IAN WIECZOREK - Visual Artist

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Things That Matter

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Things That Matter

curated show, McGing's Bar, Westport

Things That Matter was an open submission show devised and curated by Ian Wieczorek, presented in association with Westport Arts Festival 2011. The show ran from 30 September - 9 October 2011. The primary stipulation was that works responding to the proposed theme be made using actual beermats as a support/base material.
The show comprised 86 works by 47 artists from Ireland and beyond: Aisling Smyth, Amy McGovern, Angie Shanahan, Angie Shanahan, Barbara Trawinski, Benita Stoney, Betty Gannon, Breda Burns, Caroline Masterson, Catherine Ryan, Christine Prescott, Cormac O'Leary, Dearbhla 'Dee' Ryan, Emma Barone, Evelyn Horan, Fintan Friel, Grainne O’Reilly, Heather Gray, Ian Wieczorek, Jaks Mats, Jane O'Sullivan, Joan Murray, Joanne O'Malley, John Cullen, John Malone, Karena Ryan, Linda Ryder, Liubov Kadyrova, Marian McHale, Marie Louise, Marliese Hertfelder, Mary Lavelle-Burke, Mary O'Grady, Maureen Moran, Nager Rahimi, Orla O'Toole, Pam Gray, Peter Brennan, Richael Carroll, Ruth Cadden, Sinead Wall, Stephen Brown, Sue Kieper, Thérèse Duffy, Ursula Janig, Will O'Kane
With special thanks to Anthony Finnegan of McGing’s for facilitating the show.

Exhibition statement:

"Art on beermats? Why not? Things That Matter is an inventive and playful exhibition of visual art taking place in a bar (where could be more appropriate?) as part of Westport Arts Festival 2011. And as long as the work is made on or out of beermats, anything goes.
Things That Matter might seem a bit 'lightweight', a bit of fun, but there is a serious side to the show. Visual art has been traditionally confined to the formal gallery setting, which means that people who encounter it are those that have knowingly chosen to do so. There has been a conscious move in more recent years to take visual art out of this formal context, and place it in public spaces where people who are not necessarily self-proclaimed 'art lovers' can engage with a whole range of ideas and art practices. It means that art can be experienced without the elitist status that it is often still perceived.
Things That Matter takes the lowly beermat, and proposes that it can be as valid a vehicle for visual art as any medium. It opens this proposal up to the visual arts community and gives the opportunity to explore a less traditional or formal medium. It then presents artists' responses in possibly the most appropriate location for such work, a venue where the beermat is a familiar object, easily recognised. It also proposes that art is not about preciousness, rather it is about artistic invention and responsiveness. It explores possibilities, and deconstructs preconceptions. And there is no reason why Art can't be fun too. So, beermat art. Why not?"

- Ian Wieczorek
(catalogue text, 2011)

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