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Kerlin Gallery is pleased to present A House and Its Head, an exhibition of new work by Aleana Egan.

In A House and Its Head, Aleana Egan uses materials including metal, plaster, paint and household objects to create sculptures and installations. Numerous fabrics, including silks, linens, canvas, noil and dyed Indian cotton, are also employed throughout this body of work. These disparate materials are grouped into sculptural arrangements, at times bearing semblance to architectural forms or domestic interiors.

Suspended from the ceiling of the gallery is a canopy-like structure. Its copper and steel frame is articulated over several layers, with elegant curvilinear detailing along the frieze, and visually anchored by a corresponding metal structure at its base, dressed with silk. Elsewhere, fragments and objects are collected within transparent containers: floral patterned collars and wool crêpe sleeves are gathered like artefacts in a walnut vitrine; a Citroën 2CV engine is encased in a Perspex box near two concrete bollards.  The artist’s signature linear wall pieces appear tauter, and more sculptural, rendered with layers of plaster and paint.

Egan’s intuitive mode of expression is informed by sustained engagement with literary texts, and this reading informs the development of her work. The exhibition is titled after Ivy Compton-Burnett’s modernist novel A House and Its Head (1935), a sharp observation of the politics of domestic life, driven by dialogue: the novel’s distinct voices, and not descriptive prose, reveal the interiority of its characters. Rather than directly representing this source material, Egan uses such texts as an entryway – absorbing moods and tones they evoke, and inviting us to consider tensions between talk and silence central to the texts.

These literary reference points are supplemented by the artist’s precise observations of her surroundings, including architectural details, items of clothing, photographs and other fragments of lived experience. Egan’s use of fabric in this exhibition harbours a strong associative potential, while the familiarity of her everyday materials (from firebricks to hand-painted plaster) spark connections with domestic and suburban environments. These additional layers of meaning, deeply rooted in personal experience and therefore inevitably specific to each viewer, have the potential to shape our encounters with art.

Aleana Egan lives and works in Dublin. Recent solo exhibitions include Illuminations Gallery, NUI Maynooth (2017); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2015 and 2012); The Drawing Room, London (2011); Mole Vanvitelliana, Ancona (2010); Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin (2009) and Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2008). Recent group exhibitions include CCA Derry (2015); Kettle's Yard, Cambridge (2015); Vestibule, a large-scale public commission, Merrion Square, Dublin (2014); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2013); Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh (2013); Sculpture Center, New York (2010); Landesmuseum Münster, Germany (2010); 5th Berlin Biennale, Berlin and Kunsthalle zu Kiel (2008).

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails
patches of moon and fire 2017

Aleana Egan
Patches of Moon and Fire, 2017
steel, paint, copper, foam, canvas, silk, concrete
240 x 130 x 98 cm / 94.5 x 51.2 x 38.6 in 

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free drawing 2017

Aleana Egan
Free Drawing, 2017
concrete, dyed Indian cotton, 2CV engine, Perspex box, oak, stainless steel, noil
80 x 263 x 124 cm / 31.5 x 103.5 x 48.8 in 

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animated summer

Aleana Egan
Animated Summer, 2017
walnut vitrine, Perspex, canvas, wool crêpe, cardboard, tape, filler, varnish, pigment, firebricks
174 × 67 × 38 cm / 68.5 26.4 15 in

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repeating earth  2017

Aleana Egan
Repeating Earth, 2017
card, tape, filler, acrylic paint, Modroc bandage, pigment, fire back, beech and linen screen
200 x 194 x 117 cm / 78.7 x 76.4 x 46.1 in

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the nights are still there 2017

Aleana Egan
The nights are still there, 2017
steel
238 x 70 x 70 cm / 93.7 x 27.6 x 27.6 in 

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mariner 2017

Aleana Egan
Mariner, 2017
card, tape, Modroc bandage, pigment
134 x 45 x 7 cm / 52.8 x 17.7 x 2.8 in 

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water fort

Aleana Egan
Water Fort, 2016
watercolour, ink and gouache on card
 44 x 34 x 1.5 cm / 17.3 x 13.4 x .6 in 

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inside shape  2009-2017

Aleana Egan
Inside shape, 2009-2017
acrylic, gouache, collage on linen
30 x 30 x 2 cm / 11.8 x 11.8 x .8 in 

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patches of moon and fire 2017

Aleana Egan
Patches of Moon and Fire, 2017
steel, paint, copper, foam, canvas, silk, concrete
240 x 130 x 98 cm / 94.5 x 51.2 x 38.6 in 

free drawing 2017

Aleana Egan
Free Drawing, 2017
concrete, dyed Indian cotton, 2CV engine, Perspex box, oak, stainless steel, noil
80 x 263 x 124 cm / 31.5 x 103.5 x 48.8 in 

animated summer

Aleana Egan
Animated Summer, 2017
walnut vitrine, Perspex, canvas, wool crêpe, cardboard, tape, filler, varnish, pigment, firebricks
174 × 67 × 38 cm / 68.5 26.4 15 in

repeating earth  2017

Aleana Egan
Repeating Earth, 2017
card, tape, filler, acrylic paint, Modroc bandage, pigment, fire back, beech and linen screen
200 x 194 x 117 cm / 78.7 x 76.4 x 46.1 in

the nights are still there 2017

Aleana Egan
The nights are still there, 2017
steel
238 x 70 x 70 cm / 93.7 x 27.6 x 27.6 in 

mariner 2017

Aleana Egan
Mariner, 2017
card, tape, Modroc bandage, pigment
134 x 45 x 7 cm / 52.8 x 17.7 x 2.8 in 

water fort

Aleana Egan
Water Fort, 2016
watercolour, ink and gouache on card
 44 x 34 x 1.5 cm / 17.3 x 13.4 x .6 in 

inside shape  2009-2017

Aleana Egan
Inside shape, 2009-2017
acrylic, gouache, collage on linen
30 x 30 x 2 cm / 11.8 x 11.8 x .8 in 

Installation Views

Installation Views Thumbnails
1

Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

2

Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

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Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

5

Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

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Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

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Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

9

Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

10

Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

1

Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

2

Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

4

Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

5

Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

6

Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

7

Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

9

Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017

10

Aleana Egan, A House and Its Head, 31st March - 13th May 2017