Darran McGlynn (b.1983) is an artist from Inishowen, Co. Donegal, who lives in Galway, Ireland. He is currently based at ArtSpace Studios. His practice incorporates sculpture, installation, photography, text and various printed media. Recent activity includes Mopus Operandi, 2022, a new text composition printed in TOLD screen printed journal published by Small Night Projects and launched at the RHA, Dublin in October 2022. He has been awarded a solo exhibition at Roscommon Arts Centre in 2023 by curator Valeria Cerigini, as the joint penultimate award of the With Other Matter exhibitions curated by Naomi Draper at Roscommon Arts Centre through 2022. There is a notable sense of humour throughout his work that combines personal, social and political reflection. In 2019 he presented PEERS, his third self executed solo exhibition that brought together many elements of his multifaceted practice at Artlink, Fort Dunree. In 2015 his neon text Sculptures of Horses Sell Well was selected by Mark Wallinger and Maoliosa Boyle for Horse, Void, Derry.
> ARTIST'S STATEMENT
My art practice is multi-disciplinary and incorporates sculpture, installation, photography, text and various printed media. I am exploring contemporary Being through the lenses of culture, psychology, philosophy and psychoanalysis. I have a particular interest in Eastern philosophy and Buddhist practice and how it contrasts with my own quasi-Catholic Irish culture in the contemporary landscape. My texts are sometimes only one word and explore themes surrounding subjectivity, language and communication. The underlying characteristic humour in the work reflects my personal experiences combined with social and political reflection. The work is informed by conceptual art, minimalism, land art and prior practice in modernist, classical and found sculpture. I combine traditional and contemporary techniques using materials as diverse as marble, paper, fabric, signage and lighting and I develop exhibitions in a site-specific, installation based format.
> FURTHER READING (edited)
"'PEERS', the chosen title (for 2019 solo exhibition) can usefully serve to indicate the gloriously limitless capacity for reflexivity within the contemporary condition in which ‘Appropriation has ceased to have a critical function or reading in and of itself. It is a given, a condition many young artists were born into (or after)’ (Matthew Thompson, ‘The Object Lost and Found.’ catalogue essay for The Anxiety of Photography. Aspen Art Museum, 2011) with the word ‘peer’ defining and situating the artist, the art and the audience as all mutually constitutive of a contemporary visual culture, rather than the artist, at one remove, making art as any form of subjective or exterior study."
- Declan Sheehan,
Independent Writer & Curator, 2019.
'There’s an obsession with borders that runs through much of McGlynn’s work. Not necessarily those of countries, more of personal and societal nature, though living in Ireland, issues of border are never far away. We are ‘packaged’ as people within blocks of data, processed by our leisure habits and put on lists according to our lifestyle and ability to pay. Sees the Day, Goes Home (2014) is again a playful mocking of our self-delusions of control. Bound (2015) does what it says on the tin. Bound by exactly what it leaves somewhat ironically open.
McGlynn has always had a way with words. His Derry is the New London (2013) t-shirt is still one of my favourite bits of subversive branding during the Derry-Londonderry UK City of Culture Year. McGlynn’s work is notable in its use of humour to explore our relations with our surrounds. How we create our own little kingdoms. The blocks of life and how we survive (or don’t) within them. In Untitled (Lego) (2011) we literally see these blocks in a carpark of a chateau mocking its pretensions and somehow as modern internet parlance would have it, ‘owning it’.
The artist is aware of the ridiculous nature of our contemporary society but doesn’t take the easy way out and mock those (i.e. most of us) that have little real choice in how we interact with the powers that be. Instead he gently yet somehow quite savagely points out the flaws in a consumerism that mutates and changes even our concepts of society and nature.'
- Gregory McCartney,
Independent Curator, 2015.
READ THE FULL TEXTS HERE.