Aisling Conroy’s current exhibition, ‘Ocular Reverberations’ at Draíocht Arts Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin is a sensory installation of paintings and sculpture that bring colour, form and sound into focus through the prism of past masters. Conroy has been artist in resident at Draíocht since January 2013 and this show is her parting gift, an abstract study in which she travels though modernism, architecture, monuments, sacred art and iconism in ritualistic manifestations.
In ‘Ocular Reverberations’ Conroy has built a sculpture made from discarded empty frames, once filled with pictures but now redundant, useless, forgotten, their loss made all the more poignant by the sound emanating from the base of the sculpture, a chanting, a humming, a mystical reverberation from the past, a haunting perhaps.
On one of the walls are four large circular digital prints, abstract in form, each print a colour; red, yellow, blue and green with the lighter colour receding into the dark centre from which a sound emanates, a recording you can listen to on headphones. The yellow print gives us the sound of children, the green evokes emerald forests, blue brings up images of mountains and open skies while red gives us a passion, a desire, a yearning, life. These are beautiful evocations of a sensual life and give us space to daydream, to wander through our mind.
On the remaining walls of this exhibition are a series of mixed media paintings made from discarded corrugated boxes cut into various sizes and painted in similar colours to the digital prints. Stuck on top of each other, the cardboard pieces take on the aspect of an architectural model, a 3D version of a Joseph Albers painting. Infact Conroy makes this association explicit by titling three of the compositions, Albers Ritual I, II, III. It is Albers work – he made paintings of coloured squares to explore the effects colours had on their neighbouring colours – who Conroy chooses to re-examine, to push the boundaries of, his two dimensional explorations giving way to her boundless forms that escape the picture plane, are free to express themselves.
You might say that this show is a conversation with both the past and the present and if you’re in Dublin check it out. It’s ongoing until Saturday 31st August, 2013 at Draíocht Arts Centre, The Blanchardstown Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin