“One weekend in Dorset I discovered Oisin’s flowers... their beauty overpowering all the beauty that surrounds you at the home he shares with Jasper. Unexpected, wild, flowing vibrant colours so drenched in their shades they were almost violent. The marks writhing, dancing, growing across the paper. It was heart stopping. And he was so modest about them - submerged in film-making at the time and particularly with language and song - these works were strewn like flowers across his studio. I never got them out of my mind and last year when he posted a particularly beautiful piece we started a conversation about how we could show them. Luckily for me .. he loves our clothes and particularly our knits... and perhaps after this last year of lockdown he was deeper into these works and was now ready to show them. I am just so very happy he decided to show them with me.”
– Isabel Ettedgui, Connolly
Connolly is showing 13 large-scale works by Oisin Byrne, titled Cut Flowers.
Made with wax crayon on cotton paper during last year.
“During lockdown Byrne’s sometime tendency to paint vases of flowers that were just on the turn - holding it together but just becoming floppy and about to lose petals and leaves - became a fuller focus of his work. The works are big and splashy and feel deceptively joyous. During filming of a text on intimacy and desire these works filled the studio. The flowers hover just before sadness and loss; still beautiful but about to break down and become something else. It was as though we were all cut flowers, alive but without the things that normally feed us. Describing someone in Ireland as a ‘Tulip’ is either to say that they are probably homosexual but that they may be full of ‘notions’, unrealistic, prone to fancies.”
– Vaari Claffey, Independent Curator
Oisin Byrne (b.1983) is an Irish visual artist, writer and film-maker based in London. He received his BA from NCAD Dublin, and his MFA from Goldsmiths University London. Byrne’s work has been exhibited internationally in institutions including Salzburger Kunstverein, Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and Princeton University. His work is substantially represented in the Irish State Collection. His writing has been published in Eros Press and Pilot Press, with upcoming writing in MA Bibliotheque’s anthology work ‘ON CARE’ and in The Happy Hypocrite’s final edition ‘Without Reduction’. Byrne also works as a creative consultant to film-maker Sophie Fiennes, with “Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami” premiering at Toronto Film Festival.
He is an associate lecturer at Central Saint Martins and London College of Communications.
“I am a practicing artist working across film, writing, painting and performance. Writing informs all aspects of my practice which often creates intimate and expanded portraiture, through research, language and image making.
My work - often collaborative in nature - documents, engages and activates a broad community. Joseph Noonan-Ganley, writing about my work in 2010, wrote that a community is formed precisely where it is impossible to represent one.”
– Oisin Byrne
Cut Flowers, An Exhibition by Oisin Byrne will take place upstairs at Connolly 4 Clifford Street from the 2nd of June until
the 8th of September.
4 Clifford Street, London, W1S 2LG