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Gallery Space
Toward an Ethical Portrait
 
W.Lorien  MA by research in Fine Art
Wolf show 3.jpgThroughout history, portraits have fulfilled a vital role in how we see ourselves and how we are seen. Indeed, they are one of the methods by which we can start to understand and examine different societies worldwide and over the passage of time.
 
With such a saturation of celebrity news and media bombardment during the last few decades I wished to examine how we can reclaim some of the benefits of this genre and develop portraits that respond to the sitter in an ethical manner.
 
For many years I have worked closely with young people throughout the west of Ireland, frequently with individuals from backgrounds that have caused them to become displaced in one way or another. It is often a cultural isolation as with non-nationals who may have English as a second language, but can also be financial or social situations that cause this marginalization.
 
My artistic practice remains dependant on building real relationships with individuals and highlights a vital space where the arts can have an important role to play, working as a socially active force in society.
 
The work began with dialogue in the form of interviews and an exchange of ideas and interests, culminating in the production of some form of
artistic response, a few examples of which are displayed here.
 
Wolf show 2.jpgGrant H. Kester suggests that ʻDialogical practices may expand our understanding of what art can be, but this does not have to come at the expense of works and traditions that currently exist.ʼ This form of socially engaged dialogue is just one conversation, taking place within the greater narrative of contemporary art.
 
In 1937 British Sculpturist, Barbara Hepworth, described art as ʻ A thought which gives the same life, the same expansion, the same universal freedom to everyone.ʼ As part of my practice I seek dialogue and artistic intervention as a way of encouraging this concept of freedom.
 
My work has been aided greatly by LSAD and the Clare Youth Service in Ennis so I would like to take this opportunity to thank the trainees and the many staff, both in Co. Limerick and in Co. Clare who gave so much of their consideration, help and time.
 
 
 
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