What I like about David Ireland first hand is his consistent interest in restoring a voice to objects, materials, and environments that have been neglected or overlooked. Much like artist John Grade, Ireland embraces a Buddhist-based non-duality between art and life and the belief that all things are of equal value. It is said that because of this he is able to create works out of every day materials that have a surface that can evoke a psychological response.
A project that I especially enjoy of David Irelands, and was the cause for me to investigate his work, is his “Dumbballs,” which are hand sized spheres that he creates by tossing a lump of wet concrete back and forth until it dries into a ball-shaped form. I think this project is extremely smart and simple in its approach but is a very honest way to create work with an honest material. Terri Cohn says that the project is yet more proof of Irelands “Zen” way of life and his belief in equality of materials and forms.
Exploration of materials is evident also in Irelands work, something that I feel needs to become even more ingrained in my own practice. His work’s materials range from dirt, talcum, crayon, and cement on paper. This is not to mention his ongoing play with scale, function, and intent. Three things that I am continually trying to improve for myself and it is re-assuring to know that artist of every caliber continue to struggle through and investigate these ideas.
Cohn, Terri. "David Ireland: Art Meets Life, Again." Sculpture Mar. 2005: 20-21. Print.
Harper, Glenn, and Twylene Moyer. A Sculpture Reader: Contemporary Sculpture since 1980. Hamilton, NJ: ISC, 2006. Print.