Orla WhelanAgainst a Melancholy Moment (or Magic Carpet), 2020
Acrylic paint on plywood
240 × 140 cm
My work explores the relationship between colour and form within the expanded conditions of contemporary painting. While my practice is rooted in painting, I often use non-traditional painting materials to refer to the materiality and tropes of painting. These include marquetry; wood veneers on panel, and wooden wedges; an unseen component of traditional canvas painting that I subvert to become the painted surface. I am interested in the duration of art objects and the philosophies they embody; the ability of visual art to communicate across space and time, to be re-viewed, reinterpreted and reimagined in different ages and contexts. This involves responding directly to particular spaces, developing site-specific interventions in the form of large three-dimensional wedge paintings, appropriated furniture and paintings on linen. This work explores the transformative power of colour in dialogue with different architectures, materials, contexts and audiences.
Orla Whelan is visual artist with extensive experience of solo and group exhibitions, residencies, collaborations and awards. Her new book Matter Mammal Oil Soar will be launched at the Dublin Art Book Fair in November 2021. Whelan's practice has been supported by the Arts Council of Ireland through a Visual Art Bursary in 2020 and 2021. In 2020, she completed A More Immortal Atlas; a solo exhibition in Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin (OPW). In 2019, she won the inaugural Merrion Plinth Award art prize, completed a large site-specific painting commission for Facebook Offices Dublin, and undertook a production residency at Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). Whelan is founder of the art book publishing project Whale Dust, and founder and director of AtHomeStudios; a collective of professional visual artists working from a studio based in their own homes. Her work is held in public and private collections worldwide. She lives and works in Dublin.
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.