Sean Lynch: Devil In The Detail

An exhibition of works by the acclaimed Irish artist, Sean Lynch. Lynch’s artistic practice focuses on storytelling, specifically unwritten narratives and almost-forgotten histories. He pieces together oral histories and anecdotes to create new content to memorialise the often forgotten small stories which link and bind communities and the shape of society. With a keen interest in the offbeat and marginal, Lynch’s exhibition brings together a collection of sculptures, photographs, and prints, each pointing to how our environments are brought into being, shaped and understood. As the exhibition title suggests, not everything goes according to plan. In Lynch’s world, the technocracy and progress of our contemporary time is a flawed notion, and he sets out to locate moments of poignant resistance to its dominance. Infrastructural mistakes, environmental campaigns, unreliable figures of Irish construction labour and seemingly out-of-control trees all spur on his narratives and investigations. Lynch’s video Latoon, seen in many places worldwide since its creation in 2007 now finally makes its London debut. It focuses on the story of a whitethorn bush in west Ireland and folklorist Eddie Lenihan, who successfully campaigned to have a motorway redirected in order to save the bush, which he claims is an important meeting place for belligerent fairies of the region.

Two photographs detail a London plane tree in Dublin, known locally as The Hungry Tree that has gradually grown over an innocuous park bench nearby. Lynch’s images, taken ten years apart from the one viewpoint, encapsulate the time and space of this unusual occurrence, performing a long term study of minute changes as a manmade object is literally swallowed up by nature. Lynch additionally features a homemade tribute to events in London on 29 August 2013, when strong sunshine reflecting from the windows of the infamous Walkie Talkie skyscraper of Fenchurch Street melted cars, a barbershop window, and more (The Daily Mail even had a reporter fry an egg at the location as the story circulated). Close observation of a set of Jaguar XJ car doors in the gallery see marks and indentations created by the artist using summer sun and a large magnifying lens. Originally presented as part of Lynch’s expansive Venice Biennale exhibition in 2015, a collection of bricks removed from a traffic roundabout in Ireland subtly weave a narrative about urban form, vandalism and minimalist sculptor Carl Andre. Beside this arrangement appear the first graphic representations made in 1927 of An Goban Saor, a mythical Irish builder and key figure in the artist’s recent research. In each print, skyscrapers soar up from the ground. Alas, as with much of Lynch’s work, there are many secrets, schemes and stories stored inside them waiting to be told…

Duration 24 November 2017 - 20 January 2018
Times Monday-Friday: 10am–6pm Saturday: 12-5pm
Cost Free
Venue Ronchini Gallery
Address 22 Dering Street, London, W1S 1AN
Contact 020 7629 9188 / /

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