Stemming from the artist’s habit picking up playing cards she has found over many years, Deck is a snapshot in time and place of a collection largely amassed on the streets of Dublin 1. Making her own rules however, the collection spans continents. Every card has a back story, real and imagined. In different states of repair and decay, the cards are annotated with whatever biro or marker was closest to hand with where and when each one was found before being added to the chart cataloguing and mapping the collection in an attempt to complete a full deck. How can so many cards have been mislaid? Were they up someone’s sleeve? Thrown away in a losing streak? Did they simply blow away? Each card represents a redundant pack from whence they came.
“Every card has a back story, real and imagined. In different states of repair and decay, the cards are annotated with whatever biro or marker was closest to hand with where and when each one was found before being added to the chart cataloguing and mapping the collection in an attempt to complete a full deck.”
In 17 years working in the area I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone playing cards on the street. In Claire’s short commute from her home in Summerhill to her studio in Talbot Street, finding cards and adding them to her collection, became almost ritualistic. For this exhibition Claire has chosen not only to fill the windows of the Cube space at the LAB with these cards but also invites audiences to listen to the stories she’s collected of varying “house rules” for old favourites and games previously unknown to her. The very act of installing the show in the window has led to heated debates about rules with passers by, some of whom were subsequently recorded at the card table in the exhibition.
Claire Halpin’s work explores themes and concepts around contested territories and histories through painting, video and installation. Recently acquired by IMMA, a common concern across her work is an interest in perception and interpretation of images. Her work raises questions about how we choose to record history and the veracity of painting, photography, and the media in documenting future history.
This exhibition captures the artist’s personal experience on her daily journey to make the paintings for which she is best known while drawing on her fascination with cultural exchange, storytelling and social fabric.