Belfast Telegraph

Art: Duncan 'fly-ing' with old museum show

By Elizabeth Baird

LAST week I mentioned the current Jean Duncan exhibition, entitled "The Fly", in the Old Museum, and this week I went to see it and was certainly not disappointed.

LAST week I mentioned the current Jean Duncan exhibition, entitled "The Fly", in the Old Museum, and this week I went to see it and was certainly not disappointed.

It is an exciting show, full of innovative thought, visual inspiration and a wonderful sense of 'oneness' between the poetry "The Fly" by William Blake; the music, composed by talented young composer Deirdre McKay, and Jean Duncan's visual imagery.

As well as an exhibition it is an installation which creates a complete experience. Paintings and prints fill the walls, music for clarinet and voice fills the air and light bounces of perspex etchings which hang, laced together, from the ceiling.

The addition of verse in this series is a new dimension in the artist's exploration of music through painting and print, a fascination which she has had since the mid- 1990s.

The painted images dart from thought to thought, all linked by dashing black lines '...which echo the trajectory of a fly and the artists imaginative leaps of thought.' (Amanda Croft in the catalogue introduction). The printed images are bouncing lines which jump along unpredict- ably over Blake's verse, written in a well controlled hand.

Plenty of innovative thought here, combined with subtle, at times delicate imagery, particularly in the printed pieces.

The exhibition continues until March 16.

Meanwhile, just opened in the Saint Patrick Centre, Downpatrick, is an exhibition of sculpture by Mourne artist Michael McCawley.

Entitled 'The Binding Hour', much of the work is based on the mythology of ancient Ireland which, for him, is '...an incredibly rich source of inspiration...'

Michael says his sculpture, "...tends towards the geometric, the mechanical and the organic in nature..." and much of the material he uses is found in the mountains - slate, wood and even old agricultural machinery.

Apparently he doesn't actually search for objects but says "...they seem to find me!..."

Michael's inventive work is currently the subject of a television documentary to be shown in the Spring.

You can also see more of it on www.irishscultpure.co.uk

Finally M.I.L.K. in the Ulster Museum. It stands for - Moments of Intimacy, Laughter and Kinship - and is described as 'the photographic event of our time'.

The 300 images are '...the result of a global search for extraordinary and geographically diverse images of family life, friendship and love', selected by Magnum photographer Erwin Elliott. Ends on March 1.

Belfast Telegraph

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