26th April – 17th May 2014
with Eamonn Higgins and Matthew Whiteside
Weaving Metal, Making Art is month long residency at R-Space with internationally acclaimed artist Toshinobu Takamitsu (Japan) where heilluminated the gallery with his large scale audio-visual installations.
Toshinobu Takamitsu collaborated with local artist-blacksmith Eamonn Higgins (Belfast) and sonic artist Matthew Whiteside (Lisburn/Glasgow), to create new works throughout the residency including “Ocean” which transformed the gallery into the bottom of a dark and quiet sea by covering a whole wall with light, filtered through Japanese paper to evoke a feeling of the ocean complete with wind, wave, swell, bubbles and mysterious floating objects. The second lighting installation “Volcano” featured a new audio composition by sonic artist Matthew Whiteside, to create a dynamic representation of a volcano with pulsating magma, vibrating and beating and likely to explode at any moment.
Japanese Artist Toshinobu Takamitsu and Blacksmith Eammon Higgins worked together to forge a metal lighting tree in the courtyard at R-Space. The public were invited to watch this creative collaboration.
About the Artists
Toshinobu Takamitsu is an artist blacksmith and craftsman who runs a studio and craft shop named ‘Open Studio’ in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. After learning design in college, he studied glass blowing in the UK and became a successful glassware maker. Later, he studied blacksmithing in the US, and began making wood stoves and other iron products. He then focused his attention on the brooms used for cleaning the stoves made with his own unique way of weaving. He thus began creating brooms using all sorts of objects to act as rods including the neck of stringed instruments, hockey sticks, golf clubs, and pool cues. He learned how to tie and dye the thread used to hold the corn grass together from his wife, a professional weaver. In the future, he hopes to establish a school that will make learning product-making techniques more accessible.
Since graduating in 2003 with BA Hons, Eamonn Higgins has been working full-time as a professional artist. Initially cutting his teeth in the competitive world of public art in England, Eamonn moved home to the Glens of Antrim in 2006 to pursue projects in the public realm that challenged his understanding of home, his heritage and self. Exhibiting alongside ‘high-end’ Irish Fine Art means that Eamonn’s one-off unique sculpture sits proudly within the worlds of Fine Art and Contemporary Craft. The creativity that Eamonn has brought to prestigious Private and Public Commissions and smaller commercial sculpture allows an open approach to his private collectors and agents. eamonnhiggins.wix.com/sculpture-website
Matthew Whiteside is a composer and orchestrator based in Glasgow. His interest lies in the combination of acoustic and electronic domains through the use of live electronics and the influence of electronic genres. In 2013 Matthew was commissioned by R-Space in Lisburn to write a new piece in collaboration with Andrew Cooke exploring the sounds of the gallery and Andrew’s practice. He is interested in collaborating further with arts in visual media especially film. He is a founding member of Edit-Point a group dedicated to the performance and dissemination of electro-acoustic music. www.matthewwhiteside.co.uk