User:Garvan/Garvan-Methods

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three works: What, How, Why?

New Dolmens

New Dolmens is a series of four photographs that captures architectural spaces and draws parallels between these mundane forms and ancient Dolmens of the neolithic age. Dolmens are structures made of stone and were used as tombs and solar calendars, many of them align with the sun and become illuminated during the winter and summer solstices. This quartet of images was made by searching for everyday architectural compositions that resembled the simplicity of the dolmen. The images were captured under dramatic lighting conditions to exaggerate their importance and symbolism. These images were made to offer people a more profound connection to Irish architecture. The images try to communicate to people that overlooked or ugly spaces can have a mysticism and a folklore of their own.

Falco Notes: Capture not captures, draw not draws. A bit short but concise and good.

Edited Version::

New Dolmens(edited)

(what) New Dolmens is a series of four photographs that captures architectural spaces and draws parallels between these mundane forms and ancient Dolmens of the neolithic age. Dolmens are structures made of stone and were used as tombs and solar calendars, many of them align with the sun and become illuminated during the winter and summer solstices. Made thousands of years ago Dolmens are mostly very simple in their construction although they were by no means easy to build in the year 4000 b.c.e. Often they consist of one large flat stone perched atop several smaller supporting stones. There is a sense of reverence and respect that we allocate to our ancient history. These compositions exist to ask for the same status.

(why) This quartet of images was made by searching for everyday architectural compositions that resembled the simplicity of the dolmen. The images were captured under dramatic lighting conditions to exaggerate their importance and symbolism. One image simply depicts an illuminated laneway between two council houses. These images were made to offer people a more profound connection to Irish architecture. The images try to communicate to people that overlooked or ugly spaces can have a mysticism and a folklore of their own.


The Property Ladder (edited)

(what) The Property Ladder is an artwork that emcompasses sculpture, performance and socially engaged art. In its simplest explanation The Property Ladder is a literal ladder. A ladder that was hacked together with a pair of wheels to make it mobile. It was made by the artists to look at their city from a new perspective and offer different views to the public. It first manifested as a walking tour and the ladder made appearances at housing protests in dublin. The Property Ladder was born and responds to the atmosphere of protest.

(How)The Property Ladder allows its user to look over the wall of a building site and view more clearly the more physical aspect of gentrification. The user climbs the ladder and looks beyond the hoarding as an act of protest against obfuscating developers.

(why)The Property Ladder is a satirical reaction to the housing crisis in Ireland. It was made to democratise public space and to challenge the visual language used by developers. In a housing market that is saturated with vulture funds and mediated by the ruling class, The Property Ladder is a tool regain, however little, some control.


Seomra Fanacht (edited)

(what) Seomra fanacht is a collection of still life and portrait photographs. The series documents the home of an elderly couple in Ireland. The majority of the images record flowers found in this home. The flower is used as a motif to describe life and death, it was also used as a tool to separate the artist from the subjects.

(how) The photographs were mostly taken during the golden hours to emphasise the poignancy of the narrative. The images were recorded by the couple's grandson over a period of several months. He captured them as he cared for his elderly grandfather. They are straightforward photographs.

(why) These images were made with a serious intent to document the lives and home of this elderly husband and wife. Nothing lasts forever and memories fade quicker than we realise, these images were made in an attempt to resist erasure.


Nettles/Urtication Project

One of the most recent projects I’m creating centres on the stinging nettle. This is the project I want to make for the EYE research lab project. This plant is considered a weed and I think there is an interesting conversation within that identifier. I am interested in the aspects of ceremony that surround the plant, certain rituals like making soup or tea from the nettle and the act of urtication or purposefully stinging yourself as a form of medicine. Whether this form of medicine is genuine or quackery is something I want to explore. Being stung by nettles on bare calves, seems to me, a rite of passage for a child. As a child, I remember being stung by nettles was common, and if you had been stung you would commence the ceremony of searching for a dock leaf. Dock leafs often grew near nettles and we believed that rubbing the leaf upon the nettle’s burn would relieve the pain. Looking back, I think this was just a placebo.

I have been interested in Nettles for awhile, I was inspired by this poem written by my uncle,

Westwards he trudged
Eastwards he scrambled
Northwards he stretched
Seeming lost he southwards beavered
Urtication his grim destination


This stanza is the final text in my Uncle’s book. I had never come across this word before and I had to look it up. I became interested in the plant from that time. Now I’m interested in engaging in the ceremonies surrounding the plant. I would like to make the soup and the tea and try the process of self urtication and record my skin’s reaction to the nettle’s bite

I don’t think this relates that strongly to anything else I’ve done, it’s quite different I think. It is, in a way, about Ireland. Most of my other work has been made in Ireland or is about Ireland and in some way I associate the nettle with Ireland. It is more accurate to say that I associate the nettle with my childhood and my childhood with Ireland. Until very recently, I naively thought that the nettle was unique to Ireland and Britain. Perhaps there is a certain bias to unpack here.

I think it’s different because it’s a bit more ethereal and I have never been interested in making food as part of an artwork. It feels a little bit more folkloric compared to the other themes I have used within my work. It feels quite mystical and mythical.

Within this project I’ve not really made many hugely significant steps in this artwork. Mostly I’ve written about it and researched it. I've not had a chance to make anything substantial yet. I haven’t made many significant strides within it. I have made one drawing, I suppose that’s the most significant thing so far.Stinging_Ceremony
Bibliography/references