Past Exhibition

Three Projects

Gareth McConnell - 11 June to 23 July 2004

Opening 11 June, 7 to 9pm. All Welcome

My Grandfather's House, 2002
Photographs of interiors and details from a deceased relative's home, shortly before the contents were cleared for auction. The interior of the house is shrouded in darkness while outside daylight prowls. A distressed 1960s aesthetic; flock wallpaper, florid soft furnishings, chintz and kitsch in the form of a life's belongings, with all their intimate associations fall out of focus. The centres of domestic life; the kitchen sink, the bedroom, the dining table, the couch are emptied of familial presence and activity. They become diffused in an insistent light that strikes through blinds and curtains. Absence pervades, memories and daydreams form, drift and dissolve into a relentless present.

Interiors and details from an abandoned undertaker's premises in Carrickfergus. The remains of rooms, where the deceased were prepared for burial, are preserved in their own state of decay. Damp walls rot, plaster cracks, papered surfaces succumb to fungal patina. Details on interior fittings echo images of the delicate trim on burial garments, palls and drapes. Almost all of these funereal rooms are tended by flowers. Flowers, and their abundant symbolisms, stretch through spaces mired in the conventions of death.

Details of Sectarian Murals, 1998 - 2003
A series of abstract visual extracts from political murals drawn across the Province. Denied their political and ideological references, the murals are reduced to purely aesthetic forms reminiscent of modern expressionist painting.

Artist's Biography

Gareth McConnell was born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland in 1972. He received his photographic training at West Surrey College of Art & Design and the Royal College of Art where on graduation he won the Painter-Stainers Prize for Photography. While studying for his Masters at the RCA he worked with Benetton's legendary art director Oliviero Toscani and completed commissions for Universal Music. He has exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art, the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts amongst others. His first book Wherever You Go was published by Lighthouse in 2002. He recently received a Fellowship from the University of Wales with which he plans to travel around the world. A monograph of his work 1995-2004 is co-published by Steidl and Photoworks in September this year. Gareth currently lives and works in London. An archive of his work is available to view at:
http://www.garethmcconnell.com/