Limerick, Ireland
Greg Howie, (..., 2011, glass, racket straps, dimensions variables, courtesy the artist

Greg Howie

b. 1989, Ireland

Our understanding of materials is mediated by the object or product they have been made into; aluminium is associated with cans, cars and wire; our understanding of glass is mediated through our familiarity with glass windows or bottles. In a similar way gold is associated with its adaptability for jewellery making. This understanding comes to us from a narrow context which shapes the form and function of the material. By removing these elements from this common context and examining them through a sculptural and pseudoscientific methodology, other facets of a substance’s inherent materiality can be revealed.

Using basic elemental materials such as aluminium, gold, silver, iron, lead, glass and concrete, Howie tries to create situations where those materials are manipulated to a point where they become performative and where our understanding of these everyday substances is examined. This manipulation focuses the work on a critical point, the point when one thing becomes another, the point/ moment when a substance changes state. Placing a sheet of glass under tension, into a curve, creates two opposing forces giving the piece a performative element, its precarious nature rooting the piece in the present, at a point in time. Glass is characterised as being a cold, hard, brittle material. The use of plate glass as a sculptural material here allows it to be seen as strong, flexible, elastic, almost liquid.

Greg Howie is a graduate of the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and a founding member of BASIC SPACE, Dublin.

(Text: EVA 2012, After the Future catalogue)

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