Saturday, 31 January 2015

The Means and the Instruments - Michael Mulvihill - Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland

Last week artist Michael Mulvihill gave an artist talk and spoke about his current exhibition, The Means and the Instruments at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland. At the weekend I visited the exhibition.



"Mulvihill is fascinated by the Cold War, and tells the story of when he was growing up as a child in the Eighties, running home from school to see whether he could beat the 'four minute' attack warning that would signal nuclear annihilation. He failed, it took him 6 minutes. This biographical anecdote is used to focus his attentions on broader geopolitical narratives of that era. 


The exhibition features a number of delicate pencil drawings based on the Vulcan XL319 aircraft                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

By appropriating the iconography of the Vulcan aircraft and reframing it through his typically delicate pencil drawings, Mulvihill conflates global histories with a more personal tenor."



Although I had seen good quality images of Michael's work through his artist talk, the intricate details on Michael's postage stamp sized works cannot be viewed properly unless you are looking at the work first hand.



I am curious about how Michael's decided to position the individual drawings over two walls. They were fairly evenly spaced, with no dense or sparse areas or direction to the flow of images. There did not appear to be any guidelines determining the positioning of the images. Sometimes highly detailed images were at the top of the walls, preventing the viewer from admiring the drawing.



http://www.ngca.co.uk/exhibs/default.asp?id=216&prnt=18

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