Many Hands - VISUAL

VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art &
The George Bernard Shaw Theatre

Many Hands

Jane Fogarty

17 February - 12 May 2024

11am - 5.30pm Tues - Sat, 2pm - 5pm Sun
Tuesday - Sunday

Admission: Free

VISUAL is pleased to present Many Hands, a large-scale sculptural commission and related exhibition by Irish artist Jane Fogarty. Fogarty was the recipient of the inaugural YPCE funding from the Arts Council of Ireland, which enabled the development of this project.

Fogarty’s practice is rooted in sculpture and painting, while she maintains a parallel practice working with children and young people, which formed the basis of the research phase of Many Hands. Fogarty developed workshops that engaged with the process of designing a public sculpture. More than 120 children and young people from various educational settings and VISUAL’s Transition Year programme worked on models of sculptures and engaged with questions of what such objects should offer.

From these workshops, Fogarty has developed the final work in steel and pigmented jesmonite. A large soaring arch frames a collection of rock-like forms at its base, and the colours evoke not the natural world but the primary and pastel colours of markers and classrooms. These simple shapes combine in a structure that falls somewhere between manmade and naturally occurring, as if from another world. Its setting in front of VISUAL presents a strong aesthetic juxtaposition with the imposing concrete, metal, and glass of VISUAL’s façade.

A wide selection of the maquettes, models and other materials generated by Fogarty’s workshop are on display in the upstairs Lobby Gallery in VISUAL, allowing the viewer to trace the evolution of the final work from its beginnings. Also included is a scale model of the VISUAL building and campus, and making materials, that allows people to propose their own public sculptures for the site.

The participants in the realisation of Many Hands are: The Grange National School, Tullow; Rathoe National School, Suantraí Montessori, Tinryland and alumni from VISUAL's transition year programme.


Jane Fogarty lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. Fogarty’s work includes playful three-dimensional objects and painted works on paper. Commonplace materials are coerced into teetering, repetitious sculptures which yield somewhat to the artist’s wishes but ultimately follow their own logic and sense of balance.

Her painted works on paper are made using egg tempera. With this method, the paints are made from scratch on a daily basis. Then the colour is slowly built up, layer upon layer. Their palettes are derived from photographs, questioning how colour can concentrate and preserve a moment. The paintings evolve without a preconceived notion of their endpoint with compositions that fold inwards. The work is slow and contemplative in its creation due to the nature of the processes involved. The process is cyclical. The paintings inform the sculptural works, and the sculptural works inform the paintings.

Fogarty graduated with a degree in Fine Art from the Dublin Institute of Technology (2010). She has exhibited widely nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include days go by…, Orléans Gallery, Ottowa, Canada; In & of Itself - Abstraction in the age of images, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin; Familia, Atelier Maser; The Play Room, Roscommon Arts Centre; Páipéar, Hang Tough Contemporary, Dublin (all 2022) and Dearly Beloved, VISUAL, Carlow (2019).

Her work is held in private and public collections in Ireland and the UK. Awards include; The Individual Artists Bursary Award’ from South Dublin County Council, Most Promising Graduate Award from The Talbot Gallery, the RDS Lewis Crosby Award for Painting, and Project Award and Travel and Training Awards from the Arts Council of Ireland.