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Aideen Barry

Visual Art: A Different Republic at the LAB

18 Nov 2016 - 5 Feb 2017 (Past)


A Different Republic features new commissions from visual artists Aideen Barry, Amanda Coogan, Corban Walker and Suzanne Walsh.

Co-curated by Arts & Disability Ireland and Fire Station Artists’ Studios, in partnership with the LAB Gallery. A Different Republic explores universal human rights in a year of commemorations, being both the centenary of 1916 and the 20 year anniversary of the Irish government’s landmark report of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities ‘A Strategy for Equality’. Fire Station Artists’ Studios and Arts & Disability Ireland in partnership with The LAB Gallery are delighted to present this new work that reflects on the current state of the nation from different perspectives.

Audio description, speech to text and Irish Sign Language will be available at the preview. Audio description and additional audio information will be available throughout the exhibition using Discovery Pens. This service is useful for audiences with visual impairments.

Preview 17th November 2016 6 – 8pm.
Exhibition continues to 5th February 2017.

Additional Events:
Dublin Gallery Weekend, 26th November, performances by Suzanne Walsh, Amanda Coogan and Dublin Theatre for the Deaf at the LAB Gallery.
A Different Republic artist talk, 1st February at the LAB Gallery.

Aideen Barry is a visual artist with a national and international profile, whose means of expression are interchangeable, incorporating performance, sculpture, film and lens based media. In A Different Republic she addresses the regulation and control of women’s bodies through drawings and looped animations set within museum cabinets. Referencing Charlotte Perkins Gilman short story, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper,’ a parable about women’s lives in a patriarchal society, Aideen gives us an insight into this story as it relates to contemporary life for women in Ireland.

Since her initial thoughts on her work for this exhibition Amanda Coogan has always wanted an Irish flag in the installation – she has made this from a green pram with white wheels and filled with oranges. These prams, while associated with the domestic and the female, are also used daily down the road from the gallery, by women street traders. Amanda is one of the most exciting contemporary visual artists practicing in the arena of Performance Art. She is at the forefront of some of the most exciting and prolific durational performances to date.

Corban Walker is internationally recognised for his installations, sculptures, and drawings that relate to perceptions of scale and architectural constructs. The work that Corban Walker is making for A Different Republic stems from thoughts about a floor plan excavated from the floor in the room of the floor plan. The triangulated work is site specific in the sense it maps three sites in one space; The Lab, the GPO and the house his mother grew up in on Mountjoy Square. The work is presented in photographic studies, installed in the gallery to heighten an awareness of history, built structure and diversity.

Suzanne Walsh’s work is a set of concrete poetry made from fragments of lines from the poems of both Thomas McDonagh and Francis Ledwidge, as well as comments collected from online Irish Facebook groups that discuss housing, environmental issues and wildlife identification. Linking these is the sound of the bittern, extinct presently as a breeding population in Ireland. ‘He shall not hear the bittern cry’, is the first line of Ledwidge’s Lament for Thomas McDonagh, written after McDonagh’s execution in 1916. Suzanne is an audio/visual artist and writer from Wexford currently based in Dublin.

A Different Republic is the culmination of Arts & Disability Ireland and Fire Station Artists’ Studios working in partnership for eight years towards supporting visual artists with disabilities. Four residencies, four publications, seven mentored visual artists, one seminar called ‘Pathways to Practice’ and years of embedding access and disability related capacity has led this partnership to commission four established visual artists to respond to the centenary of 1916 and the 20 year anniversary of ‘A Strategy for Equality’.

This exhibition marks the final exhibition in the LAB Gallery’s programme for 2016 which saw a series of new commissions responding to ideas of commemoration developed for the gallery by artists Bridget O’Gorman, John Beattie, Sabina MacMahon, John Byrne, Chad Keveny and Jane Locke in collaboration with research partners including the ESB Centre for the Study of Irish Art, the National Gallery of Ireland, the National Museum of Ireland and MA Art and Research Collaboration IADT.

Corban Walker, Portico Selfie from A floor plan excavated from floor in the room of the floor plan, 2016, Digital print on vinyl.

Suzanne Walsh, The Land Where Nothing is, video still, 2016

Amanda Coogan, still from Can you see it, can you feel it, it's all in the air, 2016


A Different Republic
Aideen Barry
Amanda Coogan
Arts & Disability Ireland
Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities
Corban Walker
Fire Station Artists' Studios
Suzanne Walsh