In his book, Experiencing Architecture, Steen Eiler Rasmussen describes an empty space as being a “cavity between the solids” (1). It is these ‘cavities’ that have become the focus of my work over recent years.
My interest lies in exploring the transitional lives of spaces, those in-between places where architecture, landscape and the built environment often intersect, and where a dialogue – of absence rather than presence – is created. My work takes as its starting point Foucault’s observation that spaces are “saturated with qualities” (2) and are neither lifeless nor neutral. My practice is driven by explorations of these charged, shifting entities – buildings that have come to the end of their functionality, the changing functionality of a landscape, human interruptions in the landscape – that exist in urban, rural and suburban contexts. The process is then opened out further through an examination of how artistic intervention into these spaces informs, or even transforms them, restoring to them a new or different reality.
The resultant photo works are realised both within the structure of the gallery space and as site specific interventions/installations and collaborations.
P.48, Steen Eiler Rasmussen, Chapter II, Solids and Cavities in Architecture. Experiencing Architecture, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1962.
2 Michel Foucault, ‘Des Espace Autres’, (‘Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias), Architecture /Mouvement/ Continuité, Paris, 1984. http://foucault.info/documents/heteroTopia/foucault.heteroTopia.en.html
McGrath studied at the I.A.D.T., Dun Laoighaire, Dublin where he recently complete his MA in Visual Art Practice-2004. He is also the recipient of the AIB Arts Prize in 2003.
Recent exhibitions/interventions include: In the City, Chaoyang Park, Beijing 2008,
Ev+A 2008 curated by Hou Hanru (China), Let’s Go, RHA Gallagher Gallery (Dublin) 2008, Two Minds (artist+ architect collaboration), GT Gallery/Irish Architectural Gallery 2007 (Belfast+Dublin), Beyond the Country, Lewis-Glucksman Gallery 2007 (Ireland), Thru Irish Eyes, Beijing Institute of Art & Design, 2007, Kaunas Photo Days 07, (Lithuania), Indensitat ’07, (Barcelona), E.U. Eyes on Japan, Iwate Museum of Modern Art + Yokohama City Gallery (Japan) 2006. Boundaries, Uberbau Gallerie (Düsseldorf) 2005. Making Things Better, East ‘05 (U.K.)
Awards include: New Work Award, Arts Council of Ireland (2008), National Sculpture Factory Artists Bursary 2007 (Ireland). ACNI Artist Bursary (2006) and the ACI Travel Award, (2005). The AIB Arts Prize 2003 (Ireland). Pepenieres pour le Jeune Artistes du Europe (France) 2000.