Arts Show #15: July 24 (Amanda Jane Graham)

‘A Tribute to the Irish Community of Butte Montana (1916 – 1919)‘ is an exhibition of drawings by artist Amanda Graham at the Upstairs Gallery, Watergate Theatre from 6th July to 3rd August 2012.

Fresh from having seen her works in the upstairs gallery on Friday, I got to have a chat with Amanda on tonight’s show to get the back story to the pieces. It’s makes for some fascinating listening, recounting stories from her elder generations stitching money into the side of prams and dolls to send home for ‘the cause’ – give it a listen below.

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More about Amanda Jane Graham

Amanda Jane Graham’s practice is both biographical and autobiographical. It revolves around family history, narrative and childhood memories, where the viewer completes the experience. Graham utilises her memory of past events and combines this with humour, to create quirky and enticing characters and scenes. A Tribute To The Irish Community Butte Montana (1916-1919) is the documentation of emotive and dramatic visions that are accurate recollections of stories told to Graham by her Grandmother, about her childhood, growing up in Montana at the turn of the 20th century. The works are challenging, funny and intriguing, they create an energy that is both engaging and thought provoking.

The titles of the work play an important role as it directs the viewer into the work and gives a frank and informative insight into the train of thought at the time of construction. The visual representation confronts the viewer with a language that is accessible and identifiable to a broad audience. The work coerces the audience to recall cartoons, childrens pop up books and western movies. It taps into collective experience in an affirmative way because it is enchanting, playful and compelling but only comes into being when it engages with the reminiscence, nostalgia and memory of the audience.