Áine McBride

From Here to There | The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin | David Lunney, Áine McBride, Katie Watchcorn

29 October 2021 - 5 February 2022

From Here to There refers to transitions, shifts in points of view, and ways to belong. Each of the artists engages with forms of displacement; David Lunney’s movable sculptures that frame and re-frame his camera’s point of view, Áine McBride’s focus on the built environment and what is unaccounted for in-between; and Katie Watchorn’s translations of structures and materials found in rural farming.

With a background in print-making, David Lunney works across sculpture, photography, painting and drawing. The starting point for what he describes as his “protracted art processes” are portable sculptural frames in which his phone is inset. Brought to locations such as the Dublin Mountains, he captures photographs through these frames filtered by layers of decoration and disruption. The digitally captured images are then rendered anew through watercolour and colouring pencil and set behind glass in frames elaborately woven with wool and ribbons. In his words, the artworks present a “feast of detail”, with no place for the eye to rest, layered to a point where abstraction and realism coalesce.

Áine McBride’s sculptural and photographic works take a close look at familiar, often overlooked, aspects of our surroundings, particularly urban and domestic built environments. In their sculptural works, functional materials such as concrete, steel, tiles and plywood are separated from their purpose and public spaces become private, even personal. As writer Rebecca O’Dwyer has stated “What McBride’s sculptures do is […] to create space for the re-assessment of quotidian materials like wood, steel, concrete and tile. They become, again, just as weird as they really are: as unwieldy, material solutions to particularly intangible, human problems or desires.”[1] McBride’s complex and beguiling works question consensus, of place, of space, in thinking and acting, and imply to us that things could be otherwise.

Katie Watchorn’s practice is rooted in the rhythms of rural Ireland particularly in relation to agriculture. Primarily working in sculpture, she often employs fickle, agriculturally specific materials, such as aggregates, fats, plastics, in combination with familiar vessels like troughs, trailers, and buckets. At times, her references are abstracted and remade using alternative materials; plastic feeders cast into clay, animal feed cast in sugar, and ribbon rosettes fashioned from sage suede leather. A dialogue around ideas of permanence, decay and display emerges. Watchorn’s sculptural works often mobilise a scale suited to animals, displacing our human-centric point of view. In these acts of translation there is a politics at play in questioning the accepted order of things, animal vs. human, rural vs. urban, and the present cycles that exist.



[1] Rebecca O’Dwyer, “Between building and unbuilding”, mother’s annual 2018, mother’s tankstation Dublin | London, 2018. 

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