Downtime by Paul O'Kane


Paul O’Kane 15 May – 19 June 2013

‘DOWNTIME is the title of an art exhibition and socially engaged project by me – artist, Lecturer and writer, Paul O’Kane at Ort Gallery. The exhibition will feature some emerging and established artists but the central aim of the ‘Launch Night’ is to invite those attending this event to submit their own representations of ‘DOWNTIME’ for the show.

What is ‘DOWNTIME’ ?

There is a long tradition in art that shows various ways in which artists seem to inhabit different qualities of time to others and thereby see different things, or see things differently.

To me ‘DOWNTIME’ isn’t so much about hobbies and leisure, but it might be a precious and special kind of time that we experience e.g. when we suddenly realize we have an unexpected gap in our schedule, when we hurry to an appointment only to find it has been cancelled, and suddenly we have an unexpected hour, alone in a city.

If we are less busy, less employed perhaps, ‘DOWNTIME’ could also refer to privileged moments in which – despite the difficulties we are experiencing – our relatively un-utilised time allows us to look slowly and carefully at ordinary things, experiencing a kind of magic about things that others, hurrying by, do not notice.

Please come along to the Launch-Night on the 24th April 2013 6-8pm, where I will give a talk illustrating and explaining all this much further and where you can get answers to questions and join in discussion. The show’s success will depend on the contributions of participants like yourself. It isn’t important whether you are a trained artist or not, you could contribute a diary entry, poem, snapshot, You-Tube movie, event or facebook-update as much as a drawing, sculpture or painting.

After the launch event, there will be a two-week deadline (8th May) to submit works. Then I’ll return to Ort to curate whatever has been submitted. The resulting show will open on the 15thMay run for a month (closing Event on the 19th June), inviting visitors from Birmigham and beyond to enjoy and reflect on the ways in which we have all represented ‘DOWNTIME’.

Paul O’Kane