Archives for category: Irish Art

Ben Behzadafshar and I recently collaborated on a series of performative works for the Vault Artist Studios Fringe Festival.

This is the trailer we used to publicise the event:

 

We wrote a statement that was placed prominently in the room to prepare audience members for what they would see and hear:

“This is not a conventional set of songs, it is a sonic expedition to the unknown.  

Performances will consist of structured, improvisational recorded and played sounds created and manipulated by Ben Behzadafshar and John Macormac. These follow a pre-determined ‘recipe score’ that sets out parameters for what is played. This score is sufficiently loose that it may be interpreted in innumerable ways. 

Behzadafshar will generate a wide variety of sounds using an array of effects pedals and an amplifier, alongside a guitar, a metal shelf and a wooden top desk. The guitar is prepared by tying it with cloth, it will act as a sound source, interrupting the instrument’s conventional role as a melodic device.  

Macormac will create and record live sounds made from nails and a metal saucepan lid, hand percussion and an acoustic drum kit struck with sticks and beaters. These sounds will be layered and repeated using a loop station. The recorded layers will be played and manipulated through an amplifier and responded to with the drum kit. 

Throughout each performance, John and Ben will intuitively react to what each other are playing, drawing upon their long creative relationship as members of experimental jazz punk party band Blue Whale.”

 

 

 

 

 

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This A1 gel pen drawing combines harsh angular forms with curved ones. It was shown at ‘In Orbit,’ the Catalyst Arts gallery members show that ran from the 18th of April to the 9th of May.

 

 

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200 x 140 cm

Pen on Card

 

Here I broke with recent tradition and drew onto a large sheet of paper. Felt tip pens allow a more precise, clear line than chalk. Looking close, the drawing is full of human error and inaccuracy. This makes it feel somehow alive, less rigid and perfect than a digitally rendered image.

The paper used is 274 x 290 cm. I want to work as large as possible. Please get in touch if you have a spare gable wall or expanse of concrete you’d like me to draw on..

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The drawing in my space in Cathedral Studios:

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Detail of the centre

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I

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II

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I created this wall drawing by working directly onto the wall of Pollen studios in Belfast. The wall surface was rough and full of character, showing evidence of many past exhibitions in the space.

My performance set-up, utilising both electronic and analogue kit components, a loop station and a Marshall Amplifier remained in the space after my performance on the opening night, as sculptural presences.

Wall Drawing, Pollen Studios.

 

 

 

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I recently participated in The Melody of Dust exhibition, creating a site specific wall drawing and performing a new 20 minute sound art piece on the opening night.

The exhibition was in Pollen Studios Belfast and billed as an “Exhibition of two emerging Belfast talents whose work explores organic forms, traces and movement” and was curated by Colm Clarke & Tonya McMullan (CCTM)

CCTM

Colm Clarke and Tonya McMullan (CCTM) work collaboratively as artists, curators and urban farmers. Their projects are site specific and responsive, including one day curatorial projects, artist run initiatives and interventions in the city.

http://cctmprojects.tumblr.com

Jasmin Marker is a Belfast-based, German born interdisciplinary artist who works primarily with members of the microbial kingdoms. Engaging with a variety of biocultures she seeks analogies to societal cultures, exploring relevant scientific and anthropological concepts and their philosophical paradigms. While her research originates from a dedication to environmentalism and sustainability it extends deeper into questioning the evolution of human psychology. Jasmin graduated from University of Ulster with a Bachelor in Fine Art in 2016, where she has completed a graduate residency in 2017. Since she has exhibited in various galleries in Northern Ireland including PS2 Gallery (March 2017), Catalyst Arts (October 2017) and currently shows as part of the group show Kills 99,9% of Bacteria at CCA Derry:Londonderry.

John Macormac (b.1981) is an artist living and working in Northern Ireland and a current co-director at Catalyst Arts. He has recently graduated from the University of Ulster with an MFA in Fine Art. John helped establish Cathedral Studios, a Belfast based artist run studio organisation in 2003. His art practice is multi-disciplinary, embracing performance, installation and drawing.

 John Macormac is a recipient of a Support for the Individual Artist Programme award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

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As an offsite component of the Ulster University MFA Show 2016, I performed a series of 45 minute electronic drum and loop station performances alongside a sculptural installation. These took place in the downstairs hall of Redeemer Central Church, an atmospheric and austere space close to the Art School.

I made black sheet screens for the windows to subdue the light. The space was divided by a large black curtain. Drum sounds were played, looped and layered and relayed through a Marshall amplifier.

The black sculpture was a significant presence in the room, intensified by successive layers of drumming.

Marshall Amplifier and Curtain, Redeemer Central Church, 2016.

 

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I made these two geometric chalk on board pieces as a commission for Art Loves. They are both 110cm squared and to be hung as a diptych.

When I was working towards the end of year show at the end of May, I created the drawing below. After some thought, It was painted over and started again. It didn’t feel quite right, it was not in keeping with the other drawings in the show, documented in earlier blog posts. It reaches beyond the black space, it feels too psychedelic, it looks disjointed where it goes over the pipe.

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