Askeaton Contemporary Arts
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Fiona Reilly’s In Accurate Time features three large banners placed on prominent buildings in Askeaton. Instead of counting years, long sequences of numbers, seen from great distances throughout the town, nominally propose to represent the number of seconds each building has existed, counted to the last day of her residency in Askeaton.
David Bestue’s sculptures feature hands, eyes and rocks, subtly positioned within the architectural contexts of doors in Askeaton’s main square, and at the Franciscan Friary. He cast local publican Patricia Ranahan’s hand, mounting it on her front door for the annual open day before joyously presenting it to her in what was coined by the local drinking fraternity as “The Handover”. In another piece, he took a stone from the local castle and shaped it into a new rustic door handle for Askeaton’s tourist office. He later appeared inside a sculpture located at the Franciscan Friary, surprising his audience as they walked through a 14th century doorway.
Fiona Marron’s presentation was seen at the interior of the Knights Templar Tower and at the Old Creamery site. Her octagonal sculpture and display boards of research material each suggested the potential civic values our environments might aspire to. Typical of Marron’s work, there are many stories and ideas to tell about spatial politics and the agendas that influence its shaping.
Ramon Kassam’s three experimental paintings are spread upstairs and outside Ita’s Hair Salon, each simmering the already existing surfaces of the site into new, often humorous configurations. A strip of white paint and thumb tacks along the edge of the building turn its facade, by Kassam’s admission, into an enormous two-story high painting! Upstairs, empty rooms have been subtly altered and shaped to form site-specific compositions.
Sticks and Stones Will Break Our Bones was an exhibition at Limerick City Gallery of Art exploring ideas of nature and folklore in the approaches of Askeaton’s Seanie Barron and Quim Packard of Barcelona. For decades, Seanie has been carving and shaping wood in a workshop at the back of his house in Plunkett Road in Askeaton – his walking sticks often feature surreal naturalistic forms. Quim’s found objects, drawings and sound piece compliment and contextualise Barron’s creations, finding new ways to experience the world around us anew.
aiPotu is the collaborative work of Norwegian artists Anders Kjellesvik and Andreas Siqueland. Their sculptures and performances often involve absurd and surreal interventions into everyday life. Based in Berlin and Oslo, the duo travelled to Askeaton and exhibited a new artwork as part of the annual Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations. Conceived in collaboration with Pelle Brage, Potatoman and Death was a ceremonial burial and celebration weaving in and out of the local parade. This act heralds the end of a project that has touched many places throughout Scandinavia and Iceland, at Sydney’s Biennale of 2008, and even in Askeaton during aiPotu’s 2013 residency.