Art at Dublin Airport: Two Artists’ Work Currently On show In Terminal 2
During my couple of weekend trips through Dublin Airport’s still relatively new Terminal 2 building, I was interested to note that the DAA is finding time to slot some new artworks into its flagship terminal. I have to admit to not being in a particularly artistic frame of mind at the time due to the effects of cancelled and delayed flights but it’s nice to have something to look at when you are feeling stressed.
Faces of Ireland is an exhibition of 250 photographs by photographer Kevin Abosch that has taken him two years to produce. He has made portraits to represent the people of the 32 counties of contemporary Ireland. Each photograph is 44 inches square and all have identical backgrounds and formality of styling. In the exhibition, the photographer has placed famous figures alongside the not so famous and the not at all famous. Abosch decided to display the portraits without captions apparently to ‘democratise’ the display, treating the great and the good the same as everyone else.
I am not so sure that this achieves the desired result; after all, if we are going to recognise the faces of the great anyway I do not really see that there is any point in not captioning them. It also has the oddly reverse effect of rendering the non-public figures more anonymous, as we obviously cannot put a name to the face. It becomes an exhibition of ‘some-bodies’ and ‘nobodies’ in effect. He could perhaps have given all of the faces names instead; this would arguably have been just as democratic.
It would also have been more representative to have used ordinary people throughout rather than included famous faces that we see constantly on television. I wonder if using a few celebrity faces in the project enabled the artist to more readily ‘sell’ the idea to the DAA. Nevertheless, the photographs have been well executed and I wish I’d had more time to look at them; maybe next time. The faces at the exhibition are set to raise money for a worthy cause as the proceeds from the sale of an exhibition catalogue and a hard backed coffee table book will go to the DAA’s charity of the year which for 2011 is ‘3Ts – Turning the Tide of Suicide’.
Moving from people to animals, another artist featured by the DAA this year is painter Nicola Russell. Her striking portrait of champion hurdler Istabraq (the Big Horse Painting) was unveiled at Punchestown earlier this year and is now in pride of place at Dublin Airport. The 13’ by 10’ canvas is displayed in T2 in the departures area, before the security check so anyone may go along and see it. The portrait of this equine celebrity, voted Ireland’s favourite racehorse in 2009, will be on show at the airport until spring 2012. I suppose that is one public figure that probably needs no caption if you are a racing fan; keep your eyes peeled for famous faces next time you travel!