Sonia Shiel’s far-fetched works are vested in melodrama, special effect and various traditions of storytelling. They are composed of individual paintings and sculptures, including videos and animated sculptures, that share the central materiality of paint. Set in ungoverned, lawless environments: the wild west; the high seas, the animal kingdom and so on – her protagonists in their various pursuits, are confronted by nature, mortality, the mockery of chance, rules and other obstacles of their own creation. Idyllic scenes of industry, nature and society are underscored with preposterous violence, the inflated caricature of cartoons and the supra-governance of a natural law.
Sonia Shiel was born and lives in Dublin. She has had solo exhibitions at The Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin; The Model, Sligo; Temple Bar Gallery and Studios; Kulturbunker, Frankfurt; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris and The RHA Gallery I and II, Dublin, among others. Forthcoming Solo Shows include FLOOD, Dublin; The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Program Gallery/Foundation for Contemporary Art, Warsaw; Volta, New York and the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin. Recipient of the Arts Council Project Award, Shiel will participate in the 2014 Art and Law Program at Fordham Law School.
Residents from Ireland
John Barrett-Lennard is interested in relationships between a sense of centeredness and of transience, states of in-betweenness and contemporary hyper-mobility. His current projects consider the spaces between locatedness (often tied to place, origins, accent or cultural history) and cosmopolitanism. He is keen to explore the distance between particular and focused contexts, and larger forces, changes, dispersed networks and widely shared experiences. His curatorial work may take the form of projects with individual artists, group or thematic exhibitions and of critical writing in a range of settings. They often involve consideration of influences and conjunctions, and how these are mediated, reinterpreted and represented by artists and institutions, both in the arts and in wider social settings.
John Barrett-Lennard is a freelance art curator and writer. He has wide experience gained over nearly three decades, curating a broad range of innovative projects in contemporary art and art museum settings as well as in non-traditional and public spaces. He has been responsible for curating major national exhibitions, including the Australian pavilion at the Biennale of Venice and the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art. As a gallery director he has led a major contemporary art space and two large university art museums. He initiated ARX, Australia’s first major exchange project involving Australian and SE Asian artists. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the art history program at the University of Western Australia. He lives and was born in Perth though completed much of his education in Canada.
Residents from Australia
Marianna Garin is a curator, writer and researcher based in Sweden and Buenos Aires. Her practice focuses on public art formed by ongoing processes and storytelling, or where the artist suggests the unexpected and sometimes speculative. She is fascinated by the ephemeral, seemingly accidental traces of transient and fleeting thoughts, where small actions (poetic and sensible) in the periphery could have consequences and even create subversive and critical spaces that can be used for restaging the institution. Garin explores strategies for individual agency, such as possibilities of engaging in collective transformation in the organizing of our public spaces, or those that propose such spaces or instances that can shape new possibilities for other narratives and learning processes.
Marianna Garin, (born 1973, Cordoba), graduated from the International Curatorial Program at Konstfack College University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm. She holds a BA in Art History and Linguistics from Lund University. Garin is currently a curator at Gävle Art Centre within the Public Art Program in Sweden. She has worked for Lund Konsthall; the Moderna Museet, Stockholm; IASPIS International Artists Studio Program (IASPIS), Stockholm and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection among others. She regularly contributes to a number of magazines and journals, artist monographs and catalogue essays. Garin recently curated the exhibition Individual Order for Karst, Plymouth UK, 2013.