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Visual Artist based in Ireland.

Monday, 23 September 2013

"5th Wheel Element Project" by Kathy O'Leary

"5th Wheel Element Project" by Kathy O'Leary

Review by Susan Hobbs Edwards
Pallas Projects Studios
August, 2013

One approaches the entry way of the studio building to a door and walks up a ramp embedded with 5 wheels and a simply drawn circle in the cement. There is an immediate awareness of entering a new perspective of living. In fact, Ms. O’Leary had the ramp put in at her request to enable her easier access to her own exhibition. Not only does she actively engage others to be part of her perspective, she is always creating new methods and pathways for this to be expanded for herself.

Those embedded wheels are also found fixated on a wall, meshing and interacting much as she hopes she will enable participation and inclusion of a reality she lives and practices. Within the space of her exhibition are a multitude of holistic symbols centred in the mystical and physical realities of life. The circular objects of the wheel are synthetic ready-made, used in the construction of cement reinforcement structures. They are a physical and symbolic reminder of the strength and support the human body needs to function in our living spaces. Her documentation, digital photography prints and installations give images of human obstacles and humour to meet those challenges. The audio and visual work of Clogging Cogs give a metaphor of transformation and change.

The most symbolic part of her exhibition is the title itself… “The 5th Wheel Element.”  Elements are those basic parts of the Universe that encompass all living entities; wind, water, earth and fire. For thousands of years, the 5th element has been Spirit. It is the breath of Life and the manifestation of the other four elements. How fitting that an art work and practice which helps to question the perception of normality is informed from a most basic concept of Spirit.

Susan Hobbs Edwards.
Susan is an artist, curator and writer. She is currently studying her Master Degree, Art in The Contemporary World at NCAD,