Graduate Summer Show 2022
Whether the garden is an imagined world, the planet that we inhabit and effect, the flora of past and present, or the emotive atmospheric landscape of memory and experience, each artist’s work engages with the next. The inclusion of established artists creates another dynamic; an echoing of an already rich conversation while offering a quiet support for the graduates as emerging artists.
Entering the exhibition, the first encounter is with Rachel Ballagh’s striking large scale pastel on paper, an image of a housewife in apron staring us down with a rifle and pheasant hanging dead. Camilla Winquist’s paintings put domesticity in a garden setting, satirical in a fantasy colour scheme parodying the online culture known as “cottagecore”. Peter Naessens’ empty garden furniture, serene and banal but optimistic question further “What’s going on the garden…?”
Many of the plants we see in this garden show have sinister connotations, for example the proud foxglove which has been rampant in the West Cork hedgerows and fields this summer, beneath its beauty is a poisonous plant. It is a dominant motif in Klaudia Lasota’s 4.5-meter-long print on canvas ‘A Walk through the Garden’ and is Sarah Walker’s chosen wildflower in her oil on paper study.
Kate Power’s exquisite photographic prints show common weeds like a stinging nettle as gems glowing from a rich black background. Alannah Murphy’s paintings bring to the exhibition a splash of colour describing personally emotive moments in time from her local geography. In contrast Matt Hayes work in monochrome describes an unknown adventure into an unknown space.
Jodie Caswell’s astonishing aquatint etchings of closeup views of wild animals’ mouths suggest monsters at large, but although the animals evoke a sense of threat, in fact her work is about the global threat to their own existence. This threatening presence is shared in Rachel Ballagh’s drawing of her white knuckled self, grappling with a scythe and snake.
The graduates exhibiting are Kate Power, Jodie Caswell, Peter Naessens, Alannah Murphy, NCAD, Klaudia Lasota, Camilla Winquist, MTU Crawford and Mathew Hayes, LSAD.