Gillian LawlerPlatform, 2020
Oil on canvas
60 × 60 cm
Lawler’s work is about landscape and memory and within this she explores the tension between the real and imagined. She explores her own unreliable recollections of human habitats, empty wilderness, abandoned settlements and uses an accumulation of references comprised of an imagined real as opposed to an actual real.
She uses abandoned places as backdrops, empty and laid bare, and these create a vista which allows her to imagine an alternative timeline or dimension. These places are like systems in flux, uncertain, with many of the elements simplified and create a perspective of nature reconstructed as a series of indefinite structures and conceptual visions of space, time and existence.
Current work draws on these previous themes while extrapolating ideas based on boundaries, edges, transitions and transformations. In recent paintings the canvas was split into two territories with a defined boundary line where forms crossed over, were transformed, dissolved, dispersed or absorbed. In many ways these territories became meditative spaces, allowing these changes to occur.
Of particular impact for her during this time was the grief she experienced upon the death of her mother in late 2017. Ideas on transformation and transition particularly resonated with her mother’s passing and the transformation of her body. Once again platforms and scaffolds appeared in her work and embodied that moment when her mother moved from this world to the next, representing her body in transition.
These accumulated experiences have haunted Lawler’s work and have led to an exploration of a place where the veil between this world and the next becomes thin and exposed. It captures an ephemeral quality, a fleeting moment which bears witness to a momentary leap of faith, and is suggestive of an inner world situated between the conscious and the unconscious.
Recent solo and group exhibitions include:The Molesworth Gallery, Dublin, There are intangible realities which float near us, formless and without words, solo 2020. 190/191st Annual Exhibitions at the RHA Gallery, Dublin 2020/2021. The Weber and Weber Gallery,This Entropic Order, curated by Valeria Ceregini, solo 2018. Difference Engine, Altern_nator, HDLU Centre for the Association of Artists, Zagreb, 2018. House Taken Over curated by Hickey + Hickey, The Sonorities Festival, Belfast 2018. Resort Revelations, Lynders Mobile Home Park, Portrane, Dublin 2018.
Lawler received the Graphic Studio Dublin Print Award 2019 where she was also invited to complete a residency at the Graphic Studio Dublin in 2019. She will hold another solo exhibition at The Weber and Weber Gallery, curated by Valeria Ceregini in January 2022.
Gillian Lawler is an Irish artist based in Dublin. She received a BA in Fine Art Painting from NCAD, Dublin in 2000. She has exhibited throughout Ireland and abroad including America, UK, Croatia, Poland, Spain, Holland and Italy.
Awards include the Graphic Studio Dublin Print Award 2019, the Open Selection Award at the Eigse Arts Festival 2009, the Hennessy Craig Award, RHA Gallery Annual exhibition 2007, the Whytes Award, RHA Gallagher Gallery 2007. She received Visual Arts Bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland in 2009 and 2020. She was shortlisted for the Beers Lambert Contemporary, Thames and Hudson publication, 100 Painters of Tomorrow in 2013. She was recently included in the Arts Council of Ireland Collection 2020.
She is co-founder/member of the group Difference Engine, an evolving serial exhibition, and a model of autonomous artist curation, by artists Mark Cullen, Jessica Foley, Wendy Judge, Gillian Lawler and featuring Gordon Cheung.
Colin Crotty, Eithne Jordan, Eleanor McCaughey, Fergus Martin, Kathy Tynan, Mairead O’hEocha, Alison Pilkington, Brian Maguire, Colin Martin, Gabhann Dunne, Gemma Browne, Gillian Lawler, John Lalor, Natasha Conway, Orla Whelan, Oscar Fouz Lopez, Stephen Loughman, Marcel Vidal, Harry Walsh Foreman, Mark O'Kelly, Patrick Graham, Salvatore of Lucan, Sonia Shiel, Sven Sandberg, Liliane Puthod, Forerunner, Sean Molloy, Sean Molloy
About the Exhibition
Pallas Projects present ‘Dubliners’ – the international section of the 6th Biennial of Painting, Zagreb, curated by Mark Cullen & Gavin Murphy. The exhibition affords a unique opportunity to present together for the first time, an intergenerational grouping of painters who were born, bred, studied (and taught), or live and work in Dublin. The invitation to curate such a survey of contemporary painting presents a huge opportunity, and invites its own questions. It allows us to consider: what does it mean to present a national (or municipal) exhibition today? What does (or can) such an exhibition say about a city, its people? What does it mean within the expanded topography of contemporary art with its multiple and unlimited forms? What does such an exhibition say about artists (or painters) working together in a city. Can we trace traits of influence, exchange and conversation, of a ‘community of painting’, or is painting the ‘purest form of individualism’?
Saturday 23rd October, 5pm CET
Panel discussion: What is it to paint (in) a city?
Artist talk moderated by critic, curator and educator James Merrigan, with panellists Stephen Loughman, Colin Martin, Mark O’Kelly, Sonia Shiel, Orla Whelan.
Wednesday 27th October, 6pm CET
Dubliners Reel, curated by Eve Woods
A screening of film works by Irish artists, featuring: Anne Maree Barry, John Byrne, Michelle Doyle, Kevin Gaffney, Léann Herlihy, and Gavin Murphy.
Pallas Projects/Studios (founded 1996) is a not-for-profit artist-run organisation dedicated to the facilitation of artistic production and discourse, via the provision of affordable artists studios in Dublin’s city centre, and curated projects, exhibitions, exchanges, off-site projects, talks, resource programmes, and publications. PP/S are at the forefront of research, advocacy and support of artist-run practice in Ireland and across Europe. They are authors of the research project and publication ‘Artist-Run Europe’ (Onomatopee, Eindhoven, 2016), which included contributions from AA Bronson, Transmission Gallery, Triangle France, and Eastside Projects and featured essays, case studies, and an index of 600 European artist-run spaces – a second updated edition of which is due in 2022.
Pallas Projects/Studios is funded by The Arts Council
‘Dubliners’ is funded by Culture Ireland
About the Biennial of Painting
The Croatian Association of Artists (HDLU) established the Biennial of Painting in 2011. The Biennial’s aim is to survey and evaluate the local painting scene in the context of new European movements and explore, through comparison, the global position of the medium of painting. In this way, HDLU promotes the development of the visual arts by supporting and encouraging artistic creativity and excellence, and by conceiving and promoting international cultural exchange. Conferences, lectures and presentations are organised as part of a Biennial on the initiative of the organisers, to both educate and inspire. Traditionally two awards (Grand Prix and Young Artist Award) – extremely valuable from an expert artistic and financial point of view – are awarded to the most prominent artists and their work.
As well as presenting what is new in Croatian painting today, each edition of the Biennial engages with new and emerging tendencies in the medium of painting across various cities, regions and countries of Europe. In 2011, the guest city was Berlin (“I am a Berliner”, curated by Mark Gisbourne), in 2013 Vienna (“Vienna Calling”, curated by Theresia Hauenfels), in 2015 it was Gdańsk (“Exporting Gdańsk”, curated by Katarzyna Kosmala), in 2017 Prague (“Extended Painting Prag”, curated by Marek Schovanek), and in 2019 Leipzig (“Leipzig Connection”, curated by Mark Gisbourne).
HDLU is located in the famous Meštrović Pavilion in central Zagreb. It consists of three exhibition spaces: Prsten Gallery, Bačva Gallery, and PM Gallery. Its mission and openness aims to foster all expressions of creativity, from prestigious world premieres and biennials to grassroots movements, with the desire to inspire and motivate the public through art.