When the lockdown was first announced in March, the highlight of the year for Fine Art students at Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) – the summer exhibitions, appeared to be under threat. In response, second and third-year Fine Art students at TU Dublin developed an online exhibition and blog to showcase their work instead of the usual end of year show that takes place on the University’s Grangegorman campus.

Visit the show here – MetamorphosisSecond Year Fine Art, TU Dublin, 2020

This exhibition is occurring at a strange time, in a strange place. A space where we can no longer gather to work, we must modify our way of sharing and creating. Collectively we have not only had to adapt how and where we share our work, but we have also had to adapt what that work is. Our practices are shifting. We have been forced to scrutinise exactly what we want to say with what we are creating. How can we say it when our situation is so unaccommodating? We must carve out room for ourselves here, in this place of distractions and uncertainty. It is challenging working in spaces that are against the norm. We are learning how to balance our two lives, the home and the art practice, as they now exist together in our bedrooms, kitchens, and garden sheds. It pushes the boundaries of what we can achieve. It shows us that art can be expanded and live outside the studio walls. Our shared voices, different but the same, are announcing our adaptation and evolution. Though we are apart, we have created something together.
– Eden Munroe and Irena Smyth

This year has been a unique experience due to the pandemic. We have had to learn how to be flexible and adaptable in our practice. The lockdown has forced us to work in settings that we wouldn’t usually be used to working in and has limited our processes and choices of mediums. It has changed our view on everyday working life, and we have formed a greater appreciation for having a space to work in creatively. Although there have been difficulties, we have found that we have developed our work in a way that never would have happened without the current circumstances. This time at home has forced us to pay more attention to what surrounds us and the environments we live in. This has greatly influenced our work in both physical and conceptual ways. From archiving personal artefacts and documenting rented living spaces to dealing with issues further outside our confinements, such as the lack of representation of different races in film and questioning the influence media has on our sense of judgment and beliefs. Our work is the result of a disrupted year, combining our influences from our tutorials in college and the different art practices that we looked at and our time at home trying to form a practice by ourselves.
– Roksana Parvanova, Lauren Silver, Kristine and Ellen KaneThe thing Before the Big ThingThird Year Fine Art, TU Dublin, 2020

This virtual exhibition was produced in the wake of the Covid 19 global pandemic and crisis. Developed collaboratively, we each have brought together our individual artistic practices in an online format. This is in order to consolidate our studies and continue to make work that feels both personal and communal at a time when creativity seems more vital than ever. We began our 3rd year in a shared studio space, as new circumstances arose, our working environments and practices have changed to become predominantly online in production and display. In reaction to this, we have endeavoured to produce works that are interrelated to our unprecedented, current reality.

Throughout this process, we have learned the importance of human interaction. Although we cannot meet each other physically, we still see each other and hear each other’s voices and experience a connection which has developed a new, nuanced understanding of communicating and expressing our ideas.  The selected works in this exhibition aim to engage with space, material and narrative. Each artist’s unique practice offers an open and inclusive invitation to an audience to explore how we used the following materials and media to make our artworks. 

 Clay, Wooden Boards, Oil Paint, White Spirits, Bleach, Plywood, Acrylic Paint, Plastic Sheets, PVA, Wool, Needle, Thread, Ceramic, Cotton, Natural Dyes, Salt Dough, Vintage Clothes, Fabric, Water Colour Pastels, Embroidery Hoop, Scissors, Indian Silk Organza, Irish Linen, Indian Lawn, Cyanotype Chemicals, Acetate, Acetate Marker, Old Washed Sheets, Crystal Glasses, Royal Tara China, Water, Blown Glass Vase, Photocopier, Inkjet Printer, Photoshop, Facebook Feed, Zoom Screen-Recording, CBD, Personal Video Archive, Targeted Ads, YouTube Downloader Add-On, Wallpaper Paste, Coloured Inks, Glue, Wire, Plaster, Wood, Metal, Lampshades, Sacking, Photos, Pencil Drawings, Wooden Frames, Cotton Velvet, Fabriano Paper, Bockingford Water-Colour Paper, Candles, Colour Pigment, Canvas, Brushes, Scissors, Knife, Spirit, Candle, Matches, Canvas Stretchers, Linseed Oil, Easel, Rug, Kitchen Towel, Soap, Glue Gun, Plastic Cord, Pallet, Stones, Eggs, Sony Video camera, Adobe PremierePro, Paint 3D, Sony CX6000

 Through our collective online platform, we hope that we have created a space where an audience can reflect and engage with contemporary artworks that are responsive and sensitive to a new life context. 

Pictured above: Seven Walks By 3rd Year Fine Art Student Catherine McDonald




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