Custom House Studios in Westport will be hosting a new exhibition of works by artist Chris Leach, the official opening of the exhibition will take place on Friday, January 26, by Alice Maher and the exhibition will run until Sunday, February 18.
Speaking about his work Leach said: “The world is full of material stuff. Our natural instinct is to mark it, to claim territory, to clarify things, give them a name, to make them into something. We imbue things, places, objects with our own emotions, our own dreams and longings, we name them and categorize them, construct our own ideologies and thoughts around them. These things which, in as much as they are solid, are also ephemeral and transient.
"All of the works share a point of transition, a hinge upon the friction between what we see and what we are. There are particular spaces and environments depicted in the work, moments in time. The works are produced with a mind to the historicity of material. They are laboured and in some ways quite scrupulous. I became interested a while ago in silverpoint drawing, I liked the idea that they are of silver, those associations of value, the mutability of that criteria. I also liked the idea that the drawing materials had a historical basis, that they used a technique that went back hundreds of years. I liked too, the idea of scale and proximity, the question of the value relationships inherent within them.
"The drawing itself in each work is important, the transitions in the mark making, the way in which the drawing is constructed, to become something consciously made. Layers of marks, gestures, hatching and erasures. There are certain places or motifs within the work, for instance the whole idea of Amsterdam, constructed on a flood plain, reclaimed from the sea, and the play into the idea of Dutch landscape art. But of course the world is changing and potentially changing quite drastically. The drawings are comments on the world as we pass through it, about what it is to be in the world, to explore it. An idea about the world as it is and potentially where it is going. I've also been intrigued about the idea of making something beautiful, not to say of course that the drawings are necessarily that, but that they relate to things that could be termed in such a way. A beautiful building, or a beautiful tree. That idea of beauty that all of a sudden may change and become its antithesis, while the thing itself remains the same. A city for instance, in all its complexity, an unknown city, somewhere to disappear into, to grow into, to claim as your own. The works are visual things, they are our interior and exterior, where things are, what they become. The works are journeys as we pass through this space.”