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Derick Smith



You find yourself in a city unknown. All of the street signs, shopfronts and billboards display a language which you do not speak, nor recognise, and yet your attention is still called to attend, to participate, to engage. These signs and symbols are delivered through ever more sophisticated means as no part of the visual field, the watched screens, is off limits. Seemingly in a passive manner, over time, you learn this language through constant unavoidable exposure and soon you forget those other meanings or indeed the time when you were illiterate.

The core of my practice presents and arranges particular ‘art’ materials as a means of creating analogical models or investigations into ideas of meaning-making within contemporary global society. Although presented as paintings, much of the work is sculptural in nature and pushes boundaries between static and dynamic by exploring the edges of wet and dry materials and indeed the common associations of the materials themselves. The tone is playful, rather than austere, as a means of engaging through an element of intrigue or surprise.

My work has been shown in solo exhibitions in New York, Munich and Dublin, group exhibitions in the U.K, U.S.A, Russia and held in the Irish state art collection. I have undertaken production residencies in Dublin and Munich which concluded in exhibitions and, more recently, a research residency in France.


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