Four students from the Crawford show explain their plays
They chose to call their show Subject to Change, and it was the students themselves who were subjected to a high level of change and uncertainty throughout their senior year.
The annual MTU Crawford College of Art and Design show for graduate students is the highlight of their studies and the first time many have exhibited their work to the public.
To top it off, this year’s crop of fourth-year fine and applied contemporary art students faced additional challenges, having spent months during Covid-19 restrictions locked in their studio spaces. and trying to create work at home.
2021 is the second year in a row that Covid lockdowns have wreaked havoc on student access to studio space and specialized equipment, but this year’s graduates, unlike last year, were able to organize a short physical exhibit at their Sharman Crawford St campus, as well as an online exhibit.
The fact that 43 students managed to put on a physical show that only had access to their studios in March is a testament to their resilience and ingenuity, but the fact that the show has the overall level of accomplishment, of professionalism and refinement he made doubly impressive achievement.
Sheehan, from Bishopstown, embarked on a series of burning experiments while at home during the lockdown, thus going viral on TikTok.
Sheehan created life-size cyanotypes (an early form of photography using photosensitive chemicals) of herself on cotton in her family’s back garden in April, before the lockdown restrictions were lifted. One video she posted to the social media platform garnered 2.4 million views, while others have hundreds of thousands.
“It’s good to document your process, but I couldn’t take pictures myself because I couldn’t move, so I asked my brother to take some pictures and did a TikTok of the process. because it really looks like magic, ”Sheehan says. “I really enjoy watching videos of the burn process, but it turns out that there are many more like me who are just as fascinated.”
Sheehan’s exhibition showcases his cyanotypes alongside life-size prints of digital self-portraits on Awagami Japanese paper to reimagine the Greek mythological figure of Helen of Troy, not as an unhappy or scheming harridan victim, but as a woman with power and purpose.
“I’m interested in female mythology and how women are portrayed, sometimes unfairly,” she says. “I made self-portraits from images inspired by Athenian vases. There is controversy as to whether she’s running away in these footage or fighting, so I just wanted to tell her story in a more specific way.
Sheehan’s work was purchased by the MTU Art Collection, the Cork City Council Arts Office Purchase Prize, and the Tyndall Institute.
Deirdre Coffey graduated in Fine Arts from Cappoquin in County Waterford, who is now based in Cork City.
His multimedia installation combines metal sculpture with projected video and sound for a disturbing effect: inspired by The Machine Stops, a short sci-fi story by EM Forster written in 1909 and reported by many as predictive of the lockdown. last year and the technological dependence that ensued, Coffey set to represent a modern-day Plato cave, where the shadows of his host of metallic figures are more important than their forms.
“The Machine Stops is about the humans of the future who will all be connected to a machine and become so dependent on that machine,” Coffey explains.
“My installation deals with the ever-increasing presence of media in our reality: we basically have technology on us all the time and it influences our minds. There are three eyes on each of my sculptures; a third eye usually represents a glimpse in a religious context, so I was playing around with that idea. The idea is that the insight is almost lost with this authoritative media presence. ”
Coffey also drew on his own experience of trying to communicate with friends during the lockdown, to describe the two-dimensional nature of online communications.
“You see a lot of people on your phone, but it’s all 2D, so I was trying to capture that flatness,” she says. “I feel like everything we see is over-processed and unoriginal.”
Coffey’s work received a purchase price from the MTU Art Collection and was acquired for the MTU Art Collection.
Peggoty Ransley is originally from Cornwall, but her family moved to An Rinn near Dungarvan ten years ago.
She drew on her own experience of breeding rescue horses to reinvent the position of the equine form in art and art history: her life-size sculptures of horses are not common representations. in visual art, magnificent war horses or fictionalized mythological beasts, but horses subject to the whims of man, used and discarded.
“While I was doing this job, I thought of horses as animals that can be extremely prized and valuable at one point, and rejected the next,” Ransley says.
Ransley’s sculptures are made from 6mm steel bars and materials such as horsehair, mud, hay and agricultural plastics.
One sculpture in particular represents a suspended horse, with ropes around its legs. He is inspired by the story of one of his own rescue horses.
“One of my horses was left in a field to starve and they had to drag it with a tractor, tying a rope around its legs,” says Ransley. “He was a year and a half when it happened, and we’ve had it for eight years.
“His name is Harley and he’s the funniest horse. Because he was quite young when we rescued him, he acts a bit like a dog and follows you around. He’s a hell of a character.
Ransley received a Crawford Graduate Residency Award in sculpture.
Maitiú MacCárthaigh is from Ballinascarthy in West Cork. He looks at his farming background to explore Ireland’s relationship to farmland, inheritance practices and the environmental pressures that modern farming practices create.
“I grew up on a farm, as a son who was to inherit, but the farm burned down when I was very young,” says MacCárthaigh. “Growing up and realizing that I was gay, I felt alienated or uncomfortable with the heteronormative ideals of farm work.”
MacCárthaigh grew potatoes in bags made from his prints, silkscreened large photographic images of farm buildings, both renovated and abandoned, on large tarps, and even invented a new process that he nicknamed the “creographer”, from Irish “created” for the earth, for a silkscreened self-portrait he made from the earth.
MacCárthaigh was aware of reports of murder-suicides linked to farming heritage while he was working.
“It’s horrible, but I think it’s still an accepted culture in some way, the idea that conflict between family members and loved ones happens all the time and can have these excruciating results.” , he said. “My work is not a way of trying to politically push this off, but rather a personal conversation with farming in Ireland as this old dying process that needs to be changed for a number of reasons including family disputes, harvests failing, failing futures, and how it can be reborn in a new sense of Irish and in the queer space.
MacCárthaigh received the MTU President’s Award for Outstanding Students and the College’s Thesis Award.
- The 2021 MTU Crawford College of Art and Design Diploma Show, Subject to Change, is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15 and is available online.