The Arts Department of Wexford County Council in partnership with Wexford Arts Centre and Kamera 8 are hosting a group exhibition of artists working in Ireland and Germany.
'HERE/there Wexford Meets Wuppertal' features the works of Pablo de Lillo, Bert Didillon, Fergus Doyle, Chris Dreier, Gary Farrelly, Wolfgang Flad, Isabel Kerkermeier, Anthony Lyttle, Stephen Nolan, Helen O'Leary, Patrick Redmond, Friederike Ruff, Klaus-Martin Treder, Mary Ruth Walsh and Julia Zinnbauer.
Running between the three venues, the exhibition is linked with the Galerie GRÖLLE Pass Projects in Wuppertalin western Germany and showcases work exploring the historical significance of the two regions.
'HERE/there' reinforces the cultural exchange that has existed between the Rhineland and South East Ireland throughout a shared history. Germanic influences are recognisable in the animal forms that are prevalent in Insular art, notably in Irish metalwork, illustrated Gospel books and manuscripts of the Early Christian period. It is thought that scribes from Carlow created the famous Echternach Gospel as its style suggests connections. The influence, however, very quickly spread in reverse as Irish Benedictine monks established schottenklosters in Wurzburg and Regensburg and other towns in southern Germany. The Germans returned the compliment - Benedictines from Regensburg came fundraising to Cashel. By the 12th Century invasions and colonisation gave the Irish other things to think about and those close connections gradually filtered out.
The German/Irishwoman, Anya von Gosseln, and a colleague in the Rhineland, Jürgen Grölle, have brought a selection of contemporary art from these two regions together, with Irish artists showing in Wuppertal and German and Irish artists showing in Wexford. In the shared project, installations compete for space with performance, and paintings feature fragments of structures that comment on traditional approaches to history, landscape, the built environment and and materials we use in our daily lives.
Fergus Doyle's surreal photographs rub shoulders with Chris Dreier's. Installations by Wolfgang Flad and sculptures by Isabel Kerkermeier and Berd Didillon use materials around us to re-imagine the world, while Helen O'Leary draws on discarded structural materials from old paintings to think about memory and history.
Paintings by Klaus-Martin Treder and Anthony Lyttle explore abstract shapes, forms, and marks created by drawing, painting or collaging found matter, while those of Stephen Nolan, Pablo de Lillo, Patrick Redmond and Friederike Ruff bring us closer to more traditional genres and the history of painting, with their own distinctive contemporary voice. Mary Ruth Walsh explores the kind of architectural spaces to which Julia Zinnbauer responds in her video work, and where the Office for Joint Administrative Intelligence - Chris Dreier and Gary Farrelly - stage performances.
'Here/there' will run in Wexford County Council, Wexford Arts Centre and Kamera 8 until Friday, August 16.An opening reception took place in the County Hall with a performance by the Office for Joint Administrative Intelligence.