RTÉ lyric fm celebrates Culture Night

Four award-winning graduates of Limerick School of Art and Design were invited to display their art digitally in the RTÉ lyric fm windows, Cornmarket Square, Limerick on Culture Night.

We are excited with the results and delighted to present this unusual exhibition that includes an animation from Jennifer Shaughnessy, and a series of photographs detailing artworks from start to completion, from three artists: Nuala O’Sullivan, Maurice Quillinan and Gerry Davis.

Each artist has chosen a track from a musician who inspires them, and written a short piece about how music forms part of their daily creative practice. These generous texts, along with the visual narratives, allow a unique insight into what is, on the most part, a private activity.

Creating art is an evolutionary process that involves continuous evaluation and decision-making, until something emerges that ‘works’. Tonal Patterns is aimed at illustrating the similarity and inter-relationship between art forms, bringing the process of art-making to the wider public audience.

"Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity" ~ Charles Mingus

The exhibition will remain on display until the end of September, but will remain online until the next one!

Gerry Davis, Graduated LSAD 2009

One of my favourite pieces of music over the past 18 months or so has been William Basinski’s ‘Disintegration Loops’ (dlp 1.1). I played it regularly in the studio as I worked on my most recent project. I came to see it as such a profound piece of music that in a moment of zealousness, during the run-up to my last solo exhibition, I wrote to William Basinski and asked him if I could play it at my show. To my great surprise he wrote back a few days later, though I was not surprised at his decision, and in retrospect, very much agree:

"Dear Gerry, thank you for your kind inquiry. I'm honored that you would like to use this work for your exhibition, but I would caution you to resist the temptation. Music has such an overpowering force, you may not get the result you desire. Perhaps mentioning the works in your artist statement might be a more mysterious way to get people to do some research to understand your frame of mind in the studio creating this exhibition. I send you all my best, Sincerely yours, william basinski"

Jennifer Shaughnessy, Graduated LSAD 2017

For me, music helps me to relax and in my opinion relaxation is key to creativity. I find complete silence more distracting than a constant and consistent background noise. Classical music is ideal as its distinctive sound produces inspiration. Music always helps me to open up my mind and to start my thinking process. Classical music especially encourages my imagination. As I immerse myself in a piece of music various images enter my mind which I then use to create my work. One of my favourite songs I love to listen to is Yiruma’s classic piano version of ‘The River Flows in You’. It is a piece full of delicate and beautiful notes yet it is full of emotion. The powerful piece starts slow and gently progresses with playful speed almost mimicking the act of the creative process.

My work explores the concept of female identity, and storytelling and narrative have always been important, and my interest in fairytales, folklore and myths have fuelled my inspiration for my practice.

Nuala O’Sullivan, Graduated LSAD 2006

In my work I use both photography and painting to explore how the past influences the stories we construct to make sense of the present.  Alongside this, the aesthetic and culture of the 1950s have strong visual resonances for  me.

My studio is more than a place for painting, its somewhere to think and write, away from daily distractions.  Music adds to the sanctuary of the space.  When painting I stand for long periods, and sometimes, as I move back and forth, music forms a rhythm as I make a piece of work. It influences my mood and has the power to energise or relax depending on the intensity or gentleness of the piece. So music may not be visible like paint on the canvas, but it is there!  

The music I have chosen and one I return to again and again, from my somewhat eclectic mix ranging from Puccini to Kings of Leon, is Etta James singing ‘Stormy Weather’.  This soulful song with it’s slow pace and her smoky voice make me immediately slow down, relax my shoulders and leave the world outside. And I do adore a love song. 

Maurice Quillinan, Graduated LSAD 1983

‘Nisi Dominus – Cum Dederit’ by Antonio Vivaldi - this haunting prayer put to music by Antonio Vivaldi is Psalm 127 from the book of 150 Psalms and was written approximately 2553 years ago and has been recited more or less every day since. I think of all the histories attached to these prayers as they travelled through time, all the emotions it collects as it passes through the lives of the people who have meditated upon its message. Vivaldi’s rendering is full with deep contemplation in solitude, suggesting that all human enterprises only succeed by Divine blessing.

My work is based on recording experience. We are, in a sense, similar to the psalm in that we too carry with us every experience which will bare witness to our journey. Vivaldi’s setting brings me inside the structure of an idea: what is an experience; what is an idea of an experience: what is it we become from our existence and how do we manifest this into a composition? Thus my work is structured upon constantly overlapping glazed layers, some partially erased, suggesting regret, so all the elements form the finished piece, it is a sort of excavation, a looking back at the work’s history. The work is abstract as experience is an abstraction, unique in itself to each individual.