Amanda Dunsmore × Ailbhe Murphy
I'm nominating the exhibition Keeper by Amanda Dunsmore as I think the work is highly relevant to the current social and political situation. Amanda's in-depth research to realise the portraits is notable, months to years of careful negotiation to gain access to the subject and then the stillness of the image and mode of their display is striking. The juncture between the historical and contemporary in this exhibition is highly resonant in the context of the current Brexit negotiations, where the sanctity of the Good Friday agreement is under threat. Naturally, the portrait of John Hume is particularly poignant and if there was a single figure to encapsulate the complexity of the struggle for self-determination, historically and in the contemporary world it is he. This is an exhibition/body of work that has real significance to the larger political moment we find ourselves in.
Ailbhe Murphy is an artist and Director of Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts. She is also a founding member of the interdisciplinary art and research platform Vagabond Reviews.
Amanda Dunsmore is a visual artist, working in processes that explore representations of societal transformation through portraiture, examining place, people and moments of political significance. Her projects involve extensive longitudinal research processes and result in artworks using video, sound, photography and installation. Dunsmore’s art methodologies are defined into a series of extensive socio-political/historical art projects, such as KEEPER and the on-going series of video portraits THE AGREEMENT PORTRAITS, 2004—. Central to Dunsmore’s art practice is an exploration of potential future memory, the legacy of visual parity in portraiture and the long-term implications of socio-political art making.