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Artist: Phoebe Dick, Artist in Residence, 2012/13

Title of Exhibition: 'I am Here'

Date: Friday July 5th - Saturday July 20th, 2013

Exhibition Images:

About the Exhibition:

The Leitrim Sculpture Centre, New Line, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim is pleased to present the first solo exhibition by Irish artist Phoebe Dick. www.phoebespencil.wordpress.com 

This exhibition marks the end of the artist's residency  at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre and shows Phoebe's interdisciplinary practice and agile mind focused on and through the medium of Print. The resulting works showcase a variety of printmaking processes and also utilize the tradition of dissemination inherent in print to give the viewer a window into the world as Phoebe sees it - A world in  which the parallels between printing processes and the complexities that structure reality are made clear through the artists vision.

Project Statement:

“I am Here” is an exhibition of new work developed by Phoebe Dick over the course of her residency at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre. Focusing on print for this residency, Dick has used the medium not only as a tool for production and expression but also as a means through which she can present and explore “non-print” elements of her practice.

Dicks awareness of and exploration into the historical context of print; it’s role in propoganda and it’s function as a tool for communication prompted the artist to seek: What is it that I have to say? What is my message? And why should anyone listen anyway?

With the same explorative approach applied to her physical surroundings Dick delved into her practice in search of answers.

“I am here” is an illustrated catalogue of Dicks explorations of her practice, her physical reality, and of print as a medium through which the results of such explorations might be broadcast.

In Salvaged Woodblock Prints Dick uses one side of a sheet of MDF taken from a skip in Manorhamilton to create an edition of sequential woodblock prints. These show a skip in front of an archway, it’s contents changing throughout the series. The other side of the MDF “plate” was then used to create a separate reductive woodblock print of a view of rolling green hills seen through the archway behind the skip.

In this piece the artists percieved and projected realities are conveyed through the materials and processes used as well as the narrative presented through the visual content. This type of layering recurs in more subtle forms throughout the exhibition.

In “I am Here” individual works, such as the prints resulting from the salvaged woodblock series, isolated from context and devoid of any knowledge of their origins and creation, retain a simple superficial beauty as standalone works. Seen alongside related works, created over the course of Dicks residency, a web of connections unifies the works and rewards the observant viewer.

One wall in the exhibition is dedicated to explaining traditional print processes. Neat sample prints of speechless speech bubbles hover above their associated plates, tools and materials. Questioning the validity of print as a tool for communication, for “I am Here” Dick has created etched QR codes (with the encrypted message “Everything’s fine”), slogan bearing t-shirts, and red-button badges which are given away throughout the exhibition, symbols of the importance of the reciever of the artists communication, and of the power of each of us as individuals and role models. At the opening Dick references M.C. Escher’s comments on the parallels between printmakers and troubadours as communicators and then performs a few of her songs.

Rounding off this trip through print and communication in it’s various guises was a closing party where selected works from “I am Here” were auctioned off, a nod to the inherent commerciality of print and a neat extension of Dicks eagerness to share her message. Communicating with her audience directly, prior to the auction, the message Dick chose to repeat to those present was their importance, the “You are Integral” which appeared on the promotional material for “I am Here”.

Where exactly Dick is becomes familiar and accesible to everyone through the fictionalisation of reality. Smuggling her thoughts into the public realm in the form of beautiful prints and poetic phrases means receiving her message is to receive also some of the artists joy invested in her work.