Aidan Lynam’s work is varied complex and intricate. Working with a variety of methods such as painting, sculpture, and site-specific pieces, his detailed body of work reveals a laborious and exacting process of making. Portraiture, often considered dated and traditional, becomes part of the process of developing and investigating image making through paint. His site-specific work deals with themes of memory, place, and identity.
Aidan Lynam: Factory, acrylic on board, 2008, image courtesy the artist.
The painted work is really just part of on going investigation into the act of image making. Both traditional painting techniques and portraiture are now considered unfashionable in contemporary art. I feel both are still important and I am interested in ways to either incorporate them into or using a starting point in my practice.
For his current project, Babel, Lynam’s skills were developed by working with an architectural model-making company for the last seven years. The project, in short, is a response to Ireland’s property boom and the consequences of its collapse.
Aidan Lynam was born in London in 1978 and has lived in Ireland since 1987. In 2002, he graduated with a BA Honours in Fine Art Sculpture from the College of Art, Design & Printing at the Dublin Institute of Technology. His practice is based in painting, sculpture and installation.
Current Work | Babel
Aidan Lynam: Babel, plastic, plaster, 2010, image courtesy the artist.
Aidan Lynam’s current work Babel is a response to the property boom in Ireland and the consequences of its collapse. The tower reaches two metres in height and covers four centuries of architectural endeavour/folly in Dublin city. Built entirely to scale (1:200) the tower is made up of four separate platforms, in chronological order. The unbuilt Sean Dunne tower in Ballsbridge is the pinnacle of the piece.
The work aims to encourage a critical examination of the societal changes and transformations that impacted on the built environment as well as the cultural, economic and political landscape of the country. The Tower of Babel is used as an allegory to represent how Dublin’s property bubble spiralled into folly. The tower, according to Genesis, was an enormous structure built in the plain of Shinar. It was never completed.
Pieter Brueghel the Elder: The Tower of Babel, 1563; image held here.
The use of model-making materials were chosen by Lynam in order to re-appropriate the language of presentation typically used by developers and real estate agents as a marketing tool. The clearly exaggerated and imagined development of Dublin as a modern day tower of Babel is used to reflect the pomp and egotism of the time.
Babel, which was finished earlier this month, took approximately 2,500 hours to complete.
Aidan Lynam – Past work
Working with both painting and installation, Aidan Lynam’s work is varied and considered. His paintings become part of an ongoing investigation into the act of image making. Lynam’s on-site structures Bog and Shannon are ritualistic in nature attempting to both bury and preserve the past.
Aidan Lynam: Pudge, acrylic on board, 2008, image courtesy the artist.
Lynam’s on-site work were created at places associated with personal memory, identity and place. Both the river Shannon and the bog were linked with childhood memories of moving from one country to another. For his on-site project Bog, objects were buried at each site which related to the three places where the artist had lived: London, Athlone, Dublin. Personal objects were buried, covered in carved slate slabs and surrounded by large, wooden structures.
Aidan Lynam: Shannon, wood, slate, objects, 2008; image courtesy the artist.
According to the artist: “the objects and memories at the Shannon were ones I wanted to put behind me. The structure at the Shannon formed a passage way which opened onto the river. This was to further the notion of renewal and cleansing of memories. My intention was that through the intervention of placing the structures in remote areas, people would stumble onto them and think about their own memories of the area.”