Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Paul Rooney commission at The Storey in Lancaster

A new text-based art work by visual artist Paul Rooney has been unveiled at The Storey Creative Industries Centre in Lancaster on 30th March 2011. The work was co-commissioned by Storey Gallery and Litfest, and is located along the first floor Gallery corridor.

Storey Gallery and Litfest are the two arts organisations based in the The Storey, and share the main first-floor corridor of the building. The work is intended as a symbolic reflection of the work of both organisations. Very sadly, both organisations recently learned that they have lost their Arts Council funding. Carol Ann Duffy wrote a poem decrying the cuts which was published in The Guardian on 9 April and here: She mentions Litfest in the first line.

The Paul Rooney commission is centred around a supposed artwork consisting of the two names of ancient Greek representatives of writing and sculpture - Homer and Hephaestus. The fictional installer of this artwork has apparently overstepped his brief and added a series of footnotes, spiraling out across the surrounding walls, creating a complex and humorous narrative.

Paul Rooney works in a range of media including film, video, sound, and text. Storey Gallery exhibited one of his recent films, La Decision Doypack, in the gallery in 2009. His works often deal with the historical past as recollected by real or fictional individuals, and are heavily layered with cultural references that immerse the viewer in a complex world of reality and artifice. 

Rooney lives in Liverpool, where he was born in 1967. He is a prolific artist with an extensive track record of worldwide exhibitions, residencies, and fellowships. He has had solo projects at Ikon, Birmingham; Cubitt, London, and Matt’s Gallery, London; and he has participated in group shows at Tate Britain; Tate Liverpool; Kunst-Werke, Berlin; Galeria Casa Gaia, Havana; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; and the touring exhibition British Art Show 6. In 2008 he was winner of the second Northern Art Prize.

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