Galway Arts Festival art exhibition reviews

Lars Laumann @ Galway Arts Centre

Of the four video installations on show by the Norwegian artist, the highlight is Morrissey Foretelling The Death of Diana, which explores the theory that Morrissey foretold Princess Diana’s 1997 death on The Smith’s classic 1986 album The Queen Is Dead.

Of course none of it is true but Laumann nearly convinces you with his meticulous attention to detail, itself a great work of imagination. Much of the film footage, taken from old British films of the 1950s and 1960s, would certainly meet Mozzer’s approval and taste. The sound quality is not great but this installation is well worth the effort.

Also worth a look is The Swedish Bookstore. This features a scene from the Zucker Brothers comedy Top Secret! Played on a TV set in a shelf of books. The scene is played forwards and backwards, with the backwards dialogue meant to sound like Swedish. Subliminal messaging? A curious but fun piece.

David Hockney @ Galway Arts Festival Box Office

In 1969 David Hockney took six, mostly lesser known, tales by The Brothers Grimm, and made a series of etchings inspired by scenes and characters from the stories. The etchings are full of charm, a few simple lines managing to hold great detail and suggest so much, whether it be a tower, a facial expression, or (my favourite ) a mountainous landscape and lake. These etchings would be wonderful as illustrations to a collection of Brothers Grimm tales. Such a book was published in 1970 but a new edition for the general market woudl be nice.

Seán Cotter @ Galway Arts Festival Box Office

Speaking of a few lines which can suggest much, Seán Cotter’s exhibition is a highly impressive example of this. These works, featuring much black and grey have, at first glance, a monotonal look, but the lines and daubs and dashes of paint, hold the eye, enticing it into the detail of the pictures construction.

When the viewer then stands back and allows the eyes to take the work in fully, vast abstract ‘landscapes’ emerge, that fire the imagination. A work of lines assembled on a large grey mound could be a vast army assembled on a hill; black lines shooting off at angles could lead to a sinister camp miles away on the horizon.

These and other exhibitions continue up to and including Sunday. See www.galwayartsfestival.com

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