Aaron Smyth is a Dublin based Visual Artist and Printmaker.
He is a recent graduate of the National College of Art and Design,
Dublin receiving a first class honours degree in Fine Art Printmaking
and is the 2015 recipient of Graphic Studio’s ‘Graduate Award’.
As a member of the Gum Collective Aaron is also the recipient of an
RHA Group Studio Residency and a Black Church Printmakers
Group Residency for 2015.
Aaron has previously been awarded Black Church Printmaker’s
‘Undergraduate Award’ and has been a selected representative for
NCAD in the Apprentice/Master programme in Kuntspodium T, Tilburg.
He has been selected for the International Miniature Print Exhibition
and the European Artist Book Biennale, exhibiting in galleries from
London to Connecticut, Tilburg to Moscow.
His practice explores Relations, Difficulty, Emotion and Gender.
He investigates the dynamics and dualities of ‘lived experience’,
which often manifest as figurative interactions which are caught
between real and psychological landscapes, creating layered narratives
for the audience to explore and engage.
This body of work, ‘The Fragile Nature of Intimacy’ explores both sides of the
discord between corporeal and metaphysical understandings of ‘being’; what
Barthes describes as the division between ‘The Real’ and ‘The Lived’.
The work presents figurative interactions, textural representations and intertwined
bodies. These etherial figures act as referents to the body talking of the emotional
and transcendental nature of our tender interactions. They discuss the dissension
between socio-cultural and historical perceptions of the corporal body and the
limitations of our physical vessels in a black endless expanse devoid of time.
This tranquil abyss places emphasis upon the figures themselves, revealing their
desire for contact as a desperate attempt to understand themselves and each other;
a tender requisite for validation on their search for love and identity.
The images are studio photographs which were then manipulated together to create
layered and dynamic bodies. These offset historical perceptions of the nude figure and
incorporate art historical allusions. Through recontextualising these subconscious elements
of our visual-culture the work pushes past the boundaries of the physical world by distorting
the familiar. What at first appears ostensible subsequently reveals itself as a bricolage of
body and gesture, time and experience. This allows for a greater exploration and reflection
upon the tenderness and toughness of this temporal place, sparking thoughts of modern love,
body politics, identity and intimacy while simultaneously touching upon questions of gender,
power and relations.