VISUAL is pleased to present Many Hands, a large-scale sculptural commission and related exhibition by Irish artist Jane Fogarty. Fogarty was the recipient of the inaugural YPCE funding from the Arts Council of Ireland. This in turn enabled the development of this project.
Fogarty’s practice is rooted in sculpture and drawing, but she maintains a parallel practice working with children and young people. This formed the basis of the research phase of Many Hands. Fogarty developed workshops that engaged with the process of designing a public sculpture. Through this process, she worked with more than 120 children and young people. These kids coming from The Grange NS, Rathoe NS, Suantraí Montessori and VISUAL’s transition year programme, to imagine what this sculpture could be.
From these engagements, Fogarty has developed the final work in steel, jesmonite, plaster and paint. A large-soaring arch frames a collection of rock-like forms at its base. Then the colours evoke not the natural world but the primary and pastel colours of markers and classrooms. These simple shapes combine in a structure that falls somewhere between manmade and naturally occurring, as if from another world. Its setting in front of VISUAL presents a strong aesthetic juxtaposition with the imposing concrete, metal, and glass of VISUAL’s façade.
A wide selection of the maquettes, models and other materials generated by Fogarty’s workshop are on display in the upstairs Lobby Gallery in VISUAL, allowing the viewer to trace the evolution of the final work from its beginnings. Also included is a scale model of the VISUAL building and campus, and making materials, that allows people to propose their own public sculptures for the site.