abgc architecture
architecture & design

Nathair Nimhe


Brief

To exhibit 64 A3 artworks mounted on foam board in a 1,830 square foot double height studio space in daylight.

The images consisted of 48 pieces of cover art and 16 portraits from online magazine Le Cool Dublin. Collectively Le Cool now reaches over 300,000 people every week across Europe (Barcelona, London, Madrid, Lisbon, Budapest, Istanbul and Moscow).

Concept

The concept came from the combination of the size of the art work in relation to the large exhibition space, and our observations about how the public engage with art, and each other, in a gallery.

The response was to make a gallery structure within the larger space that would contain the art work as well as provide a sculptural object that would respond to the scale of the room. This gallery, 900mm wide and 2100mm high internally with art work stacked on both sides, means the viewers must enagage with each other as well as with the art work.

The concept references a 1970’s installation by Marina Abramović & Uwe where visitors to the ‘show’ must squeeze between the 2 naked artists in order to gain admittance. We inverted this by making the spectators the ‘artists’ whose experience of the art is tempered by their interaction with each other within the structure.

Execution

A cut-out is made from a standard sheet material, 18mm MDF. The 150mm borders make a series of structural ribs, and the cut-outs form all the internal surfaces – walls, floor, roof. This economy of construction leaves 0% waste from the raw material. This strategy is then extruded to form a 6.3m long corridor, pivoting or ‘snaking’ on the module of 2100mm, the length of the cut-outs

The structure is internally lit making the Nathair Nimhe a lantern within the otherwise blacked-out space and so the structure and the art becomes the focus of the space. The open nature of the structure also allows for some innocent voyeurism as people on the outside watch the legs of the people on the inside who are looking at the art.

The installation featured work from the following artists/stylists/painters/illustrators/photographers/collectives: Keith Walsh, Ruan van Vliet, Lauren Crothers, Gaetan Billaut, Aidan Weldon, Loreana Rushe, Mario Sughi, Shane O’Driscoll, Jon Cheung, Isabel Reyes Feeney, Brian Coldrick, Niall Sweeney, Synth Eastwood, Richard Gilligan, Dave Comiskey, Paddy Lynch, Stephen Ledwidge, Dragana Jurisic, Stephen McCarthy, Alan Clarke, Gary Farrelly, Jamie Saunders, Trevor Finnegan, Faye George, Raul Arantes, Eleanor Reilly, Fergal McCarthy, Aaron Brady, Justine Le Guil, Niall O’Brien, David Turpin, Owen Kane, Aisling Farinella, Tamara McCarthy and studioseventyseven photography.

We’re very grateful for the assistance of Cillian Johnston Joinery in the construction of this installation.

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