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MICHAEL DEAN AT LISMORE CASTLE ARTS

Michael Dean’s immersive sculptural installations begin with his own writing, which he translates into physical form, from letter-like human-scale figures to self-published books deployed as sculptural elements within his installations. His materials are readily available, and include concrete and steel reinforcement bars. For Lismore, Michael has created a new body of work developing on from recent work which examines how our experience of text exists in the realm of the street. Commonplace signs such as hazard and police tape have been replaced by Dean’s own typographies and nonsensical poetic fragments, emptying them of their original meaning. The transformation of written words into a language of concrete objects is characteristic of Dean’s work. Typically beginning with his own writing, he abstracts and deforms these texts into new typographies, subsequently materialized in solid, physical forms. At St Carthage Hall, these writings manifest as a sculptural dove, flipped upside-down, dead on its back and carrying the weight of books strewn across its back like feathers. These contorted and often diametrically opposed forms and words hint at the dilemma of modern existence.