Performance „AND TO SAND” Alastair MacLennan
As the theme for this year in Sokolowsko is “water”, the exhibited works on paper, all made this year, at Flax Art Studios, Belfast, involve water, pen and ink.
As water can manifest as ice blocks, liquid, or steam, depending on climatic/ geographic conditions, one employs flexibility in evoking transitions, in ‘unfixed” form, on paper.
Of interest are the primary elements: earth, air, fire and water.
These elements are inferred (directly and indirectly) in titles, ” Berth an Earth “, ” Air a Lair “, ” Feat A Heat ” and ” Wave by Waive “, etc.
Before starting the works, regarding specifics of…how, where, what and when…controlled ‘chance’ operations are employed.
While drawing/painting them, works are made with ‘mind’ in Zazen practice, as in …” How do you realize your true nature while painting…?”, as asked and verified at Zen Sesshin, early 1970’s, USA, by Japaneze Rinzai Zen Master, Joshu Sasaki.
– Alastair MacLennan, 2015
Alastair MacLennan represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale, with work commemorating those who died as a result of the Political Troubles in Northern Ireland, from 1969. During the 1970’s and 80’s he made some long, non-stop performances of up to 144 hours duration. Subject matter dealt with political, social and cultural malfunction. Since 1975 he has been based in Belfast, Northern Ireland and was a founding member of Belfast’s Art and Research Exchange (1978). He taught at Ulster Polytechnic, later the University of Ulster. Currently he travels extensively in Europe, Asia, North America and Canada, presenting Actuations (performance/installations). Since 1989 he’s been a member of the performance art entity, Black Market International, which performs globally. He is presently an Emeritus Professor of Fine Art from the University of Ulster, Belfast, an Honorary Fellow of Dartington College of Arts, Devon and an Honorary Associate of the National Review of Live Art, Glasgow.