16 May 2022

Magee on Music: Are We Here Yet?

Kevin Magee speaks with Kevin Callaghan

Magee on Music: Are We Here Yet?

Kevin Callaghan completed am MA at the Royal College of Art in 2013, he has a BA from The Crawford College of Art and a Master-craftsman from the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, he started his art and design education at The Northwest Institute of Further and Higher Education in Derry (that’s the connection, ok?).

Kevin currently lives in Glasgow with his studio at The Glasgow Sculpture Studios. He is currently renovating a studio on his family land in Donegal, Ireland.

He exhibits nationally and internationally, showing at the Dublin Castle, The London Art Fair and the Saatchi Gallery with Cynthia Corbett and the Young Master's Art Prize, the Victoria, and Albert Museum “What is Luxury” with Unknown Fields Division and Toby Smith.

Other shows include “GLOBALE: Infosphere” ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe, Germany and Van Abbe-museum, Eindhoven. He was selected to represent Ireland in The Ceramic Context Biennale in Bornholm Art Museum in 2018

He collaborated with Dublin architect Peter Carroll from A2 architects at The European Culture Centre in Venice May-Nov 2019, participated in the Landmark series with Sky Arts representing Scotland, commissioned by Sky Arts to produce a piece of sculpture in 14 days.

He also has a solo show in Dec-Jan at Stallan-Brand Gallery in Glasgow 2021 Kevin completed a residency at The Irish Culture Centre in Paris in August 2021.

Are We Here (2021), a site-based, 4.6-meter-tall sculpture by Kevin Callaghan commissioned by Sky Arts on the occasion of the new series Landmark, explores the notion of utopia and our proximity to it?

With an ongoing interest in geometry and the potential for multiple realities, Callaghan invites viewers into a future-minded meditation on hope and potentiality via Are We Here. “Are we here?”

It’s a question that suggests we are on a journey, and, in addition to hunger for our destination, conjures hope—hope for real freedom and space to realize our multitude of potentialities.

If “here” is not yet utopia, it is at least a space where we might imagine, hope for, and build our future.

What local music are you into? “Jonny Delaney, Ryan Vail, Orla, And I got a listen To Kwa Daniels’ new radio show on my way to Belfast airport flying back to Glasgow” Inna Rhythm

Apart from the obvious, how have you spent lockdown? “When lockdown started my plans to be in Paris on a residency had clearly changed so I began to work extensively on my brand Condie, so that kept me busy for the first lockdown, The second lockdown was crazy busy, after sky arts asked me to apply for the series Landmark, I was one of 18 in the UK and Ireland commissioned by them, I set about designing the piece Are We Here with my designer.

The built-up to the making of the piece in April was intense, then the piece was made in 12 days from start to finish with the help of the fabricator's Sculpture and Design in Glasgow. there was a slower period in May and June then I was finally off to Paris in July”.

What groups or services have helped you? “I have had different support over the years, the arts council of Ireland, Business to Arts in Dublin, The Crafts Council of Ireland, The National Sculpture Factory in Cork, Donegal Council, and enterprise board to name a few. It's away a nice feeling to support locally”.

How do you feel things will change for musicians in the coming year? “It’s been a really tough time for musicians the last 18 months.

I think it’s still going to be a bit slow for artists to get their regular gigs coming back, but I would hope there will be some great new material coming out, from the complex time you all have just had. And I hope that the younger generation of musicians continue to make and put music out and don't get disheartened by the pandemic”.

What are your long-term plans? “My long-term plans are to continue making work for exhibitions and larger commission work. I have been doing it since my time studying in Derry 2000 and I don't intend to stop any time soon.

"I still like to do a residency somewhere every year, I really want to do one again in China, however, life is pretty busy.
I am currently renovating a sheep shed in Barnesmore, Donegal in a new studio on the family land and we plan to develop a Bothy style Glamping site on the land in the near future”.

Check Kevin out on twitter: @Callaghankev, Instagram: @kevincallaghanart, his website or at and if anyone’s in the area his next exhibition is at Stallan and Brand 3rd of December - 28th Jan 2022, 80 Nicholson St, Glasgow G5 9ER. Landmark Sky Arts, Mondays from 8pm and Tuesdays from 7pm

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Conor Doherty of Derry, celebrates his side's third goal, scored by Benny Heron, during the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Derry and Monaghan at the Athletic Grounds.

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