AGORA: New exhibition by award-winning artists is right at home in Limerick

AGORA is a collection of new works by award-winning artists Jens Ardal and Morten Kromann currently on display at Ormston House in Limerick city.

This is the artistic duo’s first exhibition in Ireland but their second drawing on the concept of the ‘agora’ following the Extract Solo Art Prize in Copenhagen last year.

The ‘agora’ or ‘gathering place’ was a central public space in ancient Greek cities and it is from this concept that the artists devised this current exhibition.

Photo: Christopher Dunne, Limerick Voice

Co-Director of Ormston House, Mary Conlon, explains how an interaction with Ardal and Kromann led to the exhibition arriving in Limerick:

“I met Jens and Morten at a networking event in Aarhus last year where I had the opportunity to visit their community-led art space in a former slaughterhouse in Holstebro.

“I thought their approach to open participation in the arts would be an interesting model to bring to Limerick.”

Photo: Christopher Dunne, Limerick Voice

This led to Jens and Morten undertaking a research residency in Limerick in May of this year and with the support of the Danish Arts Foundation they devised the current exhibit.

AGORA attempts to understand how invisible structures and bureaucratic control of public space can generate new forms of meeting and exchange.

Photo: Christopher Dunne, Limerick Voice

Steel grids from industrial storage tanks that have been flocked, sprayed or coated with an expressive humus provide the outline of the installation.

The horizontal and vertical lines suggest a system based on order while irregular cuts and embedded objects such as a falling chair, hand-carved molluscs and mechanical insects disturb that order.

Photo: Christopher Dunne, Limerick Voice

AGORA encourages active visitor interaction which is prompted by its use of trip sensors to activate prop movement and sound features.

“People are really enjoying the sculptures themselves which incorporate mechanical creatures, wood carvings, and kinetic components triggered by a series of motion sensors around the space,” Co-Director Conlon said.

“We have had a great response so far – especially in the darker evenings when the dramatic shadow-play transforms the gallery,” she added.

Photo: Christopher Dunne, Limerick Voice

AGORA is running until December 8 and Ormston House encourages those yet to visit the exhibit to do so before it shuts for Winter.

A visit is free of charge.

The artists would like to thank Aleksandr Sandovicz for his technical support.

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