Exchanges is the cumulation of a year of working side by side for Áine Osborne and Vanessa Zelek. The two recent graduates from IADT have been sharing a studio space in both Dublin and Lisbon for the past year, creating distinct works side by side that inevitably speak to one another and speak to the relationship between the artists.
For both Osborne and Zelek, their work begins and ends in some sort of exchange. This exchange may vary for both artists. For Osborne, an exchange can be with a space, a subject or a landscape. Touching water, finding and manipulating shadows and reflections or moving to capture a certain fall of light. It is a balance of chance of nature and playful interaction with the world. The artist also shares an exchange with the material in creating. It is a collaboration and sort of dance of give and take with the paint. For Zelek, the exchange in her work is with her environment and is directly influenced by where she is at the time of making. Her personal feelings and emotions are passed onto the material she is using and informs the work. The process of painting for her is in the moment and responsive, with a decisive colour palette helping the artist control the work.
Exchanges allows space for these two bodies of work that were made in such close proximity to be in conversation with each other. The exchange between the work of both artists’ was subconscious but naturally exists. From the shades of green of the fruit growing on the studio grounds to the warm yellow glow of broken light on the cobblestones of the Portuguese capital, the sense of place where this work has been made is evident. In Zelek's pieces, there is a physical presence of the landscape with either ‘tools’ found directly from the source or a response to the colours surrounding her. In Osborne's body of work, there is a motif of shattered light recreated through brush strokes and texture, moving on the surface of the canvas.