I got this island ~ acrylic ink & coloured pencil on paper ~ 9.2 x 12.5cm
Not seen around these parts ~ acrylic ink & coloured pencil on paper ~ 13.6 x 11.7cm
Island on another planet too ~ acrylic ink & coloured pencil on paper ~ 7.4 x 6.7cm
Tiny island ~ acrylic ink & coloured pencil on paper ~ 13.2 x 9.9cm
Fallen star island ~ acrylic ink & coloured pencil on paper ~ 9.2 x 12.5cm
The black sun island ~ acrylic ink & coloured pencil on paper ~ 8.6 x 11.9cm
Twin peaks island ~ acrylic ink & coloured pencil on paper ~ 9.2 x 12.5cm
Rising island ~ acrylic ink & coloured pencil on paper ~ 9.2 x 15cm
Gone belly-up island ~ acrylic ink & coloured pencil on paper ~ 9.2 x 12.5cm
Out on the water at night island ~ acrylic ink & coloured pencil on paper ~ 10.3 x 15cm
Top form island ~ acrylic ink & coloured pencil on paper ~ 13 x 10.2cm
April 3rd - May 17th, 2014
____The Molesworth Gallery is delighted to present I Land, an exhibition of new work by Catherine Barron. The show marks a departure from Barron’s recent series of paintings on sheet metal exploring the darker side of her family history. This is a more playful body of work – literally in the sense that she fuses early erotic photography with the preparatory landscape studies made during her time at the Cill Rialaig artist’s retreat. The I Land of the title is the human form morphing into individual or groups of islands along the rugged Kerry coastline that inspired her during her stay there. The title also references John Donne’s assertion that “no man is an island, entire of itself” and its pretext that we are all connected to - and dependent on - each other and the world around us.
____The exhibition consists of one hundred small works, most no bigger than a postcard, superimposing an imagined seascape over erotic photography dating from 1850 to 1930. Fragments of the mostly female form emerge from purple, azure and cerulean seas, then reconfigure themselves as islands, headlands and rocky outcrops.
____While still fetishistic, the original photographs celebrate aspects of the female body now virtually absent from contemporary erotic imagery. The women sport pubic hair, they are full-figured with rounded stomachs and breasts that have not been ‘enhanced’ by a surgeon’s scalpel. These photographs date from an era when a shapely figure was revered as opposed to the pornographied imagery prevalent in contemporary culture, in which the female form has become the objectification of a male fantasy.
____Barron’s re-workings of the photographs are also underscored by an irreverence for the academic tradition of landscape painting, the rules and conventions of which were laid down by men. She has stripped away the fetishism of the original photos, leaving only the physicality of nature and the human body as one of its components, all of it subject to the ravages of time - be it five or five million years.
____This is Catherine Barron’s third solo exhibition at The Molesworth Gallery. She has shown at the RHA in Dublin, at the RA in London and later this year will have her first solo exhibition with a major London gallery.
I kept a diary at Cill Rialaig.
I hid it on returning home.
I had put, down, everything!
I went poking around in my head for trouble and fun.
I pushed against every discernible boundary in my mind and all the while soaked it with my senses, rinsed it through my eyes.
My diary entries are filled with descriptions of the sea, the islands, and the sky, all changing every instant. Morphing seamlessly, constantly.
I started to fix the things I was thinking about to the sea, the islands and the sky.
I used a book of old erotic photography as a ground, got out the acrylic inks and started to play.
My Cill Rialaig experience.
Catherine Barron, March 2014
April 2013 - It's hard to tell, Solo exhibition Molesworth Gallery, Dublin
Summer 2013 - Royal Academy Summer Show, London
July 2011 - We were here, Solo exhibition, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin
June/July 2011 - RHA Annual Exhibition
December 2010- Molesworth Gallery, Group Show
July 2010 - Kinsale Arts Week, Cork, Invited Artist
Joint exhibition with Eithne Jordan and John Doherty
June/July 2010 - RHA Annual Exhibition
November 2009 - Waterfront Gallery Westport, Solo Show
August 2009 - Kilkenny Arts Festival, Group Show
November 2008 - RHA Annual Exhibition
August 2008 - Blackbird Gallery, Kilkenny, Group Show
December 2007 - Molesworth Gallery, Dublin, Winter Group Show
June 2007 - RHA Annual Exhibition
May 2007 - Wexford Opera Festival, Group Show
December 2005 - Solomon Gallery, Dublin, Group Show
____An illustrated catalogue on Catherine's work with an introductory essay by Gemma Tipton is available from the gallery (ISBN 978-0-9557742-7-0). The catalogue was published by the Molesworth to coincide with her debut solo exhibition at the gallery in June 2011. Read the introductory essay here.
Review by The Independent