Mar el Vidal


Marcel Vidal. Golden Fleece Award 2019

Medium: Painting and Sculpture


Cordyline Lily Silverfish Laurel Silverfish White Noise


I am a current full member at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios until 2021. During 2018, I had a number of successful and well received exhibitions, a solo at The Dock Arts, Leitrim and group exhibitions at FUTURES RHA, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery and Tulca Festival. I am at a crucial stage in my career and the award would benefit me immensely, supporting me financial to work in the stability of a long term studio. The award will cover the costs of running a studio, allowing me to be in the studio full time to research materials, gather and edit imagery in preparation for new projects in 2019/2020. The resources of the award will be used to diversify my aesthetic palette of materials and techniques in sculpture. I will purchase and experiment with new materials, such as bronze, resins, cast plaster and concrete. These new skills and materials will contribute to work for a solo exhibition at The Ashford Gallery, RHA in January 2020 and group shows in 2019. For my solo show in 2020, I will develop and create a new series of oil paintings. The new paintings will be based on personal photos and collected imagery. I will continue to establish my art practice, working on new sculptures and installations. In sculpture, I would like to explore the process of bronze casting. I will research the process, to gain insights into its suitability for future projects. My interest in bronze is in its durability, detail and the new opportunities it may bring to exhibit sculpture outdoors in natural landscapes. The Golden Fleece award will be invaluable in sustaining my art career and will enable me to avail of new skills, to develop new modes of production in my practice.

Artist Statement

My work often starts with a digital image which is materialised physically and rendered with traditional techniques in oil or watercolor, a painting. I then work intuitively with collected and hoarded materials in my studio, devising anarchic architectural sculptures, that often stage and frame paintings and objects. I am interested in the failure and impossibility of representation within the hyper saturated image culture of today. I use imagery sourced from already existing circulating images and personal photography as a way to isolate gesture and explicate confusion through an array of traditional art making materials and industrial processes. I am interested in imagery that might resonate something overtly political and unstable to the more mundane and pedestrian, a donut, a leaf of a plant.

My volatile assemblages are built from hardware materials, strips of wood, zinc plated bolts, castor wheels, spray paint, expanding polyurethane foam, string, feathers, taxidermy and suggest a function. These processes produce objects that create a dichotomy between what the seemingly gentle aesthetic of the paintings convey versus the visceral and brutal aesthetic of the sculptures. The spatial and material dichotomy produced between the different visual vocabularies of the work is a strategy to invite the viewers to question the established readings and interpretations predominant in art history and contemporary art.