John Kindness: The Odyssey
The Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts is pleased to present The Odyssey, an exhibition of works by John Kindness, this December – February.
For this body of work, Kindness’ attention has centred on Homer’s Odyssey, the adventures and travails of the King of Ithaca. Kindness brings his virtuosity to various mediums and introduces novel strategies to represent the various episodes in the tale.
Inspired by James Joyce’s version of the Odyssey, Ulysses, Kindness drew from the detailed nature of the writing to inform the format of his visual representation. It is no coincidence that this body of work began its making in the years running up to 2022, the centennial of the publishing of James Joyce’s Ulysses.
The fundamental and timeless relevance of Greek mythology underpins Kindness’ endeavour and gives rise to his use of modern forms while staying faithful to Homer’s narrative and the natures of his characters. The hazards of Scylla and Charybdis are engraved onto a toilet seat, Odysseus’s teenage son listens to albums by ‘The Sirens’ and ‘The Gorgons’, and Poseidon makes salted snacks for doomed sailors. William Morris, Iris Robinson and Desperate Dan all make appearances at various points.
A full colour catalogue published in collaboration with Summerhall Arts Centre, Edinburgh, will accompany this exhibition.
Born 1951, Northern Ireland, John Kindness graduated from Belfast College of Art in 1974. Throughout his career Kindness has used traditional methods such as mosaic and fresco painting to explore contemporary themes and defy conventional notions of the fine art object.
By mimicking the visual styles of Ancient Greek vase-painting, he suggests that the residues of contemporary life will be the artefacts of the future. Kindness has been exhibiting since the 1990s. His work is represented in a number of national and international collections including; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Ulster Museum, Belfast, Victoria & Albert Museum, UK, British Museum, UK and Boston Museum of Fine Art, USA.
Follow John Kindness on Instagram #TheOdyssey
Monday 11:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 11:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 19:00
Thursday 11:00 - 19:00
Friday 11:00 - 19:00
Saturday 11:00 - 19:00
Sunday 14:00 - 17:00