Location: Coopers Fine Art
Phil Irish Makeshift April 13 – April 28 Opening Friday April 13, 2012, 6- 9 pm. Coopers Fine Art 111 Bathurst St, SE corner of Bathurst and Adelaide, 2nd Floor. Toronto, Ontario. Makeshift is a painterly environment that holds creation and destruction in tension. A collage at an architectural scale, Makeshift has evolved through putting painterly representation under great strain. There is a rich practice of painting: layered in surface, mark making, visual languages, and the array of images. Irish has undone this constructive labour, however, slicing and puncturing it with a knife. He has then reassembled the fragments and shards to create a symbolic interior space. The fragments are assembed spatially, unfurling across the room, in a way that is both vital and searching. This is not a firm resolution, but a provisional answer, open to revision and change. The structure is fragile, perhaps about to fall apart. It is a synthesis that is riddled with doubt. This discourse of doubt and transformation is particularly poignant when expressed through the image of a house. The imagery is of a kind of home, but a home where everything is contingent and shifting, where inside and outside are confounded, and where a longing to construct is contending with a destructive energy. In our culture, the house is often conceived as a still point in our hectic lives. For Peter King, its purpose is to conserve and protect our intimacy. It is about quietness, remembering, and pausing. In this sense, dwelling is not concerned with transformation. In contrast to this stasis and intimate safety, Makeshift presents us with a most un-safe house, where the greatest aspects of ones inner life are at stake and, terrifyingly, transformation is precisely what is hoped for.