I AM WHAT YOU’VE COME TO SEE
VOID GALLERY, DERRY UNTIL 1st NOVEMBER 2019
“In all works of fiction there belies an agreement that the reader/the viewer will allow for a suspension of disbelief. In this exhibition I Am What You've Come To See, the artist Sonia Shiel has transformed the three gallery spaces into a circular narrative, casting the audience as its central protagonist. The viewer is compelled to move through the galleries by a series of scripted audio-visual instructions, strategic objects and obtuse props that feign seemingly ungovernable chances - in a shape-shifting journey that is entirely staged.
The use of text, stagings, props and painting are preoccupations in Shiel’s practice. These works are both performative and self-referential with the central narrative being an instructional conversation between the artwork and its maker. The paintings portray various landscape/natural elements and patterns, imprecise geometries, and translucent planes of colour and shape. Mimicking a digital landscape that encompasses both the archaeological and futuristic, the works have mobile components which, when activated, suggest how mysterious and magical qualities might influence the directions we take, even in the presence of intent.
Shiel’s expansive practice shifts us between the fantastical and the real and often refers to our impotency within world affairs while celebrating the notion of agency and our endevours to affect change.”
Curated By Mary Cremin. Opens at Void, Derry, September 5th 2019, 6pm.