Monday, 06 July, 6-9pm

Opening hours from 15-18 July

Wed-Fri 1-5pm, Sat 11am-3pm

Playing of Minds

Stephanie Harper, Marc Dunlop

Ends 18 July 2015

Playing of Minds is an exhibition of new etchings by Stephanie Harper and Marc Dunlop created during their residency at the Belfast Print Workshop (BPW) as part of its graduate award scheme.

Stephanie Harper writes about her work on show
'This is a new series of etchings created in the Belfast Print Workshop. The graduate membership award gave me the opportunity to try etching for the first time and these pieces have been made through trial and error during the course of a year. Imagination is of the highest importance, of the themes motivating me to create this work. Through playing with imagination, almost as a childhood play, I have been creating a satire or parody to modern society’s need for escapism. When looking at these pieces I wish to create the atmosphere of escaping into a new world, much like how one may feel when enjoying a good book or movie, that everyday life is forgotten for even a moment. My world of the imaginary is created through using nature and pattern; nature being an escape from work and everyday life for many, shown by the numerous parks, moments of nature, dotted throughout the city.
Also imaginary mechanical devices have come into play taking Leonardo Da Vinci’s wooden inventions as inspiration. The mechanical elements in these pieces are a symbol to the cogs of the brain turning and thinking. It is the workings of the brain which have created, invented, my imaginative fantasy.
I have found etching itself to be a slow methodical process, which suits the work perfectly, a fine needle used on a copper plate has allowed me to create every miniature detail. Beetles have come into play frequently; they are inspired by those which you find pinned to cabinets in museums, telling stories of faraway places and past times, again creating another part to my imaginative story which I wish to read to the viewer.'

Stephanie Harper- etching

Stephanie Harper- etching

Marc Dunlop comments on his work
'The fundamental centre of my practice exists in the predominant use of variations in imagery, created by layering images on top of one another, and therefore inventing a new image existing in a visual style that references both intrigue and fascination. The overall objective of these pieces is to no longer read the individual images used to compose the print, but a new reality within the conjured elements of the new image, which questions the relationship between subject matter and content. I gather an extensive arrangement of different source materials, primarily images from websites, magazines, newspapers and film stills. These have been chosen due to their unusual scenarios as well as the ominous figures dominating scenes, coming together to make almost dystopian scenarios. Each finished print is inhabited with bizarre and unusual figures within dangerous and unsettling worlds, which suspended against a blank space, implying a looming and inescapable threat. It is by integrating different imagery within the print that the distorted sense of reality and fantasy echoes the dystopia of modern society.
The prints delight in playing with blur and tone, yet on closer inspection, unveil how each separate drawing is a replication from source material. This play between reduplication and the pivoting force of the abstract field is conceptually inspired by my interest in how images are photographically reproduced. Abstraction is evident throughout each print and allows the human eye to consider subtleties in between each interlayered image, not unlike the hazy state of dreams. Details fall away from the unconscious as others reveal themselves and allow the work to decode. Individually, some elements may not add up, however, upon stepping back to look at the image as a whole, the viewer can see the integrated image as it should be. Finally it is left to the viewer to unravel meaning, what is dominant within the work, what figurative elements dominate, what recedes into an abstract message.'