Ritual & Victual

Art is capable of contemplating the present, exploring the future and mining the past. The Galleries’ role is to facilitate a space in which people gather to peruse the broad spectrum of their collective past and present as conveyed via art objects. The act of viewing is not a ritual in itself but an examination of a narrative based on the ritual of tradition, function and form; one that is not inherently personal yet capable of telling a story and inspiring questions. Victual, meaning both food and provisions is the point of departure from which this functional narrative springs. The food found here is food for thought, and the provisions sought are those of art from times past and present. The rituals and rites surrounding victual pool and expand, musings create linkage, and a story is formed in the space of time.

The exhibition is a temporal celebration of the beauty and importance of function and ritual found in Japan’s influence inside and outside of itself, one of collective and individual participation. Works of art that are overtly ritualistic, such as calligraphic scrolls, tea bowls and screens, subtly ask questions of the viewer in regard to what other rituals may be prevalent in the creative practices employed by the artists. The provision of function can be seen as a coherent flavour throughout the exhibition. The aforementioned objects are paired with artworks which avoid this practicality and engage with ritual and function in different contexts. Yō No Bi 用の美: (the beauty of function): the idea that one should abolish the hierarchical structures between objects seldom and frequently used; a praise be to the tools which elicit the quotidian. Before the exhibitionist was the tea master, and before curation, was the ceremony. The selection that lies before you is just one of many stories, the continuation of the narrative. Now, the story of the object is in the hands of the viewer.

Jeremy Gales

Ritual & Victual
Lesley Kehoe