Galway Arts Centre presents DUALITY OF FUNCTION curated by Kate Howard & Rob D’Eath, featuring the work of Piet Stockmans (BEL), Alicja Patanowska (POL/GBR) and Isobel Egan (IRL).
DUALITY OF FUNCTION features the work of three artists whose practices explore aspects of one of the most iconic production materials in world history, porcelain clay or ‘white gold’. Their practices are a continuation of the investigation into ways in which clay can help to inform our preconceptions and challenge our prejudices. This exhibition asks questions of the fundamental nature of function. Duality is, perhaps, too small a word for it.
Renowned Flemish designer and ceramist Piet Stockmans has worked with porcelain since the mid – 1960’s, breaking away from clichés often associated with the material, by defunctionalising tableware and moving into installation.Stockmans presents Shrinkage his most recent work in porcelain. He steps back in the production and influences the normal and purposeful process. Based on an existing mould, Stockmans manipulates and even interrupts the conventional production process, so that a new, unique object is created: an object that is placed back in or next to the original mould. Born and educated in Ireland, Isobel Egan is one of Ireland’s most exciting artists working in clay. Egan constructs delicate porcelain minuscule environments, exploring issues of fragility, personal space and memory. Central to Polish artist Alicja Patanowska practice is her allegiance to craft traditions and the making process. Channelling an extensive knowledge of ceramic and glass work, the artist frequently draws inspiration from observations of human behaviour and everyday life, to develop projects which straddle the fields of craft, contemporary design and socially engaged practice. Patanowska’s use of new technologies and modern fabrication methods resists connotations with mass-production; rather, her priority is to find ways of retaining the ‘hand-made’ in the objects she creates.
Since Marcel Duchamp exhibited his ceramic urinal Fountain in an art exhibition in 1917 the territories of art and design have expanded exponentially. The question people always ask about a ceramic object is “What is it for?” We know what Fountain is for but do we accept that it is also functions as a work of art? 98 years on some of us are still not sure!
09 – 31 October