Darran McGlynn (b. 1983) is an artist from Inishowen, Co. Donegal, who lives in Galway, Ireland where he is based at ArtSpace Studios. His practice incorporates sculpture, installation, photography, appropriation, writing, text and printed media. Recent exhibitions include With Other Matter curated by Naomi Draper at Roscommon Arts Centre, Jan-Mar 2022. In 2019 he presented PEERS, his third solo exhibition, bringing together many elements of his multifaceted practice at Artlink, at the Inishowen tourist site of Fort Dunree. There is a notable sense of humour throughout his work that is combined with personal, social and political reflection. In 2015 his neon text Sculptures of Horses Sell Well was selected by Mark Wallinger and Maoliosa Boyle for Horse, Void, Derry, and exhibited alongside Mark Wallinger, Henry Moore and George Stubbs amongst others.
> ARTIST'S STATEMENT
My art practice is multi-disciplinary and incorporates sculpture, installation, photography, appropriation, writing, text and printed media. I explore contemporary Being through the lenses of popular culture, psychology, psychoanalysis and philosophy with a particular interest in Eastern philosophy and Buddhist practice and how it contrasts with my own quasi-Catholic Irish culture. My texts and poems, sometimes only one word, explore themes surrounding language, communication and subjectivity. My personal viewpoints can be seen/are reflected through the underlying humour in the work informed by personal, social and political reflection. I am influenced by conceptual art and minimalism with an appreciation of classical, modernist and found sculpture. I use a wide range of traditional and contemporary materials and techniques to develop individual pieces and I realise my exhibitions in an installation or site-specific 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 2013 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.