A monster of a mystery at MK Gallery

TEN years of research into stories surrounding the Loch Ness Monster will culminate in a new exhibition at Milton Keynes Gallery from next Friday, January 14, until April 3.

In his first major solo event in a UK public gallery, Irish artist Gerard Byrne will present Case Study: Loch Ness (Some possibilities and problems) 2001-2011 in the form of a conceptual art exhibition.

The project, which makes use of subtle humour and a degree of ambiguity, aims to blur the line between fiction and documentary, and demonstrate how images shape our understanding of myth and reality.

As well as eighty of Byrne’s photographs, the exhibition includes a new film composed of material gathered around Loch Ness, played to the sound of eyewitness accounts.

The film documents the fauna of Loch Ness and the region’s unique landscape. Varying in scale, the photographs also feature landscapes and landscape details, newspaper front covers, texts, and photographs of original material, all relating to the Loch Ness monster.

Large, gnarled tree sculptures will also be on display.

A spokesman for the Milton Keynes Gallery said: “Intrinsic to any account of this subject is a story of make-believe, fabrication and hoaxes – a famous historic photograph of the monster which turned out to be a toy submarine; others of drifting wood.

“Through his own footage and research, Byrne questions the ways in which images are constructed, transmitted and mediated and asks: is it possible to capture an image of something that does not exist?”

Drawing on his accumulated work, Byrne draws direct parallels between one of the world’s most enduring modern myths and the rise of commercial mass media.

Born in Dublin in 1969, Byrne is regarded by critics as one of the most important artists of his generation.

He represented Ireland in the 2007 Venice Biennale. Other major presentations of his work include Gwangju and Sydney in 2008, Lyon in 2007, the Tate Triennial in 2006 and the Istanbul Biennale in 2003.

A Fulbright Scholarship recipient, Byrne has also won the Paul Hamlyn Award and the PS1 Studio Award.

Entry is free. Visit www.mkgallery.org for more information.