Aideen Barry: On Tenterhooks 7 Oct - 26 Nov 2011
On Tenterhooks is an exhibition of a new body of work that was created in response to a discussion with Millennium Court Arts Centre about the Craigavon area by Aideen Barry, a practicing visual artist based in the West of Ireland. Nominated by Millennium Court Arts Centre, the proposal for this exhibition was shortlisted for the prestigious AIB prize 2010.
The word On tenterhooks refers to being in a state of uneasiness, anxiety, or suspense, stretched like the cloth on the tenter. In this show Visual Artist Aideen Barry explores the idea through performative videos, animations, drawings, photography and sculpture. These manifestations of what the artist calls "Visual Fictions" play on what we perceive to be real, the humdrum banal domesticity, with the unreal. Her protagonist behaves in an odd uneasy way, manifesting slapstick behaviour in an effort to deal with the ordinary of the everyday, while some of the drawing and sculptural objects play on architectural folly, something that becomes a recurring theme in Barry's recent work. Shooting film and performances in abandoned contemporary housing estates both North and South of the border, the artist plays with the notion of the contemporary "Houses of Usher", the most haunted of houses, of landscapes and of space of the "in-between".
This exhibition is based on the notion of a landscape created by man-made forces but possessed by grief, loss and failing. The haunted landscapes in our contemporary environment are the unfinished and repossessed housing estates, the redundant shopping centres and the desolate, unused car parks. Since the bursting of the years long property bubble haunted houses are often perceived as being inhabited by disembodied spirits of the deceased who may have been former residents or were familiar with the property.
MCAC looks forward to this exciting, new work by Aideen Barry in her show On Tenterhooks. In the videos her protagonist behaves in an odd uneasy way in these surroundings, manifesting slapstick behaviour in an effort to deal with the ordinary of the everyday, while some of the drawing and sculptural objects play on architectural folly. Uninhabited housing estates that are scattered all over Ireland spoiling towns and countrysides and the nervousness in a homely setting that sneaks up on people is the centre of investigation for Aideen Barry. Her use of new technologies, like different video works and sculptures visualises the different dimensions of these abandoned lonely buildings and the confused irritated people living in them.
About The Artist:
Aideen Barry is a Visual Artist, working in the mediums of performance, film, musical composition, drawings and animation. She is a recipient of the 2010 Arts Council of Ireland Bursary Awards, and is currently working on a project funded by the 2010-2011 New Works Award from the Arts Council of Ireland.
She was recently awarded funding from the Arts Council of Ireland’s Projects: New Work Award towards the creation of a new work filmed in Zero Gravity whilst on a residency at Kennedy Space Centre, NASA. She has worked on projects that have been exhibited in the Moderna Museet, Sweden and the Wexner Center for the Arts in Ohio.
Barry teaches part-time in Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, The Galway Film Centre and also has lectured in several art institutions in the west. (please see CV for further detail)