20 / 1 / 12 – 23 / 2 / 12

The Black Mariah is pleased to present Crystal Cabinet, a solo exhibition by Angela Fulcher from 20 January – 23 February 2012.

Peeking through the venetian blinds of 1960s Ireland, what might you see: a protest calling for political change? Or the colourful plumage of an exotic bird? Probably neither. For Crystal Cabinet, Fulcher has returned from the nomadic festival circuit to a new home – a time capsule from the decade often associated with social and sexual liberation. In the context of the artist’s practice, the title nods to an investigative juncture between the binary philosophies of new age spiritualism and, let us call it, conventional living. The cabinet is a private museum to display wares, useless in their preciousness, as an indication of the individual’s material wealth. A mode of presentation that says: “look, but don’t touch!” The talismanic power of the crystal, on the other hand, must be touched, held for natural protection and healing for whatever ails you – a psychic surgery that cuts through the cynical commodification of a countercultural worldview.

The preserved interiors of the house inspire the materials for Fulcher’s re-evaluations and precise reconfigurations of carpets, curtains, wallpaper. Incisions and folds create the sculptures, simultaneously fighting and nurturing the commodity status of these bright and muddy-coloured objects – the handy-work of a non-traditional housekeeper. Second-hand dresses sourced from thrift and charity stores drape the walls in pseudo-emblematic forms; a circular skirt, cleanly slashed and bearing oriental characters, signifying who knows what, becomes a present-day Phaistos disc awaiting meaningful analysis. The durable decorations that were meant to last a lifetime feature side by side with the magpie pickings of cast-off trends and fads.

The narrative link between these sculptural works is a five-foot composite photograph splicing together the pebble-dashed gateposts of an ordinary housing estate. A visual motif of the artist’s process runs through the image, inspired by a childhood game of imagination: with the tip of her finger, the artist would slice through the concrete world of status quo urbanism to expose and reconnect to the true nature of things. What began as homage to undocumented work became a time-specific exploration; In re-imagining would-be forgotten objects, the artist unlocks the crystal cabinet of trapped ideas and things.

Angela Fulcher is a visual artist living and working in Cork City. She is a graduate of the Crawford College of Art and completed a MA in Visual Arts Practices at IADT, Dún Laoghaire. Recent exhibitions have been at The Guesthouse Project in Cork, Occupy Space and Askeaton Contemporary Arts in Limerick, The Niland Gallery in Galway and Broadstone Studios in Dublin. Working in the mediums of sculpture, installation and photography, recent work has explored spaces of organised leisure and the shared codes of understanding in how to use these spaces. Her artwork borrows from the design of these spaces and their abstract inference of possibilities and maneuvers.

Crystal Cabinet is curated by Mary Conlon.

00353 21 4272022

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