In October 2022, Re_sett_ing_s – a collaborative exhibition between Locky Morris and Jaki Irvine – opened at The Complex Gallery, Dublin. The artists, who are probably best known for working solo, were approached separately by Mark O’ Gorman speculating on ‘hidden connections’. Unbeknownst to him, they had a close friend in common, artist Anne Tallentire, whose Setting Out 3 (2021), with its yellow builder’s string and hints at musicality, acted as a kind of starting point and touchstone for the development of the work.
The process involved a visit, another, getting a sense of each other’s practice, for the possibilities of lines of commonality, of the edges of things and thinking. Derry, Dublin, Derry. The Artnz Belting company on Pennyburn. The transmitter masts at Sheriff’s Mountain. A beach. A park. An overcast sky. Risks are inherent within such an approach. They didn’t know each other very well beforehand. What has emerged has been surprising, unexpected and according to the artists themselves, quite liberating.
The temporality of the work resonated with Void’s programme so an invitation was extended to continue the collaboration at Void. Coincidentally, Void has also had the pleasure of working with Anne Tallentire, so the connective thread continues. The artists agreed, not just to re-install the exhibition in a new setting, but to deepen the conversation, bringing other unforeseen tones and layers into play as they developed new work in response to Void’s invitation.
Locky Morris has become known recently for using Instagram as a way of thinking, communicating and making work. Executed mostly in the moment, during daily walks, he posts images and short videos and sees it as a form of parallel practice which is often sculptural in nature. The lines between each artist’s work became blurred and ultimately irrelevant as Jaki Irvine’s use of video installation and filmic and sonic influences creates a confluence of images and sound, where each artist inhabits and crosses over into the other’s work, responding, playing and overlapping in the manner of a conversation. Thoughts and ideas, excited and pensive, have produced a suite of looping images and sounds that are tight but also unruly. At once attentive and loose. Both artists happen to be musicians. Here the sonic elements – rhythms, industrial sounds – overlap, partly orchestrated, adding to the sense of a visual, digital, soundscape where new forms constantly mutate and develop, both within and beyond the gallery space.
We are delighted to have been able to commission the artists to expand this work and bring new filmic, digital and sound elements to Void Gallery and beyond.
Jaki Irvine Biography
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 Irvine’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: re-centring 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 Biography
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.
Installation images by Simon Mills.
Void Gallery is supported using public funding from Arts Council Northern Ireland, Arts Council National Lottery Fund, All Island Fund, Austin and Hope Pilkington Foundation, Arnold Clarke Foundation, Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund, Community Foundation Ireland, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Enkalon Foundation, National Lottery Community Fund, The Ireland Funds, Ragdoll Foundation.