“Roots” – Gallery of Modern Art Waterford

Artist – Marco di Sante

Review by Mary Doyle Burke

Local Kilkenny artist Marco Di Sante’e exhibition “Roots” was launched last Saturday in GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) in Waterford. Each year GOMA awards selected recent graduates in Ireland with an exhibition. This year graduates of Waterford Institute of Technology & Crawford College of Art and Design Highlighting the wealth of talent graduating annually.

The exhibition showcases the work of two emerging artists from across a range of disciplines. The diversity of practice on show combined with a variety of methodologies creates interesting tensions for the viewer.

Artists exhibiting as part of this exhibition are MARCO DI SANTE who lives in Kilkenny & MONIKA KOSMOWSKA who lives in Cork.

Marco’s work is multi-disciplinary and explores the contemporary relationship between nature and humans. The research is based on the understanding of what nature is and what our role is in it. Ancient and modern cultures inform Marco’s practice surrounded by organic and artificial elements. The response is often shaped by sculptural abstract representations of the happenings related to the living organisms cultivated in the studio. The idea of space and its use is structured in his method of work in order to create installations combining traditional and non-traditional disciplines and techniques. Marco’s passion for photography helps to document the process and create photographic works.

Speaking to Marco on Saturday before the launch, he gave an insight into his work and process

“My Environment is created by combining multiple materials, techniques and technologies. Nature is at the core of the living sculpture, which I have grown and cultivated within this installation work.

From the beginning of this project, I aimed to create a physical relationship between me and the tiny intimate living organisms that I manually hydrated daily in the soil that I dug from my local neighbourhood in Kilkenny, that now nurtures and hosts a variety of living organisms within the soil.

I made this installation with the intention of emphasising the unchallenging power of nature against human’s continual interference within it. Nature’s powerful impact upon our daily existence is reflected within the decaying and renewal process now evident within the installation. This could also be seen as an act of self-care and self-preservation carried out by Nature itself against us. This process is physical and material as well as emotional.

My Environment offers the chance for the viewer to contemplate and reflect their symbiotic relationship to environments and nature’s vulnerability. While emphasising the importance of reconnection, change and care.” Marco went on to quote Ernst Fischer to further explain his concept and his outlook on art and the world “In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable and help to change it.”

Marco was born in Sora (Italy). He moved to Ireland’s capital in 2010 and has been living in Kilkenny since 2013. He recently graduated with a BA (Hons) in Visual Art from SETU Waterford and his final work was long-listed for RDS Visual Art Awards and selected for GOMA Graduate Award Exhibition which will take place on 29th April 2023 in Waterford City. He is currently attending his first year MFA at NCAD Dublin.

The exhibition runs from April 28th to May 29th. Also this coming Saturady Marco Di Sante’s will display work in “Bigger Than Us”, the upcoming 1st Year NCAD MFA group exhibition at Rua Red, Dublin from 5th-16th May.


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