Please note that dates are subject to change.
16 March to 11 May
Els Dietvorst (b.1964, Belgium) is a socially engaged artist who has lived and worked in Ireland since 2010. Her choice of medium, whether it be actions, documentaries, films, mud sculptures, installations, drawings or theatre texts, depends on the specific circumstances and the individuality of each project. Many of her artworks have therefore been given away or destroyed, or have perished. In 2020, many of these works were remade for the exhibition Dooltocht / A desperate quest to find a base for hope at MHKA (Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp -Belgium).
Wexford Arts Centre working collaboratively with the Highlanes Gallery and Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, and Wexford County Council are touring the work of Els Dietvorst throughout 2023-24. The tour, curated by Catherine Bowe and Karla Sánchez Zepeda, presents a coherent overview of her extensive and multifaceted oeuvre in addition to new works.
Els Dietvorst’s practice is remarkably diverse and comprises drawings, prints, sculptures, installations, films and documentaries, performative actions, and one-act plays. The motivating factor behind this activity is the desire to connect, develop relationships, and collaborate with others. As the artist states ‘For me, creation is a collective process, inclusive and permeable to the world, to the living and the dead, to small neglected objects as well as to each other’s ideas.’ Towards this end, Dietvorst uses dialogue, experiment, intuition, and collaboration as artistic strategies.
Ever since the 1990s, the artist has been moved by social issues such as migration, racism and climate change. Dietvorst reflects on the ‘condition humaine’. As a result, major themes such as life and death, fear, alienation and desire are addressed in her work. The position of the outsider is something Dietvorst specifically focuses on, directing her gaze towards those persons and events that would otherwise go unnoticed. Not so much to point out injustice, but to develop a personal understanding, to keep track of the bigger picture and contextualise different events. Her work is focused on the myriad forms of social communication and interpersonal relationships and conflicts that she expresses in striking social-artistic projects such as ACM LOST AND FOUND, 2019.
Els Dietvorst is a Belgian visual artist and filmmaker based in County Wexford. Her work has been shown and supported by organisations such as the Kaaitheatre, Brussels; Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels; M HKA Museum of Modern Art, Antwerp; and BAK, Utrecht. As well as internationally in New York, Casablanca, London, and Vienna. She has been awarded international prizes such as the Evens Arts Prize in 2017, and more recently the Belgian Art Prize in 2021 hosted two exhibitions concurrently – This is what you came for in Bozar and CENTRALE for Contemporary Art, both in Brussels.Image: Els Dietvorst, ACM Lost and Found, 2019, 24mins, colour, sound, digital file
BA Visual Art Graduate Exhibition
25 May to 15 June
Biennial showcasing of work from the BA Visual Art (hons) Degree Programme, Sherkin Island which takes place in two phases - Phase 1 - an Art Trail of installations on Sherkin Island mediated by the students (18 and 19 May) and Phase 2 - a curated exhibition of work by the final year students at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre (25 May to 15 June).
Image: Thresholds, 2022, BAVA Graduate exhibition installation view at Uillinn
WCAC acknowledges the financial support of Arts Council Ireland and Cork County Council in making these exhibitions possible.