Periphery Space is a critically reflective art space. What that means is, with every art event developed and realised here, we question the value and direction of past art events and projects to inspire future possibilities. Attached to an art school, and developed by the small staff at Gorey School of Art (GSA), who are artists first, we prioritise and celebrate the process of art making over the finished artwork. We are very aware that we are located on the periphery, as our namesake testifies to, but this fact allows us great freedom to change direction when our ideals and ambitions become too rigid and established.
Our annual programme has evolved considerably over the past two years, expanding from a single annual event called Peripheries, to a varied and dynamic programme called Periphery Space, made up of four major exhibitions per year, an artists residency, a series of workshops and a vibrant film club. With this expansion has come necessary critical reflection on the role of the gallery, the role of the curator and the use of new technologies and social media in the promotion of art. We continue to question terms like ‘emerging’ and ‘established’ in our programming; not denying the existence of either, but trying to level the playing field, a playing field that depends too much on separating the emerging and the established into a hierarchy of less and more visible.
This leads us to our newest development at Periphery Space, our first major international solo exhibition.
George Muncey (b.1995) is our invited artist for Peripheries 2019. George is a fine art film photographer based in London, working primarily with large format 8x10 cameras, which evoke the camera obscura, a forerunner of the modern camera which artists like Vermeer used to make paintings almost 400 years ago. Instead of taking self portraits, George turns his lens toward people who he can relate to, and captures landscapes and scenes which aim to show the country in its current pivotal state. His photographs are excerpts from an ongoing exploration of his identity, and his relationship with the United Kingdom.
Within a blended family of analogue and digital George also makes videos and a print magazine under the name of Negative Feedback, aiming to inform, celebrate and champion everything about film photography in the digital age, with what he describes as “love and care”. We first became interested in George's work through his informational videos on his YouTube channel, Negative Feedback, which we share with our film and photography students here at GSA. The students naturally relate to his way of working across different platforms, online and offline.
23 years of age, George uses online platforms to communicate his story, his evolution as an artist, and contribute to his community and to the photography community at large with his photography, zines, videos and interviews with the emerging and established (those terms again) of the photography world. Couple this with the knowledge that George is a huge figure in the world of YouTube and we arrive at a strange juncture. His channel Negative Feedback has over 185,000 subscribers, which is a fact that would leave most contemporary artists uncomfortable as it brings us closer to something commercial. It is this tension that we want to explore during Peripheries 2019.