The Rainbow Myth Artist Deborah Ireland The Link Gallery 21st March – 31st May (extended) 2018
An exhibition of 25 pieces of work displayed over 2 floors by artist Deborah Ireland. The work represents an emotional exploration of her relationship with her son, both are autistic. The exhibition is the result of 18 months of work culminating with an opening on the 21st March. Everybody should experience the power and emotional intensity and honesty of this remarkable exhibition, the creation of an equally remarkable woman who is a fearless activist in every sense of the much touted word. Debbie fights for women and for those for whom having a voice is something that happens only in dreams. In my opinion, she does what should have been done years and years ago; she makes you realise, if you come into contact with her and her work, that we can't sit back and watch. We can't pretend that those who struggle, those whom society considers to be not quite up to the mark, second best, difficult, hard work, shrill malcontents who should know their place, those who disrupt the comfortable bubble we float around in, are not our responsibility. She is a fine, hard working and committed artist. Talking about something you look at is like talking about something you listen to. It doesn't come up to its ankles. That's the problem with critics trying to talk about something which does scary wonderful things to your senses and emotions and isn't just words. They talk rubbish. Everybody should go to the Link Gallery in Winchester and find out what I'm failing miserably to talk about. It's beautiful, it's honest and it'll help us all take one magic step forward towards a world where we all feel we belong.
World Autism Awareness Week 26th March-2nd April 2018 Deborah has provided postcards of selected works in exchange for a small donation to Autism Hampshire who rely on donations to provide valuable support and services.
At Southampton City Art Gallery 18th May - 8th June 2019
Deborah Goatley-Birch Acrylic and ink on wood
The paradox of the real
Through digital reproduction using smartphones, the practice of visual creation has become instantaneous and widespread. Photo filter applications used for posts on social media platforms have re-invented the beauty ideal by a simulation of reality. Consumers of the digital image are usually familiar with image manipulation and are happy to continue excepting the fiction.
In contrast, the Leonardo da Vinci drawings materialise the authenticity awarded to the esteemed ‘Old Masters’, when cast in the feminine form ‘Old Mistress’ the connotation is altogether different, to say the least (Pollock, 1995). This self-portrait was painted from a smartphone photograph after it had been processed in a photo-filter app. Using a UV torch the viewer can expose hidden lines and contours which represent the ‘real’, although themselves are merely a contrived simulation of life.
This work will have an additional participatory element as the viewer is invited to disrupt the painted simulation by use of smartphone photography applications and share these outcomes to #southamptoncityartgallery, converging the material and digital image. Multiple alternative versions of the portrait will be shared creating a plural narrative and collaborative process through shared image intervention.