[vc_section full_width=”stretch_row” content_placement=”middle” el_class=”full-width” css=”.vc_custom_1616063489396{background-color: -#f9f9f9 !important;}”][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Aleana Egan” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:28px|text_align:left|color:%23333333|line_height:28px” use_theme_fonts=”yes” el_class=”post-text-block”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/676836648″ title=”Aleana Egan and Vivian Sky Rehberg in conversation”][/vc_column][/vc_row][/vc_section][vc_row el_class=”top-width”][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1645026141208{padding-top: 70px !important;}” el_class=”command-line”]Void is delighted to present Sampler, the first solo exhibition by artist Aleana Egan in Northern Ireland. The exhibition brings together existing works and newly commissioned pieces, which expand on Egan’s nuanced approach to working with materials that are familiar and that often have residual memories associated with them. The word sampler derives from the Latin exemplum, meaning an ‘example’. In the context of sewing and textiles it was originally like a personal notebook for keeping stitches and motifs of interest together. Bringing works together under this title Egan intends to put emphasis on the ephemeral and fragmentary. It continues her investigation into creating an ambient space through which to convey emotions by using sparing sculptural gestures. In short, expressing the immaterial through material means.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_class=”content-first”][vc_column css_animation=”fadeInDown” width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1615546337707{margin-top: -130px !important;}”][vc_column_text]The exhibition alludes to Derry city’s long history in the textile industry. The traces of these shirt factories are reflected in the city’s architecture but little is left of the material culture of that time period. Egan has a keen interest in textiles, and has used them throughout her practice and exhibition making. In this exhibition Egan tentatively asks the viewer to consider vulnerability and the inchoate as values from which to view the world. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_class=”single-image-full”][vc_column css=”.vc_custom_1615546885825{margin-top: -120px !important;}”][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”3″ images=”3731″ img_size=”large”][vc_row_inner el_class=”t-box”][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]panel (sand), 2021

The first encounter of Egan’s work is in the window of the gallery. The piece titled panel (sand) (2021) references an image of the doors from Matisse’s last studio in Vence in the south of France. The work is our entry point to the exhibition, as Egan designed Sampler as three stages.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]

Gallery one

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”0″ images=”3741,3742,3743,3744,3745,3746″ img_size=”large” title=”repeating earth (2017) and made boats (2017)”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_class=”flower-image”][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]When we experience Egan’s work we are reminded of the term ‘infrathin’ that was assigned by the artist Marcel Duchamp, it is an elusive term conceptually: something that can be felt but not articulated, he compared it to ‘the warmth of a seat that has just been vacated’ or the smell of a mouth that has released tobacco. Capturing this abstracted material process, Egan creates bodies of work that feel ephemeral or subliminally fleeting. The pieces in the exhibition span from 2007 to now, delineating the process of Egan’s work and her continuing exploration of materials and her relationship between text and process.


In gallery one, works such as repeating earth (2017) and made boats (2017) are titles taken from modernist writer Mary Butts whose writing is often typified by her interest in our connection to nature and landscape as means of accessing a form of spiritualism and the relationship between body and the environment. These wall based works are draped on the walls, an assemblage of materials; noil, tape, plaster, card, pigment and jesmonite. Their fragile material presence evokes both the spiritual and the shadows.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_class=”bottom-last-image”][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”3″ images=”3747″ img_size=”large” title=”nature had an inside (2021)”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]In the years during Covid 19, Egan has returned to painting, she referred to it as a time of retreat and a means of becoming more self-sufficient in her practice. This idea of retreat is something we all relate to during the pandemic, staying within your bubble and periods of isolation has led to many of us rethinking how we work or what we prioritise in our lives. This is reflected in the art that is made during this period. Egan’s painting nature had an inside (2021) has a liminal quality, through her use of gouaches and how they are absorbed into the linen which, juxtaposed with the oil paint, creates a more formal structure to the piece. The paintings continue the refrain in Egan’s work of vulnerability, fragility and the intangible depicting an interior world.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”0″ images=”3754,3755,3758,3757″ img_size=”large” title=”returns (2020 / 21), sound clips (2021)”][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Gallery two

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”0″ images=”3748,3749″ img_size=”large” title=”memory shape (2021)”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]In more recent times Egan has been deeply engaged with the work of British artist and psychoanalyst Marion Milner (1900-1998) and her attention to a wide-angled focus; the oceanic over a sharp pointed rational focus that she returns to. Her writings have influenced how Egan assembles the work in the exhibition and the gestural interpretations of the pieces. Memory and dreams are brought into focus and the useful flex of nostalgia is exercised. The ‘primacy of memory as a mode of consciousness’, as Walter Benjamin stated, is a fluid phrase which reminds us of the potential for art to reveal something we do not yet realise we know, that would not yield to words. The new sculptures are enigmatic forms made from fabric, wood, papier-mâche, steel, shadows and dust. The fabricated steel piece titled memory shape (2021) in gallery two is filigree in register, it’s dimensions are filled with cellulose fibre, an insulating material made up of paper and cardboard.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”0″ images=”3750,3752″ img_size=”large” title=”ray-shaped darts (2021), Dress for Marion (2021, be forgiving! change roles (2007)”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]In seeking to describe Egan’s work, there is a gap between what you perceive and how it is understood, the works punctuate the gallery space and create interfaces and interactions that tend to avoid definition, returning to the idea of that which can be felt but not named. The interactions with materials are fleeting moments, chance encounters with things that are too slight to be defined but in the context of the exhibition become whole.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”3753″ img_size=”large” title=”low-level imagery (2021)”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]


Void Gallery is supported using public funding from Arts Council Northern Ireland, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Enkalon Foundation, Ragdoll Foundation, and Art Fund.

Sampler is supported by Konrad Fischer Gallery, Kerlin Gallery, Henry Moore Foundation and The Elephant Trust.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Photos: Simon Mills

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