Unique show marked by ‘Grace and Imagination’

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

A lovely exhibition of consummate grace, skill, imagination and thoughtfulness,” is how poet Eva Bourke described We Are Hurtling into the Future, the new show from Joanna Kidney, which is running at Galway Arts Centre on the city’s Dominick Street until January 14.

Dublin-born Joanna uses drawing, video and sculptural installations to reflect on how human beings relate to the broader universe.

Her work in We Are Hurtling into the Future explores repetition, rhythm and structure, versus randomness and chance.

Eva Bourke opened the exhibition at the weekend, when she singled out the “beautiful, delicate installation piece Metamurmuration,” which she described as being “like an echo of the movement of starlings in the sky, as well as an illustration of particle theory”.

A video piece in the show, entitled Skimming Stones, marks a new departure for Joanna Kidney, as it explores movement and its relationship to drawing. This piece is a collaboration between Joanna and classically trained dancer, Liadain Herriot.

“The dancer translates the gestures made by the artist, while drawing on wall or paper into dance, into voluntary and graceful bodily motion,” was Eva Bourke’s assessment of Skimming Stones.

“Even though we are watching a two-dimensional video, the sense of spatiality, emphasised by the objects suspended from the ceiling around which the dancer moves, is undeniably central.”

Moving to the artist’s drawings and paintings, Eva Bourke described them as “increasingly three-dimensional. There is definitely a sculptural element in her encaustic paintings which are layered, worked and reworked by scraping and cutting away and applying more layers of hot wax paint, working on and adding to the surface . . . creating the effect of depth and patterning in verticals, horizontals, seemingly random incisions and dots. Even though they are of a high finish, the paintings convey a lovely openness to experimentation, to letting the accidental take place, and also a readiness to deconstruct authorial absolutes”.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.