Tuesday 10 December 2019

Exhibit A: Yes, this is a four-legged man

Artist Liam O'Callaghan
Artist Liam O'Callaghan

Sophie Gorman

Yes, this is a four-legged man. Specifically, it is a four-legged Liam O'Callaghan.

Making a statement or two about evolution, and perhaps devolution, the Dublin-based artist attached himself to a pair of prosthetic legs which just happened to be wearing identical jeans, crumpled knees and shoes to his own.

O'Callaghan often has elements of irreverence and eccentricity in his work and this new multi-media exhibition in Kilkenny's Butler Gallery (Butlergallery.com), If and then ... , is no exception. In another piece, O'Callaghan flings himself around dancing in an anonymous white room and you can't help but experience some of his natural exhilaration.

O'Callaghan has always insisted on engaging with his public – the viewers of his work he considers to be individuals rather than demographics.

Like the antithesis of a magician, O'Callaghan is happy to reveal the method behind his creations and often leaves the raw materials used in the construction of the piece exposed, so they become a feature in their own right. And you might remember this from his very popular 2004 piece as part of the major citywide Dublin Contemporary exhibition, Time finds you a good place to fall, which was displayed in the National Gallery and initially confronted you with a big wall of plug boards and wires, but then you turned the corner and were entirely enchanted and bewitched by its delicate twinkling.

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