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Concerning the Other is a collaborative art project that took place over ten weeks with 10 artists: James Hanley, Brian Fay, Claire Halpin, Joanna Kidney, Eoin Mac Lochlainn, Gail Ritchie, Miriam McConnon, Kate Murphy, Ben Readman and Susanne Wawra. The project was curated by Olivier Cornet, Claire Halpin and Eoin Mac Lochlainn.
It began as a virtual project as the artists were invited to create an initial image which was then emailed on to the next artist in the group. The second artist responded by working over it and then emailing it on to the third artist and so on. The process continued until each of the ten artists had worked on each of the ten images, creating 100 unique artworks in the process. The changes each artist could make was completely autonomous and indeed, one can identify subtle additions to violent transitions in the process.
One can see the transformation the work went through during the 10 weeks; Gail Richie initiated the process with a digital collage, part of her ongoing series of work under development called ‘Waterways’. By the fifth artist, Brian Fay, the piece is already completely altered and given new context,, its original image blacked out and the addition of a ‘historical Ottoman map of Syria from 1851, indicating the competing claims for ‘ownership’ of this country.’ Claire Halpin, the final artists names the piece ‘Life Jacket’ as ‘the life jacket image has remained in this artwork throughout the stages. In its last stage it was transformed into stone – a stone life jacket, futile – as futile as the fake life jackets filled with useless newspaper, plastic bags and nylon bought by migrants as they board the unseaworthy boats of illegal migrant smugglers.’
Curator and participating artist Eoin Mac Lochlainn commented that ‘with Concerning the Other, we were trying to promote compassion, diversity and concern for minorities in these days of mounting racism and intolerance. We wanted to do something to try and bring healing to the situation.’
The final ten artworks along with a selected number of ‘in-between’ prints will be exhibited at the Olivier Cornet Gallery from 10th September to 6th October 2017.