‘Water and Walls’ an exhibition featuring the work of Colin Eaton, Nuala O’ Donvan and Mary de Blacam opened at Locks Restaurant , 1 Windsor Terrace, Portobello on Monday 29 May. The works span three disciplines; painting, sculpture and paper-cut collage, and although each artist works in a distinct genre and style, the diversity converges into a fascinating show. All three artists work, or have worked in the field of architecture.
O’Donovan makes sculptural forms in porcelain based on the patterns and geometry found in natural forms. The sculptural pieces have a stillness, like shells and fossils, and are bound by weight and gravity to a horizontal surface. Her paintings are representations of her sculptural pieces in two-dimensions and illustrate the process of exploring a three-dimensional form on a two-dimensional plane.
De Blacam’s work tends to feature bold colours that provide an immediate impact and challenge the viewer. Her style could be described as semi-abstract. She likes to work quickly in acrylics, using coarse brushwork, executed in a gestural style, often on a compact scale, but is also happy to take on the challenge of larger formats.
Colin Eaton uses papercut collage techniques to depict physical and psychological space, connections and disconnections, geometry and form. The works tend towards figurative abstraction inhabiting a space somewhere between abstraction and representation. The physicality and materiality of his process imparts tactile and emotional qualities. Each of his paper pieces tells its own story. A narrative in folds, cuts, tears, perforations and layers. He has thus expanded his artistic practice to investigate possibilities in paper architecture. Creating often from discarded materials, he likes to investigate possibilities with paper and card where folds and cuts become incidents on a page, interweave, fragment and are peeled back to reveal layer upon layer – a narrative. His work is graphically inspired and narrative driven.
Abstracting art from a gallery setting to the ‘everyday’ is a worthy and frequent contemporary endeavour. That Locks chose to invite artists to their space proved inspired, particularly given the variation in artform and scale of the works. The exhibition continues until 13 August.