Thursday, September 7, 1995 to Saturday, October 7, 1995

    Swimming to the Surface is the first Canadian exhibition by Irish artist Andrew Kearney. Concerned with the problem of memory, the physical fact of the human body, and the role of cultural environments in shaping behaviour, Kearney’s installation will offer Gallery viewers the opportunity to engage with the complex and compelling work of an artist whose practice is earning increasing international recognition. Swimming to the Surface is an installation that uses natural and manufactured objects, images, sounds and light. The work places the viewer in a shifting, enigmatic environment whose meaning is not fixed, but relies upon his or her involvement, interpretation and experience for its completion. The installation addresses a range of sense –tactile, visual and auditory. It employs modifications to the Gallery which treat the entire space as an environment for experience –not abstract, but permeated with intensely symbolic, if mysterious, forms, images and sounds. Generous plaster casts of classical, acorn-like shapes are scattered across the floor of the Gallery. A large, wall-mounted photograph illustrates the mold used to make the plaster casts. The acoustic environment of the Gallery is pushed and pulled by the sounds of moving water, which alternate between a gentle pressure of lapping tides and the violent impact of waves breaking against the shore. Florescent light contrasts with the changing patterns of daylight admitted through windows. The synthesis of these diverse elements is a compelling example of an approach to contemporary art practice that orchestrates experience yet exposes its own methods to view.