Reflections On My Secondary Research


My personal secondary research that I find relevant is almost like an anti research

I will try to explain

For the last four years I have widely researched artists and consciously encouraged myself to be influenced by them

For the last two years I have run a weekly arts documentary film club, where I have shown all the Art 21 series (consisting of some 24 hours of film) and have featured different artists on a weekly basis

I spent 10 days last October (and the one 2 years ago) in Venice for the Biennale and have been to exhibitions here and in England

I began this year by working on the subject of surveillance but the Biennale and Dieter Roth in particular cured me of that interest

Then, as I was to have my grad show in the Abbey on Sherkin, I planned for an ambitious and self conscious faux exhibition of relics found along a ley line that runs from the Skelligs to Mount Carmel in Israel and I looked at installation artists like Mike Nelson, whose work I had found fascinating

Working on an installation that was all going to be an elaborate hoax created a very odd feeling in me and with it came a longing for simplicity and a rejection of most of what I was researching

I began to look and identify again with the paintings and drawings I had enjoyed as a child, and I wanted to create something that is direct – like minimalism, but without the discipline – and it is at this point that I wanted to shed all the research and return to the images that are indelibly printed on my psyche and empty myself of all the influences that were jostling for attention in my mind

The research that interested me recently was not like anything I was doing in any direct way but which added to the jigsaw of ideas that had been rattling away in my head and gradually sifting through:


  • Music Arvo Part I am using his music as a meditative too, l I listen to his music before I start drawing, mainly  Spiegel im Spiegel
  • I am reading about sacred journeys, eg The Way and the Mountain by Marko Pallis
  • I have found resonance with the work of post-colonialist theorists and practitioners, who introduced me to concepts like hauntology, Mark Fisher and Stuart Hall in particular




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