The British Pavilion
This year’s Venice Biennale had a powerful presence from both the UK and Ireland. Sarah Lucas’ British Pavilion was strong both in visuals and concept. The yellow painted walls made the sculpture appear to float in golden sunshine or was it vitrines of golden shower fluid. The sculptures came in two styles big yellow balloon forms depicting Franz West like human forms and plaster caster women bending over with cigarettes protruding out of their butt holes and vaginas. True: One of them was cast from one of the former Mom’s at my kids school…. No joke! The pavilion worked as a total, it was not only visual but entertaining with a great sense of tongue in cheek humour. On second and third viewing it remained one of the strongest presentations at the Biennale.
Scotland & Venice
Graham Fagan is representing Scotland in an official off site collateral presentation. These are often more interesting than the Gardini and Arsenali pavilions as many are housed in spectacular palazzos. Graham’s work explores recurring artistic themes include plants, journeys, poetry and popular song as a means to focus on personal and shared experience and identity. His works offer a clear-sighted perspective on the powerful forces that shape our lives.
Wales In Venice
Wales Is represented by Helen Sear presenting her collateral event titled, ‘The Rest Is Smoke’. Curated by Ffotogallery this is the first time Wales has presented a solo exhibition by a woman artist. Sears is known as one of Wales’ most significant contemporary artists, her practice can be characterised by her exploration of the crossover between photography and fine art, her focus on the co-existence of the human, animal, and natural worlds.
Ireland At Venice
Sean Lynch is presenting ‘Adventure Capitol’ a large site specific installation. This new body of works entitled ‘Adventure: Capital’ traces a journey from myth to minimalism around Ireland and Britain. Combining sculptural, video and archival elements, ‘Adventure: Capital’ is Lynch’s most ambitious project to date, bringing together Greek river gods, public art at regional airports, abandoned quarries, a field in Cork and a traffic roundabout, on a storytelling journey that explores notions of value and the flow of capital through an anthropological lens.
Lynch’s research-based practice positions him somewhere between artist and storyteller. Similar to a historian or ethnographer, he reveals unwritten stories and forgotten histories, extracting alternative readings of place, events and artefacts through his works. Lynch’s projections, photographs and sculptural installations refer to a contemporary form of the Irish Bardic tradition; lost narratives of social and cultural heritage are revived and given new form through his artistic practice.
Words/Photos/Videos : P C Robinson © Artlyst 2015