National Tour: ADRIFT – by visual artist Els Dietvorst
Curated by Catherine Bowe and Karla Sánchez Zepeda
Commissioned by Wexford Arts Centre
Els Dietvorst’s practice is remarkably diverse and comprises drawings, prints, sculptures, installations, films and documentaries, performative actions, and one-act plays. The motivating factor behind this activity is the desire to connect, develop relationships, and collaborate with others.
As the artist states ‘For me, creation is a collective process, inclusive and permeable to the world, to the living and the dead, to small neglected objects as well as to each other’s ideas.’ Towards this end, Dietvorst uses dialogue, experiment, intuition, and collaboration as artistic strategies.
The opening will take the form of an informal gallery talk between Els Dietvorst and curators Catherine Bowe and Karla Sanchez Zepeda, followed by Laoise Garvey performing the song This is what you came for.
The title Adrift is a metaphor for how the artist sees our contemporary world as being not anchored but floating freely without a sense of purpose or direction. Showing an appreciation for what we usually consider to be different, undesirable, or inferior, Dietvorst explores life histories, interpersonal dialogues, migration and cultural differences, human dreams and desires, and the human condition. She pays specific attention to the position of the outsider and focuses her gaze – sometimes over a period of several years – on people and events that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Wexford Arts Centre working collaboratively with Highlanes Gallery and Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, and Wexford County Council, present a national tour with the work of Els Dietvorst throughout 2023-24. The exhibition, curated by Catherine Bowe and Karla Sánchez Zepeda, will present a coherent overview of Dietvorst’s extensive and multifaceted oeuvre in addition to new works.
Els Dietvorst is a Belgian visual artist and filmmaker based in County Wexford. Her work has been shown and supported by organisations such as the Kaaitheatre, Brussels; Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels; M HKA Museum of Modern Art, Antwerp; and BAK, Utrecht. As well as internationally in New York, Casablanca, London, and Vienna. She has been awarded international prizes such as the Evens Arts Prize in 2017, and more recently the Belgian Art Prize in 2021 hosted two exhibitions concurrently – This is what you came for – in Bozar and CENTRALE for Contemporary Art, both in Brussels.
ADRIFT will run at Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda from 1 July to 19 August, and tours to Uillinn – West Cork Arts Centre, Wexford Arts Centre and Wexford County Council in 2024.
ADRIFT is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Flanders State of the Arts. It is run in association with ROSSINANT, Belgium.