George Bolster

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What is my work about?

I am interested in how most people are conditioned through different idealisms and religions. The central core of my practice is an examination of belief systems. My skepticism about these systems, political, socialist, capitalist or religious, is contrasted by my fascination with and exploration of belief. In my work I research the propaganda and power of visual culture, continually employed throughout recorded history by a variety of organizations. Recent multi-narrative Film works examine the modernist project, Darwinism and climate change.

 

Artist Statement

The central core of my practice is an examination of belief systems. My skepticism about these systems, political, socialist, capitalist or religious, is contrasted by my fascination with and exploration of belief. In my work I research the propaganda and power of visual culture, continually employed throughout recorded history by a variety of organizations. Recent multi-narrative Film works examine the modernist project, Darwinism and climate change.

I am interested in how most people are conditioned through different idealisms and religions. The works include multiple perspectives from religious to atheist, deliberately contrasting and contradicting each viewpoint to expand the discourse. In Un/natural History: Drowning Captiva religion is examined in opposition to science, and both are given voice. Questions such as: are ways of life, not reliant on fact, now arresting our ability to survive as a species in the coming Centuries; is our faith in science and the pollution it has resulted in, causing our immanent demise; and if we are going to another world after death, where is the impetus to conserve this one.

My recent installation film pieces self-erosion, 2013 (made on residency at The Rauschenberg Residency) and Un/natural History: Drowning Captiva, 2014 (commissioned by Denise Markonish Mass Moca for Nuit Blanche, Toronto) feature experimental use of animated text, which samples colors from footage behind it. The differing color of each letter creates an appearing and disappearing of words and phrases as the footage moves and changes color. My technique is a hybrid between text art, painting, animation, and film. I created in a unique font in illustrator, is based on my own drawing style with lines that fragment and make up letters. The multi-narrative structure I am developing is non-conventional, text shown sometimes contradicts/confirms what you hear.

My works are realized through installations often comprised of sculpture, drawing, mixed media and more recently film. Influences on recent works include: Into The Universe Stephen Hawking’s recent work on the cosmos, it refers to the immanent precipice ahead; Darwins origin of the species, it describes the nature of adaptation, evolution and devolution.

The concept my next film piece Moon Museum is the conflation of the past, present and future of the fascination with/necessity of space exploration. Beginning with a cultural artifact from the 60’s shown below. Three time-specific narratives will deal with: the ideas behind the Moon Museum and an archeological study of defunct belief systems; the rationale behind the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence through optical and aural signals; and 100 Year Starship’s examination of plans for making intergalactic travel a reality within a century.

I have permission to see the Moon Museum and will film/photograph it at MoMA Monday week. Elements of the film will reflect on the existence of Extremophiles in detail, pointing at the possibilities of both Jill Tartar’s ideas and those of Stephen Hawkin regarding the possibilities of life in extreme environments. Their collective need to highlight the short window we have to find another habitable planet, now that we finally have the technology to search for one; and how contacting other planets might result in a jump in the technological advancements, which would enable us to make it a reality.

 

 

Education
1997-1999 MA F.A., Film and Video, Central Saint Martins, London, UK1994-1997 BA (Hons) F.A. Painting, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, UK
1995-1996 Erasmus Student Award, Hochschule Der Kunst, Berlin, Germany

 

Solo Exhibitions

2015
Amazement Insulates Us All ,The Lab Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (Nov-Jan 2016)

2014
Un/natural History, La Nuit Blanche, Commissioned Installation, Toronto, CA
Self Erosion, TB Projects, Provincetown, MA, USA

2013
Future Imperfect (part 3), Monster Truck Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

2010
Sociodesic, Galway Arts Centre, Galway City, Ireland

2009
High on Christ, Chung King Project, Los Angeles, California, USA

2008
Chiesa Dei Miracoli, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork City, Ireland
United In Suffering, Belltable Arts Centre, Limerick, Ireland

2006
Overcome by Heavenly Music, Ballina Arts Centre, Mayo, Ireland

2005
Eye of the Needle, Pallas Heights Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

 

Group Exhibitions
2015
Et si on s’était trompé? Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris (Sept-Dec)

Tulca International Contemporary Art Festival, Galway, Ireland

2014

/Seconds, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Out To Sea, South St. Seaport, Festival, NYC, USA
Irish Art Does Not Exist, Station Independent, NYC, USA
Anomie: Fractured Art Norms, Dowd Gallery, Cortland, SUNY, NY, USA

2012
Other Drawings, Ormston House, Limerick Ireland

2011
Drawing Biennial, Drawing Room, London, UK

2010
These Days: Elegies for Modern Times, Mass MoCA, Massachusetts, USA
Bizarre, Pallas Contemporary Projects, Dublin, Ireland

2009
Drawing Biennial, The Drawing Room, London, UK
These Days: Elegies for Modern Times, Mass MoCA, Massachusetts, USA
Malibu Contemporary Art Fair, Los Angeles, California, USA

2008
Darkness Visible, Galway Arts Centre, Ireland
(travelled) Limerick City Gallery and Belltable Gallery, Limerick, Ireland

2007
Urban Gothic, Café Gallery Projects at Dilston Grove, London, UK
LA in New York Art fair, Chung King Projects, New York, USA
Drawing 07, The Drawing Room, London, UK
Cead Invited, 411 Gallery, Shanghai, China

2006
Flip, Chung King Projects, Los Angeles, USA (curated by The Drawing Room, UK)
Urban Gothic, Quartair, The Hague, Netherlands
I.D. Check, Robert Smith Lab Gallery, Manhattan, USA (curated by Matt Garrison)
Everything Must Go, VTO Gallery, London, UK (curated by Jari Lager)
Multiplicity, Market House Gallery, Monaghan, Ireland

2005
Passing Through, Glucksman Gallery, Cork (curated by Patrick T Murphy)
Claremorris Open 2005, Mayo Ireland (selected by Andrea Schlieker)
E+VA, Limerick City Gallery, Ireland (curated by Dan Cameron, Prospect 1)
Past and Present, Greyfriars Municipal Gallery, Waterford, Ireland
Drawing 200, The Drawing Room, London, UK
Damaged Collateral, Context Gallery, Derry, Northern Ireland
Multiplicity (travelling), Context Gallery, Derry, Roscommon Arts Centre, Ireland
Bling Bling Ka-ching, Pickled Art Centre, Beijing, China

2004
Multiplicity, Fota House Museum, Cork City, Ireland
Abra Cadaver, Here Arts Centre, New York, Usa

2003
Scope Art Fair, Miami, USA
Brewster Project, Brewster, New York, USA
Certain Conditions, The Waterfront Gallery, Belfast

2002
No Sleep Til Hammersmith, Central Space, London, UK

2001
Record Collection, VTO Gallery, London, UK (travelling)
The International 3 Gallery, Manchester;
Forde Espace D‚art Contemporain, Geneva

2000
Exit Chisenhale Gallery, London

1998
Motherload City Racing, London

 

Awards
2015
Recieved Artist in Residence, SETI/NASA for 2016-17

2013/14
Rauschenberg Residency, Captiva Island, Florida, USA

2011
International Artist Residency, Firestation Studios, Dublin, Eire

2010
Bursary Award from The Arts Council of Ireland

2009
Commission from Mass MoCA, Massachusetts, USA
Culture Ireland Award for Reckoner at Mass MoCA

2007
Awards for Artists, Arts Council of England
Cill Rialaig Residency Award

2006
Travel and Mobility Award, Irish Arts Council

2004
Publications Assistance Award, Irish Arts Council

 

Residencies
2013
Rauschenberg Residency, Captiva Island, Florida, USA

2012
International Artist Residency, Firestation Studios, Dublin, Ireland

2009
Cill Rialaig Residency, Kerry, Ireland

2007
Cill Rialaig Residency, Kerry, Ireland

 

 

Publications
2014
Abridged 0_34, Art Magazine

2013
Firestation 20 Years, Book

2011
Creative Ireland: The Visual Arts, Book (Sean KIssane Curator Irish Museum Modern Art)

2010
Sociodesic, Galway Arts Centre, Galway City, Ireland

2009
These Days: Elegies for Modern Times, Mass MoCA

2008
Chiesa Dei Miracoli, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork, Ireland

2007
Pallas Heights 2003 – 2007
Urban Gothic, Arts Council of England
/Seconds, Online Publication, University of Leicester

2005
Passing Through, Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland
COE 2005, Claremorris, Ireland
EV+A 2005, Catalogue for EV+A, Limerick City, Ireland

2004
Multiplicity, Fota House and Gardens, Cork ISBN 0-9548290-0-X

2003
Certain Conditions, Waterfront Gallery, Belfast

2002
Space Cooks, Space Studios, London, UK