Bea McMahon | ‘Audience’ | 2006 | Single Channel DVD | 5mins 6secs
Since the Arts Council collection was established in the early 1960s there has been a huge
growth in the number of artists using the camera to create photographs and make moving image artworks. At this time when we are all looking at an abundance of images online, we wanted to highlight some key works in the collection. There are over 100
lens-based works in the collection, and we’ve selected 14 works that are maybe not as familiar to our audiences. Works in the exhibition were created between 1987 and 2013.
Here, Bea McMahon, whose work is showcased under the ‘Four Decades of the Lens’ theme, tells us more about the featured artwork and what it means to have her artwork as part of the Arts Council collection. Explore this and more from the Arts Council collection
During the last 5 years my artistic practice has encompassed moving image and live performance and deals with how these mediums inform one another. Looking through the camera lens frames my relation to diagram, visibility, foreground and background, and
looking from the point of view of my body I can feel out the logic of movement, the staging of daring or shock and the possibility of ethical effects. In my works I attempt to discover poetic forms of agency between non-speaking beings and the world.
Audience 2006 is one of my earliest works and it contains the first spark of this enquiry.
Something that I can’t account for is how much I hide and censure myself. I am bound to secret activities that are the conditions I need for making work. Although I remain well hidden, the work still manages to get into me from outside. It catches me.
Then the internal spirals outside and vice versa. It is a slimy affair.
Being in the Arts Council collection means my work is shared and contextualized in the public domain in a way that enhances my own understanding of it but doesn’t undermine my own intimate relation with it.
Since 1962, the Arts Council has been buying art from working artists. The Collection that evolved tells the story of modern and contemporary Irish visual art in a unique and fascinating way. Today the Collection continues to grow and its more than 1,100
paintings, sculptures and other works are on display in public spaces all over Ireland for people to experience and enjoy first hand. You can find out more at: www.artscouncil.emuseum.com