Etched galvanised steel bunker door mounted on split brick
A piece created at the beginning of social distancing restrictions. Each stroke, for me, represents the minimum distance necessary to maintain the collective health of society, and the collision of strokes represent the unintended consequences of being in close proximity to other in these times. The title recalls how, despite these current conditions, we each hold a bit of hope to come back and resurrect as a society.
My practice takes a deep interest is combining visual elements of different fields of study. I enjoy painting and have a background in graphic design. Additionally, I enjoy writing, research, and thinking about how video-games work on a personal level, economic level, and a globalisation level.
“Shadows of Frailty” looks at our vulnerability in the pandemic; how our feeling of safety is undermined with a common threat to survival. The paintings work in sections or pairings which echo my feeling of the weird compartmentalisation of life since lockdown and the polarisation of the challenges different sectors of the population experience. Those of us on the sidelines have to adjust to restrictions and financial pressures and keep morale, while others suffer and mourn, and then alternately those on the frontline battle with trauma and unsafe conditions, risking their lives.
The mixed media paintings incorporate family photos, Victorian photos, and references from paintings (Frida Kahlo’s “Girl with a death mask). There is an element of unreality, farce, and denial in the scenarios which reflect the way I, along with many others, have had to develop the necessary ability to “switch off” to cope in crazy beleaguered times.
Shadows of frailty 1 – Acrylic, canvas,grit. 20 x 20 cms.
Shadows of frailty 2 – Acrylic, canvas, digital print, doilies, grit. 20 x 20 cms.
Shadows of frailty 3 – Acrylic, canvas, grit. 20 x 20 cms.
I create installations, sculptures, print and paintings exploring the dynamics of girlhood, female experience, identity and representation, working mainly from autobiographical motivations, and often using toy and doll imagery as devices to comment on contemporary issues. My work celebrates colour and curves, it seeks to exist on different levels, from sardonic humour, gentle critique and social commentary, to objects of innocent simplicity, and visual exuberance.
However long hung the thread,
Who tied the knot that bound the web?
That pulled the tide, beyond the field,
Beyond the farm, into this time.
Yet far from the barn and byre,
In a city, drawn from fire,
Here slept a turning greed,
That called the man from his home,
To sit, to stand, to watch,
Then tell —
Who or why it was not known
What was, was deeper,
Where the thread ran,
And who was bound to its sickly charm.
As he walked back to the land,
The thread had grown,
Was now a rope, a cable,
Deep and dark and purple full
Rattling in the empty cavern still,
Where there is no hope…
Where promises had fled.
And so he stood, back on the sod
On the old land, the same land
A strange wind blew that night as he turned in his bed
Any food he may have tasted was as rope,
And stone —
Not of human hands.
So again he stood,
In the small round field below the house
And looked at the river that wound mechanically
Through the deepening valley.
The forest wrapped tighter around his heart,
And a sob deep within,
Murmured to his worried brow.
The river now called,
It called of peace,
Of untying the rope,
And releasing man
From his senseless prison.
They searched the small round field,
The river and the marsh,
The wood and the sea,
But no corpse was found
And the river was quiet,
Was listening still,
And watching the men as they swung lanterns,
And called echoes across the water.
Then someone came
With a miniature boat
Like a fairy craft made of straw
Someone else had a candle,
Freshly blessed in the stone church beyond the hill
And in the gloaming it was lit
And set upon the small ship,
They pushed it out,
From the bend in the river,
Below the small round field.
The men were now joined by women
And a gentle breeze lifted their hems
And the candle gutted softly
As the boat turned,
All eyes marked the spot,
And come morning he was found
Tangled in the arms of a sunken ash tree.
All now strung upon the rope
The man in the noose,
The man in his grip…
And the man in the river.
David Ian Bickley is an award-winning media artist whose body of work spans the primitive technological of the 1970’s to the digital cutting edge of today. His media work has manifested as television, installation, electronic music and video art.
His work has been shown in many major museums, galleries and festivals around the world; including the CICA Museum, Korea; Science Gallery, Dublin; A & I GALLERY, LOS ANGELES; HAUN TIE ART MUSEUM, BEIJING; The Electric Picnic and the Glucksman, Cork.
LUX London distribute his video art along with [S]edition online. In the early 1980’s Bickley’s video work won 1st prize at the Sony UK Festival and after a move to Ireland in the early 90’s he was fundamental in the evolution of Irish electronic music, earning a Hotpress award in the process. Besides producing video art Bickley has also made important arts documentaries including The Man Who Shot Beckett and the Celtic Songlines. His themes reside in mythic and folklore motif and often use landscape as a form to reflect and process these ideas.
‘WHITE IN WEIGHT.’ 100 x 120cm, acrylic on canvas.My response to the moment Patrick Hutchinson carried a white counter protestor. Perhaps, in a society characterised by systemic racism, this act of civility creates a dual narrative, without given context. More details: www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-53044138
My practice is concerned with our current fracture point, as we substitute real place for virtual space. I enjoy collaborative projects but also sometimes a physically ‘detached’ way of working, referencing schools of thought such as empiricism, encouraged by Eckhart Tolle’s writings. This creates duality in my work: the imagined and the real, the manipulated and the natural, the collective and the individual. My collaborative projects and their objectives are stirred by our contemporary re-alignment with Romantic values: the irony of collective isolation in the wake of COVID-19. Natural and administered regeneration has also become a prominent theme in my work as I have recently explored the democracy of art, often overlooked by our ‘practical’ and private worlds.
Abstract experimental wave form video production. Produced while under lockdown. By Robin Johnston. Soundtrack by Wendy Jordan.
Robin Johnston is an award-winning Street Photographer and Videographer.
His work has been shown at world-class exhibitions in Rome, Berlin, New York and London.
Robin’s work captures the beauty in tiny detail, the patterns in the built environment and the way humans interact with architecture. His influences are Brassaï and Cartier-Bresson and the works of J.G.Ballard.