Bluecoat, Liverpool Glasshouse Niamh O’Malley 10 Oct 2015 – 10 Jan 2016 Curated by Marie-Anne McQuay
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Spanning video, drawing, print and sculpture, Glasshouse is the largest solo show in the UK to date by Dublin-based artist Niamh O’Malley.
Originally trained as a painter, the artist’s interest in the construction of images has extended spatially through the medium of glass. Rather than treating it as an invisible barrier, O’Malley emphasizes its physicality – its thickness, its surface, its opacity – giving attention to properties that might more usually be overlooked. In one key moving image work glass filters pass across the lens of the camera, bringing scenes in and out of focus, while in another, the camera shoots through broken panes allowing us to alternately look through and directly at the gardens behind.
This gesture, of looking both at and looking through continues in her sculptures which frame internal architectural features, views of exterior spaces and visitors as they pass through the gallery. Painted marks suspended on the surface of the glass also become part of ever shifting compositions. The device of layering continues with the drawings and monoprints. Often framed with dense glass, they are so completely saturated with graphite and ink it is difficult to tell where one surface ends and another begins. Through her body of work, the artist asks us to consider our role in the exhibition as an active viewer who makes as well as perceives images.
Text by Marie-Anne McQuay
O'Malley, N. (2015) Bluecoat, Liverpool Glasshouse. Glasshouse, Niamh O’Malley, Liverpool, 10 Oct 2015 – 10 Jan 2016