Blaise Smith: Schoolwork
Opening Reception Thursday 17 March at 6pm • Opening by Peter Barry
Schoolwork is a series of sixteen paintings detailing the everyday life of Presentation College, a co‐educational secondary school in Carlow. The school commissioned the artist as part of the 1% for Art Scheme.
The series is a contemporary portrait of the school, and by extension the education system of today. Blaise Smith painted daily in the classrooms from September 2011 to the first day of the Leaving Certificate in May 2012. Portraying events from the mundane minutiae to the fully present and engaged class participant, Smith’s work describes the visual language and the mechanics of the school thus enabling the viewer to observe and reflect upon the community of the school.
However, Smith’s grasp of the contemporary has a view to the historic. In referencing the techniques of the past using oil on gesso panel, Smith deliberately paints for posterity. He paints from life because it is his belief that “these paintings will last several hundred years and will provide future generations with a window into our world”. Smith questions how we perceive the importance of a portrait’s identity with the passing of time, how it becomes less of a portrait and becomes much more a record of an activity or a way of life.
Schoolwork will be displayed in the historic Sculpture Galleries of the Crawford Art Gallery creating new conversations and contexts around Blaise Smith’s engaging series.
Blaise Smith was born in 1967. He has exhibited widely and has won many awards, commissions and been selected in numerous juried exhibitions notably the RHA Annual in Dublin and the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, London. He was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 2012.
Monday 10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 20:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00