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Got some research of the shootings in Limerick, and some information about the feuding families etc. I realise that this is perhaps a macabre topic to bring to art practice, however, it is nontheless a part of the cultural reality of modern day Ireland and especially Limerick. Perhaps if we all just turn a blind eye to these kinds of things, they will go away !


Carried on editing some video work; I wanted to put a still frame in the video, but it was not really a success. I will have to take my own photo and edit it down. (The picture will be of a "Happy family"). I have entered 2 audio pieces into the work; one of birdsong, and the other of a police siren; it is a good effect and adds great effectiveness to the piece. Went to the art in the making saminar, it was hosted by University of Ulster lecturer Dr. Justin McKewon. It was mainly a talk about the centre for suburban research, which he ran from his home. He offered a series of residencies to different artists including:Gavin Peacock, Denis Romonovski, Paul SnowdStapleton, Caroline Pugh, Sinead Bhreathnach Cashell, Emily Kyoko snowdon and Nathan Crothers. He also spoke about the nature of the work each artist was doing; it was quite interesting. Unbeknown to me (and others) the GRO meeting was moved to another location, however, Kieran Cashell kindly gave a quick overview of the GRO application procedure.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Had a tutorial with Mark this morning. As usual, he has given me some good advice as to what areas need addressing in the work. As each tutorial goes bye I gain a clearer understanding of the dynamics involved in contemporary art practice. Although a closet pragmatist; I realise now that in terms of the course specifics, this kind of approach in not really appropriate.
How can my work add to the discourse in contemporary art practice, if there is not a clear and concise ideology behind it ? I know that my work in essence raises questions about the notions of reality, perception, time, space and cognition, but the work articulated in these terms is in some sense too general/incoherent. My challenge then is to delve into the SPECIFIC ! With this in mind, I have pondered the possibilities within the work, and have come to the conclusion that the actual focus of the work seems to be leaning in the direction of cultural reality, and more specifically Limerick's cultural reality. One video work which I will be working on over the week end, involves the use of a shotgun, and it was only recently I heard on the news that Limerick has the highest incidents of shootings in Ireland; is this not the shattered reality of which the work speaks of ?...........Eureka !

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Nigel has very kindly given me more instruction in premiere pro and adobe sound booth; I believe I can progress now. Another peer critique today; two very different artists, one a painter another an installation artist. It was another good discussion on the intricacies of the individuals work.Art in the making was not on today for whatever reason; it has been postponed until next Thursday which coincides with the GRO talk (In the same room too!). Got the 3cc video camera out on loan, I aim to do a video of mirror getting smashed; it should be fun, although, not sure how unlucky this will make me! LOL. I brought home the recording device to record some bird song in the countryside, but they must have gone to bed early tonight; I seemed to have missed their chorus.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Got three films sent off for the LIT student film festival. Had a quick chat with Kieran Cashell about MA proposal; he has suggested it would be better to discuss it with Alan Keane, which I suppose would make more sense. Still not quite got the hang of premier pro video editing programme; i movie HD seemed so much easier, I can't believe they did away with it here, as a consequence of this I am not making as much progress as I would have hoped.


Carried on editing the video work. In this work the flashing lights from the mirror ball works in much the same way as the hypnotists spiral; it engages the visual senses, while the audio lulls the viewer to a different place. The audio for this piece is birdsong, and with this an image Of the countryside/peace is evoked. It lulls along harmoniously and organic. But this idyll is transient; the police sirens add a sense foreboding to the scene and a battle for supremacy begins between the birds and their musical reverie, and the the sirens and the inevitability of apprehensiveness. The birds win the battle this time, but due to the nature of our cultural reality; the victory is ephemeral. I am interested in the notion of the artist as a social commentator; in some sense artists seem to occupy the inalienable position of devil's advocate for both the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.

Ephemeral Reality.


Somebody didn't return the black box, so spent a lot of wasted time looking for it. Got the 3cc camera instead to download a video; I had not used this one before so it a long time to figure out intricacies of it. Started editing the video work once it downloaded.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Got images of work onto a disc and got them posted off to UU. Also managed to get a draft proposal off to LSAD, so it was a productive day it those terms. Went to see the ceramic exhibition this evening; it was excellent. We have some very talented people in the college, and it is good to be associated with them.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


AM spent the time filling out UU application form; finally got it done tonight. Seminar in the afternoon; very interesting, two quite different presentations. We are a very polite group; nobody likes to be too critical of each others work. To be honest though, I am not sure that this is at all helpful; I expect it would be more beneficial if people were critical in our critiques.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Soent the day finishing off the proposal for NCAD, popped it in the post this evening, another one down!