Curios About: Uchronic Shelter III by Barry Kennedy

Uchronic Shelter III By Barry Kennedy Mixed media, oils, print transfer on found wood, 400mm x 858mm

1. This work is about . . . uchronia, which refers to a hypothetical or fictional era. It exists only in nostalgia and the longing for an idealised time. In my work, I aim to create timeless spaces, a constructed world in which dockland motifs sit in utopian landscapes. Signifiers of human activity, found rusted fragments, become sculptural elements interrupting the painted surface.

2. I made this work because . . . as the present social implications began to reveal themselves, homelessness and the notion of shelter suggested the construction of flimsy and unstable spaces, which might suggest a solution but ultimately could collapse, reflecting our present fragmented society. The work aims to represent and imagine the synthesis of uchronia, a place where nostalgia and reality coalesce.

3. I hope when people see this work they will . . . get a sense of uchronia, a place where nostalgia and reality coalesce, by exploring the nooks and crannies of the constructed shelter: miniature paintings, rust sculptures and prints which reveal themselves to the viewer.

4. In terms of art history, this work . . . could fit into a contemporary trend of installations emerging at the crossroads of painting, sculpture, architecture, and activism. Built from found materials, this work employs aspects of sculpture, painting and print-making to address the social and environmental issues of homelessness.

5. You can see my work . . . in the Emerging Artists 2016 show at St Patrick’s Mental Health Services in Dublin 8, 9 September to 29 October.


“Curios About …” is a series featuring works by Dublin artists. Each artist is asked to submit an image of one work and answer a set of questions about it. We’d love it if you’d submit something you’ve made, here.

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Sam Tranum: Sam Tranum is deputy editor of Dublin Inquirer. You can reach him at sam@dublininquirer.com.

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