Artist Takeover: Garrett Phelan
My interest and work in Radio as a sculptural form, how it works, who operates stations, who has ownership over them etc, are all heavily influenced from my childhood and teen years. In a limited adolescent world of access to good music, Radio and TV were ultra low-fi but utterly essential. I consider myself lucky to have grown up in Dublin and to be on the east coast because we picked up signals from Wales and the UK, so we got to see and hear a wider range of music.
The radio archives of Ireland below are voluntarily created and are very important because they document the rare hidden period of broadcasting history that I am referring to. Have fun exploring your past through these links, if you are old enough to remember.
A.A.R.T (AUDIO ARTISTS RADIO TRANSMISSIONS)
Since the lock down I have decided to use some of my studio time to make available two art/radio/sound archives of art/radio/sound projects I produced in the mid to late 90’s. They are A.A.R.T. - RADIO and A.A.R.T. - ARTHOUSE. I get a lot of requests to hear these recordings and I have decided to make them available to the public.
A.A.R.T. - Radio (AUDIO ARTISTS RADIO TRANSMISSIONS)
This was created in 1994 and was done so to intermittently facilitate the work of visual artists who were eager to use sound as a creative medium and to explore the creative potential of radio broadcasting for artists.
A.A.R.T. – ARTHOUSE
This was created as a live public research and development project. What exists in this archive are restored and digitised tapes from the project. It was broadcast from Arthouse, multi media centre for the arts in Temple Bar, Dublin, from May 30th – June 2nd 1998. The project was designed purely for artists interested working collaboratively with sound in a live performance context via radio broadcast.
DONAL DINEEN – MAKE ME AN ISLAND
I remember the first time our brains aligned. I was walking down a street in Dun Laoghaire mid 90's and it was dusk. Beautiful evening. I remember it well because of two things. The Hale-Bopp Comet lingered strangely in the cosmos above me. I was accidentally listening to Donal’s broadcast on the headphones and then he played a John McCormack song. ‘Song to the Seals’. A cracker. Stopped me in my tracks. An intense, moving moment. I know many people have had moving moments listening to his musical permutations, a massive musical influence in Ireland. Donal the broadcaster has returned to the public realm via his podcast ‘Make Me An Island’, it is rough, ready and essential listening and learning as always, enjoy at will.
Finally, I was in the Hugh Lane Gallery in early March and was researching the fine collection of political portraits. I was instantly struck by Sarah Cecilia Harrison’s portrait of Francis Sheehy Skeffington. I was struck by it for two basic reasons.
Firstly, he came to my attention in the lead up to the 2016 celebrations and from what I have learned of him I admire him greatly, so the portrait made an immediate impression on me.
Secondly, although Harrison painted the portrait from a photograph, it seemed to evoke her urgency in wanting to remember him and officially marking his place and contribution at that time and for future generations.
As a result, I think it is a compassionate portrait, kind and respectful and something I felt when looking at it, she really needed to do.
Garrett Phelan is a Dublin based artist. Recent projects include HEED FM (2016), a 28-day anonymous sound broadcast portrait of 18–25 year olds from all backgrounds, presented over eight-months and THE HIDE PROJECT (2015) a permanent public artwork commission for Fingal County Council.
Other institutions he has worked with on projects include the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the 11th Lyons Biennial and Manifesta 5. His work ‘Life Again. Light Again. Leaf Again. Love Again.’, 2006, is part of The Hugh Lane Gallery collection (see image at top of page).