James Earley Things Fall Apart

 

Thursday May 24th, 2018 sees the launch of Things Fall Apart, the debut solo exhibition by James Earley, one of Ireland’s most exciting contemporary artists. Internationally renowned for his large-scale street art, this new body of work is a celebration of stained glass and the myriad of characteristics it reveals, a re-imagining of the traditional art form, fusing centuries old techniques with contemporary processes and materials. It is a homage to James’ ancestral artistic heritage, 19th century stained glass creators Earley & Company, and further inspiration comes by way of their contemporaries, the magnificent, ground-breaking works of Harry Clarke, Evie Hone and Mainie Jellett. The result is Things Fall Apart, a collection that is exhilarating in its scale, intricacy and luminosity.

 

James Earley Things Fall Apart

 

Things Fall Apart is a new chapter in Earley’s artistic progression, a conscious decision to fuse his large scale mural work with his studio practice. There is tangible, authentic passion when the artist speaks about stained glass, an art form linked so intrinsically with religion and overlooked by many. Earley aims to break this conception and reinvigorate this arresting artistic process, elevating stained glass from a passive, decorative form to a progressive, contemporary art form. As James says: “Stained glass is a wonder in its very process of creation and its materiality. The dramatic presence it commands within a space through its tone, texture and scale makes for a wholly unique experience. Our national heritage in stained glass is remarkable, and for the large part neglected, I’d like to revive the practice and produce high quality,modern, Irish stained glass works with a global reach.”

 

James Earley Things Fall Apart

 

James’ distinctive style has always been informed and inspired by his family’s rich artistic heritage. Founded in 1864 by Thomas Earley and Edward Powell, and located on Dublin’s Camden Street, Earley & Company produced stained glass and ecclesiastical furnishings, at one point employing over 100 people. They were one of the most significant businesses working in stained glass and marble throughout Ireland and the UK from the mid-19th century, into the late 20th century. Thousands of Earley & Company’s works can be found in cathedrals, churches and ecclesiastical buildings across the world, including Australia and Argentina. There is a clear connect between the large-scale intricate stained glass works by the great Earley & Company craftsmen and, more than 160 years later, James Earley’s own supersized public art installations of the 21st century. Indeed, the spectacular grisaille window that Earley & Company created and installed in St. Kevin’s Church, on Harrington Street in Dublin in 1903 remains the largest of its kind in Ireland today, while James’ immense Blooms Hotel, Dublin hand painted façade mural, created in 2014, remains Ireland’s largest piece of public art to date.

 

James Earley Things Fall Apart

 

The collection of works in Things Fall Apart are a mixture of old and new materials and processes, embracing technology and fusing it with traditional disciplines such as stained glass, silkscreen printing and painting. There are several, complex treatments employed, unique materials demanding a unique approach. Earley’s creative process evolves from pen sketches and is refined on computer and then realised using a mixture of machining and hand crafting. Materials that are featured in the works include stained glass, laser cut Perspex, UV cured pigment, enamel paint and synthetic polymer on aluminium. There are also silkscreens on paper and dyed silks.

 

James Earley Things Fall Apart

 

James Earley: Things Fall Apart will run from Thursday May 24th to Sunday June 3rd, 2018 at Dollard House, 5 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2. The exhibition will be open daily from midday to 7pm.

See www.jamese.ie for more information on the artist, the exhibition, previews and more.