Grant Irish grew up in Sparks where his father worked in the gaming industry, building slot machines. Pursuit of a career in art took Mr. Irish to California, but his lifelong ties to Sparks enable him to truly appreciate the manner in which change has impacted his hometown. As the sharing of data brings us together, not just to socialize, but to create and collaborate, Sparks is renewed, if not reborn, and looking ahead. R.M.A.B. is a symbolic future relic of the tiny but powerful hardware that processes data in this Information Age. In design it suggests the flow of data as opposed to a firing piston or turning gear, yet its scale and material memorialize our industrial past. Standing in Victorian Square Mr. Irish’s work will literally and figuratively reflect our diversified, modern, sophisticated and tech savvy community sprouted from the foundation of our solid past.
In 1993 Grant Irish was living in Berkeley, studying at the California College of Arts and Crafts. His practical training began with bronze casting at Art Works Foundry, followed by fabrication for Archie Held, and continues through his working relationship with renowned sculptor Brian Wall. In 1999. Mr. Irish opened his own studio in West Oakland making vessels and sculpture. Mr. Irish is interested in the role industry has had on human instinct; imagination versus normative thought; and the way in which we have come to view ourselves as separate from the natural world. In the past Mr. Irish has expressed these ideas through Surrealist-inspired kinetic pieces that juxtapose the human form and machinery, as well as through work that speaks more directly to the pride and power of nature, while its vulnerability is left undisguised. Mr. Irish characterizes his most recent body of work as Fossils of Industry.