Michael Boran and Stephan Loughman

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Dunamaise Arts Centre and Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin present an exhibition of recent work by Stephan Loughman and Michael Boran from 12 October to 11 November

Michael Boran and Stephan Loughman are two artists of the same generation with family ties to Co. Laois. Within each of their practices they investigate the changing dynamic between our perception of the natural landscape and the ever expanding built environment.

In his photographs Boran pictures towers, pylons, masts, plant stalks and monuments from a Piranesian vantage point that places the viewer far below the pictorial object. The desire to ascend is a prevalent motif in this recent body of work in which Boran represents the urge or instinct to reach upward, to peak, to seek out the most prominent positions. Often blurring the line between natural and manmade, Boran poses visual similarities in patterns formed by vines and power lines as they tangle and drape. We are also presented with the idea of pairing and of duality. Through the imagery, which often simulates the visual codes and studio finesse of stock photography, we are invited to consider the idea of doubles and dichotomies, of objects growing into one another.

Loughman’s recent paintings have taken vintage postcards issued by the Women’s Institute in Britain as their source material and subject matter. The use of these postcards, which the artist bought in bulk at online auctions, represents a departure from his previous method of painting from film stills and yet the work retains a filmic quality. Images of the English countryside appear lushly detailed though curiously deadpan and while the source material documents picturesque landscapes, their corresponding paintings appear densely ominous, as plotted points within a broader narrative. Through time spent with Loughman’s paintings, it begins to emerge that a history has been obfuscated or perhaps veneered. These seemingly idyllic images appear constricted – imbued with a sense of unease or discomfort. The implication of such a device attests to Loughman’s ability to modify or drastically alter the mood or tone of an image through the medium of paint.

In viewing these works by Boran and Loughman side by side we are presented with divergent forms of media that approach similar subject matter. Loughman’s paintings feature tunnels, bridges and arches amidst verdant foliage, referencing architectural intervention in the landscape. Boran’s photographs span the undergrowth of the garden to the heights of telegraph poles. As the works relate to one another, we can observe a multitude of connections and affinities. Throughout the exhibition, both artists consider the softening boundaries between rural and urban.

Exhibition runs from 12 October to 11 November

www.kevinkavanaghgallery.ie

Stephan Loughman Bio

Michael Boran Bio


Funded by

The Arts Council

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Dunamaise Arts Centre

Church Street Portlaoise, Co. Laois, Ireland.

Contact The Dunamaise Arts Centre

Box Office Opening Hours:
Tuesday to Friday: 10am to 5.30pm
Saturday: 10am to 1pm & 2pm to 5pm.
One hour prior to curtain on the evening of a performance.
Box office 00353 57 866 3355.

General Enquiries: info@dunamaise.ie

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The Arts Council Laois County Council