12 May – 18 June, 2022
Private View: Wednesday 11 May: 6–8 PM
Oisín Byrne’s work considers how the self can be expressed or contained in the many layers that make up a person. The audience enters the gallery to a space where colour, sound, language, and texture collide. Standing on a carpet illustrating the edges of Byrne’s notebooks, with fluorescent post-it note tabs poking out, marking pages, and busily mapping the artist’s thoughts, there is a sense of exuberance, generosity and sharing. The sensory and affective exchange presents a queer performativity that is at once empowering and fallible. Language is at the core of his practice and his notebooks are the starting point for a new series, Volumes, which are a key part of this exhibition. The notebooks hold Byrne’s experimental thoughts and private musings, yet rather than overwhelm the audience with their contents, he presents us with images of their covers, marked with clues to what they might contain. Phrases such as Act Natural, Waiting for approval waiting for permission, She declared, or My first question, extend a playful hand to join in. The images of the notebook covers are enlarged and then exposed to further elaborations as Byrne draws, paints and smudges onto the surface of the magnified prints in what Byrne describes as a ‘night-time activity’, an automatic mark-making response to these containers of his ideas.