Adventure: Capital by Artist Sean Lynch | Review

Adventure: Capital by Artist Sean Lynch | Review

The Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast

By Gemma McSherry • Photos: Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

When I first embarked upon my art degree, it was very clear to me that I wasn’t as ‘clued up’ on the contemporary arts world as many of my peers were. It was also apparent that this ‘world’ could at times be difficult to decipher. Was someone else’s unmade bed art? If so, was it good art? Was a person lying face down in a gallery for three hours really making a statement about the treatment of women in a post-modern world, and if so, was it worth paying to see it? Luckily, I came across the Grayson Perry Reith Lecture series for Radio 4 very early on in my studies, in which Grayson Perry, a Turner Award winning artist tries to define the boundaries of what is art and what makes good art. The one real thing I took away from this 4 piece lecture series is: “You don’t have to get it all and you don’t have to like it all.” With that in mind, I was able to approach the ever diverse sphere of contemporary art with a little more confidence and a little more understanding, and perhaps, in some cases, a little more patience.


“It may not entertain you all, but it will at the very least, confuse you.” This was Sean Lynch’s closing statement at the launch of the Belfast instalment of his touring exhibition, Adventure: Capital; a show that was the commissioned art work for Ireland at the 2015 Venice Biennale, the most visited and most recognised art fair in the world. The work comes in 4 segments, 3 videos and supporting sculptures, installations split over two gallery spaces in the Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast.

Adventure: Capital is an exploration of mythology and the contemporary issues relating to or corresponding with ancient mythology around Ireland. The show offers a video piece investigating the narratives around contemporary architecture, such as the building of motorways, airports and other civic structural developments and the delicate and often socially ingrained ideologies of local myth and folklore in Ireland. It’s an exhibit that I recommend two or three visits to before you really can gage a sense of the concept behind the works. The show itself is such that it could easily intimidate a newcomer to contemporary art or could leave a viewer confused and dumbfounded, as Sean said, at the non-linear narrative of the works.

With the exhibit about to embark upon a world tour, it really is an honour for a Belfast gallery to be showing a work with such international esteem and standing as Sean’s. The show is available to view from now until the 16 October, Tuesday to Saturday from 11am – 5pm; admission to the gallery is free, so there really is no excuse not to become involved with this work before it heads off from its homeland to travel the globe.

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