JAKI IRVINE & LOCKY MORRIS
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THE COMPLEX PRESENTS A NEWLY COMMISSIONED EXHIBITION BY
JAKI IRVINE & LOCKY MORRIS
Introduction – Mark O’Gorman, Visual Arts Manager.
My process follows a similar path each time I begin to produce exhibitions. I compile a list of particular artists and I start to think about bringing them together in specific groupings. An exhibition's conception always stems from a gut feeling, a hit, that forms a burning curiosity to see these artists work together. At this point, a more investigative approach is taken which tends to open doors to hidden connections between the artists. I got a sense of these connections from Jaki and Locky’s reactions during our first meetings. A subtle sense of wonder came from them both on separate zoom calls when I mentioned their potential pairing. I knew then a special alignment was about to spin off in new directions.
When Jaki, Locky, and myself sat down for our first in-person meeting, coincidentally, we had all arrived with the same starting point for the exhibition: Anne Tallentire. In the process of building an initial framework for the exhibition, both artists respond to a specific piece of work by their dear friend, Setting Out 3 (2021)
An invitation from Mark O’Gorman:
To: Locky Morris
To: Jaki Irvine
A sense of something. A common thread. Some sort of shared or parallel line(s). There were many others. Press Pause and they are fragments: Lines. Wires. Glimpses. Of a conversation. A process. Unforeseen. To ourselves. And so…Not here. Not right now. Maybe not ready to be seen. Here tho’, is something. Still not quite, but maybe. A kind of agreement to step back, for now. Two weeks.
Unbeknownst to Mark, at the outset:
A mutual friend, Anne Tallentire: Setting Out:
A length of yellow string measures her London home,
Stretches to the Mac in Belfast.
A starting point:
Its promise is held together with pieces of tape and a few well-placed screws.
Precise, careful- what is needed to negotiate lives and affinities in tight spaces.
Respect, love, belief
Attention paid to a bit of yellow string and tape
can hold in abeyance,
Lightly. Slowly. Watchful.
We’re with Anne. For a night or two.
The politics of friendship. A lifetime.
visits between Derry and Dublin:
Drifting, ready, alert to sodden sand and gusts of fresh laughter.
twisted and spun
Ideas and lives tangled in wire,
tangled in bits of fencing:
Fascination with light skips and skids of curiosity
across familiar but shifting grounds, made strange and vibrating with new beats.
Musical riffs clouding.
An album cover here, a track there. The colour combinations. The layers. Good morning Mark.
That’s a beauty. That’s class. Just a minute I have to…
Scudding half-formed thoughts
snag with the joy of doubt on overhead cables,
work their way into loose crisscrossing conversational trails,
tangle and play in the laughing hum of overcast cables and erratic signals
mulling over late night sorrows
spinning still into the myriad possibilities of affinities and solitudes
We pass a fence- a wire- wires--- undone, redone, holding us out and in,
Nowhere and everywhere,
tangled in solitary lives and sporadic gusts of pleasure
What was that?
to pass an invitation: now on to you.
Text by Jaki Irvine.
Jaki Irvine works with video installation, photography, music composition and writing. Her immersive video and sound installations tell stories through fragmented, elliptical and open-ended narratives informed by rigorous research. Irvine picks out evocative details from the landscape or cityscape, in particular honing in on Dublin and Mexico City, two cities that have shaped and informed her practice. Contested histories, sonic bricolage, the built environment, and the customs and communities of a city’s residents have all found their way into Irving’s deep-reaching and polyphonic work: songs that filter through a city’s streets, overheard conversations, the flap of a hummingbird’s wings are given equal gravitas. Her attention is often turned to the peripheral or the undervalued: recentring stories or figures written out of history, particularly female figures, or presenting an alternative approach to the present, making space for strangeness. Humans and nature become intertwined in her imaginative worldview, with plants, birds and creatures permeating her practice, and adding to the sense of the unknown and unknowable, and blurring the boundary between the real and the imagined.
Locky Morris was born in Derry City where he continues to live and work. Renowned for his early work that explicitly dealt with the conflict in Northern Ireland - most notably from a socially embedded perspective - he has gone on to develop another working vocabulary that moves fluidly between the personal, public and political. While still informed by the complexities and intricacies of his immediate landscape, this work extends across photography, video, gallery installation and incorporates the social media platform, Instagram. Morris’s practice, born in part out of a fascination for what confronts him in the often chaotic details of the everyday, is rich, inventive and marked by a visual playfulness that feels distinctly his own. Running parallel to this have been numerous large-scale works and interventions in the public realm. The work has also been influenced by his active musicianship.
Image courtesy Locky Morris
Proudly supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Dublin City Council.
1 Anne Tallentire, Setting Out 3, 2021 – https://annetallentire.info/works/setting-out-3/
The Complex commissioned visual artist and writer Laura Fitzgerald to respond to the exhibition. Laura's response took the form of a fictional essay titled 'It's still dark outside' set on a train ride from a rural location to Dublin City. The protagonist is traveling to see Re_sett_ing_s at The Complex, she meets a series of characterised curators, and hilarious conversations develop along the way. Read the text here.