Blaise Drummond, La Facade Libre (Live Forever in Perfect Health and Happiness), 20011 oil , acrylic and collage on canvas
Highlanes Gallery is delighted to announce the opening of Utopia Ltd. The exhibition curated by two exhibiting artists Mary-Ruth Walsh and David Mabb and was first shown at Wexford Arts Centre earlier this year. Utopia Ltd. was selected for the annual Drogheda Arts Festival visual arts strand at Highlanes Gallery. The exhibition will feature additional new work from a number of the artists.
The exhibition opening and launch of the Drogheda Arts Festival will be performed by Gerald Nash T.D.
Utopia Ltd. explores the relationship between utopian ideas and commodification, bringing together artwork by Blaise Drummond, Brendan Earley, Pil and Galia Kollectiv, David Mabb, Lizi Sanches and Mary-Ruth Walsh. The seven artists’ work opens up a dialogue on the utopian within painting, sculpture, architecture, design and video. By rescuing, reclaiming, remapping and rebuilding, Utopia Ltd. suggests that utopian ideas persist in contemporary art, making a provocative demand on the viewer’s “capacity to produce social dreams of their own – as part of a moment of utopian praxis’.
The exhibition’s title Utopia Ltd. is a satirical echo of an operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan, Utopia (Limited) or, The Flowers of Progress (1893), in which a utopian colony is turned into a joint stock company. But it is also more immediately influenced by Matthew Beaumont’s book Utopia Ltd. Ideologies of Social Dreaming in England, 1870-1900.
David Mabb lives and works in London. His work investigates the social and political implications of the textile and wallpaper designs of 19th Century interior designer, writer and activist William Morris.
Mary-Ruth Walsh lives and works in Wexford and Dublin. Her work explores the heroic ideals of modernism through an investigation of the way people move, behave and inhabit architectural space.
An exhibition guide and programme of events will accompany the exhibition.
Utopia Ltd. continues until 3 August, 2011.