“One night I had a creative urge to paint my studio walls.. soon enough, the walls, ceiling, floor, table and chairs were covered in this large, distinct pattern. I noticed I was focusing a lot on repetition and similarity. I became obsessed with collecting material of the same colour and repeating the same actions at the same time everyday. In hindsight, this was a clear indication of how confined, restricted and isolated I was feeling at the time, which ultimately resulted in the birth of this piece.”
Aoife Dunne – crusader of all that is colourful and chaotic – is tracing the formative sparks of her freshest creative undertaking. The past 12 months have been a maelstrom of projects and appreciative audiences for Dunne, who doesn’t seem to have stopped for breath since Limitless, her 2016, continent-crossing exhibition, burst onto the scene. Clocking up acclaim in each of its pitstops – the latter including Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art and London’s Royal Academy of Arts – Dunne’s innovative show had quite the prophetic title, considering both her merging of various creative mediums and inexhaustible energy levels.
In Lacuna demonstrates Dunne’s marriage of virtual and physical at its most fantastical. The exhibition unleashes her penchant for large-scale installations, with its “fusion of video, sound and sculptural elements” serving to engulf spectators in a sensorial universe. Her unwavering focus on “human contact and the characteristics of digital space” equally plays a pivotal role: “I feel [digital space] should be pushed forward and developed into genuine qualities, which expand our notion of space, rather than mimic our physical experience.. I wanted to explore how modern technology fosters a sense of fragmentation between users and the spaces they occupy.”
Given the perennial shortage of showcasing opportunities for Dublin’s emerging artists – especially those requiring a more expansive venue to realise their work – the Complex made for a perfect fit. Its adventurous ethos is in fine company with the other applauded spaces Dunne has showcased in this year, from Margate’s eye-popping Location House to the RA Lates’ Summer Pleasure Garden. Another apt supporter comes in the form of Fingal County Council, with whom Dunne secured a €30k grant earlier this year; In Lacuna marks her first Dublin-based show since landing on their arts programme.
Few multi-sensory spaces can compete with the realms Dunne dreams up, making In Lacuna’s launch this Thursday 29th an unmissable night (and with that, a multi-hued antidote to dark winter nights). It’s a short and sweet burst of a show, wrapping on Monday 3rd, but those left craving more of Dunne’s creations will relish her jam-packed calendar next year: “2019 is a very exciting year for me – I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it! I’m exhibiting in Paris next September at EP7, which will be my first outdoor digital-installation, involving hundreds of screens surrounding the exterior of the gallery. In spring/summer I am going to be presenting my biggest solo show to date, commissioned by Fingal County Council, which will be one-of-a-kind experience. You’re invited!”
In Lacuna is running in the Complex Gallery, 15 Little Green Street, Dublin 7 from 29th November (opening 7pm) to 3rd December
Words: Amelia O’Mahony-Brady