Kerlin Gallery is pleased to present Repeating Song, an exhibition of new work by Aleana Egan.
“It meant everything to her to sit on the bus and to work out what she wanted to say” — from Come Back in September by Darryl Pinckney
Across painting and sculptural arrangements, the works in Repeating Song foster an ambient space in which to convey sensations through looking. Traces of interactions and experience are harvested and expressed through material objects, colour, and form, presenting a rhythmic installation rooted in the blending of inchoate interior visions and sources from the world at large.
Painting has a more central presence in Repeating Song than in Egan’s previous exhibitions at Kerlin Gallery. The artist manipulates colour, surface, texture and density, layering thin, watery washes with thicker daubs. This interplay between lightness and dissolution, solidity and translucency creates atmospheric shifts that feel open-ended, or in a state of flux. Primarily in muted tones of blues and browns, the paintings are populated by fragmentary shapes that grasp at images and gesture towards movement, as if retrieving memories imprinted deep in the psychic landscape.
Similarly, in her sculptural work, Egan makes enigmatic forms from fabric, wood, pâpier-maché, steel, shadows, and dust. In sound clips, a diptych fabric wall relief acts as a pendant to a wooden chair holding clothes and fabric. In Sky Song, a white handbag in a horseshoe shape joins a group of more linear renderings made from cotton and noil (a type of raw silk). Cellulose fibres resembling dust populate a thin metal perimeter on the ground. These materials are chosen for their porosity and inter-animating qualities, which feel analogous to a faint absorbed sound. Fabric and textiles take on a renewed resonance in Repeating Song, hinting at a work of memory and an emotional atmosphere; folded clothes and scraps of textile evoke absence, but also the essence of a person – an external layer that can express our interiority.
Aleana Egan has exhibited at Sculpture Center, New York; Kunsthalle Basel; Kunsthalle zu Kiel; Landesmuseum Münster; The Drawing Room and Jerwood Space, London; Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge; Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh; Leeds Art Gallery; the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Temple Bar Gallery and IMMA, Dublin, and the Berlin Biennale. Recent solo exhibitions include Void, Derry (2022); Künstlerhaus Bremen (2021); NICC Vitrine Brussels (2020) and Farbvision, Berlin (2019). Recent group exhibitions include Stations, Berlin (2023); CCA Andratx, Mallorca (2022); The Complex, Dublin and The Classical Museum, University College Dublin (both 2021).