Real Life – Circa Magazine

The Old Museum Arts Centre, holding dock for van der Grijn’s REAL LIFE exhibition is in an 1830’s Greek Revival building.Clea van der Grijn, an artist with a long association with the Temple Bar Gallery has mixed with arts fashionable glitterati, designing fabrics and promotions for John Rocha’s Louvre, Paris, catwalk show. There, handmade Chinese and indian papers were collaged for the invitations. She has also made a public art project commissioned by Temple Bar Properties in Dublin. For that she displayed 350 enlarged Polaroid snapshots of the areas shakers and movers (including, typically, herself), ranged at the corner of curved street, Temple Bar.

Here in OMAC’s high ceilinged church like space, 36 seven x ten inch rectangles of various textured papers are ranged in nine geometric rows on the wall.

On each card, tinier squares of indigenous papers flutter as viewers pass. So, from the numbers of squares the deduction must be that this is a years diary, the artist’s own, and to further engage our gossipy nature, every so often the pattern is broken with the insertion of a larger work on paper, each a screen print of head or heart from Grays Anatomy, scribbled over with the diarists intimate letters of love and lust.

Thus, whilst van der Grijn does not set out with Tracy Emin’s intent to offer us chutzpah lists of who bedded who where and how, she proposes, that as a relay team, her heart and head each cling to passion and relay baton just too long.

On an opposing wall, the painting ‘incision’. Mulit layered, multi pannelled, its surface sliced and bearing the text:
“CUT ME WITH A BLADE…” The regimented presentation of the calender/diary installation. A TIME, its geometric order is, in ways, a hallmark of this artist’s work, is in this case is designed to contrast with the freehand disorder of the handwritten.

“Love me forever or fuck off” writes the artist. For herself? herself the exhibitionist? For her lover? Or for us?

And the squares of coloured chinese paper, fluttering? Prayers of hope perhaps, rather than for passion spent. Logic and sexuality at odds again. Was it ever thus?