Hand-painted panoramas, bat observations, a family mystery explored, Amsterdam, and a sisters double act: the best visual art on show this week
Belfast, Cork, Westport, Dublin and Dún Laoghaire shows
Nightfall – amplissium terrarum tractum, David Godbold
Lesser Horseshoe, resting, Austin McQuinn, 2018
Fake New World, Diana Copperwhite, 2015
Nightfall – amplissium terrarum tractum – David Godbold.
Golden Thread Gallery, 84-94 Great Patrick St, Belfast. Until March 10. goldenthreadgallery.co.uk – Teasing out the potential meaning of the Latin subtitle of David Godbold’s show produces something like “most regions or territories, seen all at once, from a very great height, all at the same time”. On the vast 17-metre wall of GT’s Gallery One, Godbold has created “a vast hand-painted panorama”, overlain by “a substantial swarm of 121 framed drawings”. The remaining two galleries contain “night and day paintings of sublime/romantic landscapes” which you might recognise from that panorama. The Devil offered Christ all of the material world, Godbold notes, and the neo-liberals today have offered a populist deal that seems to be working to their advantage.
Vesper – Austin McQuinn.
Triskel Christchurch, Cork. Until May 28. triskelartscentre.ie – The first show in Triskel’s 40th birthday programme is Austin McQuinn’s exploration of the self-world of another creature: the bat. Vesper stands for evening and also, he notes, the most numerous bat species. The church gallery, between the belfry and “the cavernous basement” seemed the ideal location. We project our own notions of being onto other creatures, McQuinn points out, but, as Thomas Nagel asked in 1974: “What is it like for a bat to be a bat?”
Silence, exile and cunning – Chris Leach
Custom House Studios, The Quay, Westport, Co Mayo. Until February 18 – Silverpoint drawings by Chris Leach. He likes the quicksilver quality of the medium, its associations with value, its subtlety, and also stubbornness, and uses it to tease out our relationship to things. Amsterdam, that centre of trade and commerce, is one subject – a city of canals, built on a flood plain, solid yet fragile, and beautiful. Leach has, he says, “been intrigued about the idea of making something beautiful”, not that he claims that for his intricate, miniature drawings – though they are – but he is interested in the idea, and the fact of beauty, as in Amsterdam.
My Own Unknown – Dragana Jurišic
Gallery of Photography, Meeting House Sq, Temple Bar, Dublin. Until March 18. galleryofphotography.ie – Dragana Jurišic became understandably fascinated by the mystery of her aunt’s life: in 1954 she disappeared from her Yugoslav village. The story goes that at some point she reappeared in Paris where she led a life at once privileged and risky. She may have been involved in espionage. She died in the 1980s. Somehow Jurišic was reminded of the story of L’Inconnue de la Seine, the unidentified woman whose body was recovered from the Seine almost a century earlier. How do you photograph an unsolved mystery? Jurišic set about trying to do just that.
Double Vision – Diane Copperwhite and Shirley Copperwhite
Municipal Gallery, dlr Lexicon, Dún Laoghaire. Until March 25. dlrcoco.ie/gallery – Diane Copperwhite is well known as a maker of fast-paced, chromatically zingy paintings that continually query the nature of perception and comprehension. Less familiar, perhaps, is the work of her sister Shirley, who is a surface designer. Here a commissioned rug and printed fabrics delight in “stacked, layered and interlocked” repeat patterns drawn from myriad sources in a modernist, op art vein.