The Artist's Eye: Paddy Bloomer
19 September–17 November, 2018
Opening Tuesday 18 September, 6–8pm
Acknowledging the crucial role artists play in influencing and shaping other artistic practices, The Artist’s Eye series asks those exhibiting in Gallery 1 to invite an artist of significant influence to present their work in Gallery 2. In this fourth instalment of the series, Seamus Harahan has invited Paddy Bloomer.
Bloomer’s creations of ‘machines that don't exactly work’ present a humorous and critical challenge to the dysfunctional and irrational technologies that drive societal change. Working mostly with the found detritus of technology, Bloomer presents hybrid experiments that move across diverse concerns and boundaries, placing himself and his work within the technological landscape and the many challenges and opportunities, as well as dangers, that underpin its unfettered development. His interests lie in finding and exploiting unusual power sources, waste disposal sites, and health and safety legislation, and in subverting public infrastructure towards alternative forms of mobility and human settlement. This highly collaborative practice engages with a wide range of communities and found materials through extensive and immersive fieldwork and it is out of these encounters that the artist orchestrates new work and activates new sites of concern.
Virtual Reality Kayak transforms discarded election posters into a working kayak, inverted and suspended as a sculptural installation in the gallery. Contained within the kayak is a video display showing footage of the vessel being successfully launched by Bloomer on a lake in Fermanagh.
Paddy Bloomer is an artist, inventor, explorer and plumber based in Belfast. Bloomer studied fine and applied art at University of Ulster, Belfast, 1995–2000, and has exhibited extensively in Ireland and abroad including: The Imagined City Bus Tour, Household, Belfast, 2016; Tang, Geopark Festival, Korevlerne, Denmark, 2015; How things might go, Belfast International Festival of Performance Art, T13, 2015; Meat Clunk, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, 2015; Vstop prost / Admission free, Celje, Slovenia, 2010; L’art en Europe, Domaine Pomery, Rheims, France, 2008; Anticipation*, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, 2006;The nature of things*, Northern Ireland at Venice, 2005; EV+A, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick, 2003. Working extensively in the public realm, Bloomer’s public art and outreach commissions include: Tchimi public art commissions for An Munia Tober Belfast; Machinations. Various projects working with Men’s Sheds groups for Big Telly 2009; Ariel photography workshop, Belfast photo festival, 2014; Temporary places, Skegoniel, with PS2, Belfast, 2013; Village works, Ballykinler, with PS2, 2011. Bloomer was a regular contributor to the Vacuum free newspaper in Belfast, 2003–2011.
*In collaboration with Nicholas Keogh.