WHAT LIES BE­NEATH

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - ART & MUSIC -

Niall Mac­mona­gle

SNF at Town­ley Hall by David Lun­ney

Mixed me­dia, 2017 Cour­tesy of the artist

DAVID Lun­ney likes noth­ing more in his Christ­mas stock­ing than twine, threads, cord, rib­bon, crayons and coloured pen­cils which, along with wood and glass, make for the mixed me­dia used to cre­ate his dis­tinc­tive art works.

Lun­ney, 29, is in­ter­ested in Ire­land’s his­tory, its colo­nial past and Ire­land to­day.

Even in Tran­si­tion Year, his unique take on things was ev­i­dent when Lun­ney, as part of an Ir­ish Stud­ies course, chose, as his project, to sculpt an ogham stone on which he in­scribed, in ogham al­pha­bet, the words “Bling, bling”: an­cient Ire­land fil­tered through a thor­oughly mod­ern sen­si­bil­ity.

By the time Lun­ney’s NCAD grad­u­ate show came round he had found his voice.

He’s a hands-on man and brings to­gether, in his art work, a range of ma­te­ri­als: wool and wood, glass and metal.

In ru­ral County Wick­low in an area called Coro­na­tion Plan­ta­tion there was a Lun­ney work called Coro­na­tion In­stal­la­tion, made of wood and steel. Was is the op­er­a­tive word. But that doesn’t worry him. An ab­stract sculp­tural piece, it in­trigued walk­ers, was re­spected by log­gers but was later van­dalised, bent, bro­ken.

“It would have taken at least two to de­stroy it”, says Lun­ney, but what re­ally fas­ci­nates him is process.

Even the bro­ken pieces on his stu­dio floor in­ter­est him.

He’ll build a struc­ture, place it in an out-of-the-way place and pho­to­graph it.

With Coro­na­tion Plan­ta­tion, for ex­am­ple, there’s a com­pan­ion sculp­ture, made for in­doors.

Lun­ney’s im­ages of the out­door piece are etched into glass us­ing photo-sand­blast­ing, be­hind which are tape and crayon col­lages.

For Lun­ney, coloni­sa­tion is an im­po­si­tion, the sculp­ture is a phys­i­cal and hu­man im­po­si­tion on the nat­u­ral land­scape. “It is the re­la­tion between phys­i­cal and the rep­re­sented pres­ences which in­spire my work.”

SNF at Town­ley Hall, a re­cent piece, again be­gan as a por­ta­ble sculp­ture, this time with an iphone strapped on. A found disco ball in an at­tic and some Christ­mas baubles be­came “a ma­trix of var­i­ous mir­rors and re­flec­tive sur­faces”.

The sculp­ture was po­si­tioned, the pho­to­graphs taken and this, in turn, back in his stu­dio, be­comes the draw­ing: coloured pen­cils on primed MDF board within an elab­o­rate, painstak­ingly-made frame.

Land­scape Con­tor­tion, Lun­ney’s solo show at Droic­head Arts Cen­tre, used draw­ing, sculp­ture and pho­tog­ra­phy and fo­cused on The Boyne Val­ley.

In choos­ing this place, what hap­pened on July 1, 1690 and the 2,250 dead can­not be for­got­ten but in Lun­ney’s work, the land, the river, the trees are also seen afresh.

Town­ley Hall, in Louth, built for the Town­ley Bal­four land­lords in the 1790s, is very close to the fa­mous bat­tle site and the Or­ange Or­der was founded that same decade.

Not much lord­ing over the land in this Lun­ney work, more a piec­ing it to­gether. And the frame, “with dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als wo­ven into the doc­u­men­ta­tion, its Celtic mo­tif, is as im­por­tant as the im­age it­self ”.

And SNF? Satur­day Night Fever, of course. “Lis­ten to the ground, There is move­ment all around...”

New work by David Lun­ney is at The Dock, Carrick-on-shan­non. On Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 14 David Lun­ney, with mu­si­cian Stephen Ren­nicks and artist Mark Garry, will talk about place, lo­ca­tion and in­flu­ence in their work. the­dock.ie

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