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Materials, Messages & Meaning

R-Space Gallery, Castle Street, Lisburn, Co Antrim, BT27 4XE
Poster for Materials, Messages & Meaning Exhibition



Exhibition Opening - Materials, Messages and Meaning #12

In its twelfth year, ‘Materials, Messages, and Meaning’ invites you to explore the work of artists selected from our annual open call responding to the theme ‘Transition’.

Transition is the process in which something changes from one state to another, change, passing, development, shift.

MMM#12 brings together a diverse range of early career to established artists based across Ireland working across multiple mediums, including sculpture, painting, print, drawing, photography, and installation.


Exhibition Dates: 11th November  – 15th December 2023

Public Viewing: 11th November 2 - 5pm

Gallery Open Tuesday - Saturday 11-5pm

This group exhibition explores artists and makers approaches to the materials they choose to work with and why. The messages and meaning they wish to convey using those materials and the methods of production and process they use to make the work. Transition is the process of change, a pivotal passage marked by evolution, development, and transformation. Each artist explores the term relevant to their individual approach, exploring physical, mental, material, and metaphorical transition’s which relate to a wider contemporary, cultural, political, and socio-economic narrative.

Exhibiting Artists

Louise French: (based in Belfast, Northern Ireland)

Louise French's work is tied to the materials she encounters and collects day to day. French aims to highlight the often overlooked and discarded, approaching materials in a hands-on manner in attempts to find the beauty in the abandoned. Works undergo a transition, coming to life through deconstruction, stripping bare and removing an object from its original context. ‘Candy Crush’ and ‘Potholing’ draw inspiration from the patina of wear on e-cigarettes that have been run over by traffic or taken apart to reveal unexpected colours and forms.

Kevin Gaynor: (based in Dublin, Ireland)

Kevin Gaynor's practice incorporates international identity, geographic class, and the systems that underpin them. He delves into the intricate concept of 'transition' as it relates to social shifts, particularly within a rapidly evolving society. ‘Keycards’, casts a spotlight on the cultural shifts occurring in Ireland's cities. This consists of suspended plastic keys recreated on hotel room keycards, symbolising the transformation of urban landscapes. His work ‘A Callus Island’ addresses transitional themes by reimagining Ireland on a piece of hardened foot-skin, documenting the migration of the Irish generation in the context of economic and social flux. 

Kevin Hamilton: (based in Belfast, Northern Ireland)

Kevin Hamilton uses photography to investigate Ireland's built environment, Hamilton’s work revolves around meticulously mapping and reconstructing landmark buildings into vibrant kaleidoscopic compositions. His goal is to expose the overlooked beauty in our shared environment. ‘St Anne’s’, ‘Stormont’ and ‘Titanic’ transforms the mundane into a new, bridging the gap between traditional and modern. Hamilton’s work aims to facilitate a positive shift in how we view our cultural and architectural heritage.

Sharon Kelly: (based in Belfast, Northern Ireland)

Sharon Kelly's creative investigations mediate between experience, memory, and imagination. 'Holding Shape I' and 'Holding Shape II’, document the transference of energy and the transformation that takes place during the intensive training of women boxers in north Dublin. ‘Red Torso’ is a papier-mâché construction, hinting at themes of defence, protection, and recovery, while also drawing from medical references to explore the delicate balance between fragility and resilience. ‘The Ropes’ is a creation on artist's canvas, the work integrates used, worn boxers' hand wraps forming connections and ties between worlds.

Alison Lowry (based in Co. Down, Northern Ireland)

Alison Lowry's work reflects on a transitional period in her career, attempting to re-see and re-work with familiar material. ‘Open wound’ is a re-worked root from a revered Hawthorn tree, Lowry reflects on the tree’s cultural and mystical significance in Ireland. Known as a 'fairy tree,' it was deemed untouchable, carrying the fear of unforeseen consequences while also symbolising protection and love. Lowry combines ancient folklore with the concept of a 'rag tree' to create an 'open wound' of tesserae, delicate hand-pulled stringers.

Lucy Mulholland: (based in Belfast, Northern Ireland)

Lucy Mulholland's practice is a playful investigation into the connections and misunderstandings between humans and other species. She focuses on actions or gestures which seem insignificant or futile and presents them as catalysts for potential future action. ‘Care and confusion’ explores the idea of mis-translating actions made by non-humans. The work emerged from an audio recording of her kitten’s spontaneous gesture of running across her piano. She aimed to transform this action into a physical object. Her work serves as a commentary on the concept of transition, from gesture to object and from interpretation to transformation. 

Maya Todd: (based in Bangor, Northern Ireland)

Maya Todd's work is rooted in her fascination with the transformative power of materials and experimentation. Todd explores her ideas through 3-dimensional drawings in paper, using them as a foundation to develop her work using constructed textile techniques. Her approach is experimental, often combining natural materials, traditional techniques, and modern processes. 'In Between,' dissects the transformation of fine linen thread, spun in Ulster, from its raw fiber state to fabric and, ultimately, to form. This piece serves as a testament to the journey from raw material to structured form, celebrating the processes and craftsmanship that enable such transformations.






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Season (11 Nov 2023 - 15 Dec 2023)

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