NOV 25 – DEC 5 2023
Artists: Kate Murphy & Ciarán Bowen

Artefacts is an exhibition of new work by Kate Murphy and Ciaran Bowen that will from November 25th until December 9th.

Regarded as ‘process painters’, the two Wexford based artists both push the boundaries of their materials, rarely handling paint conventionally but using it like paper or plastic, plaster, wood or printing ink. Though their work diverges in technique and subject matter, both artists tell a history of making and thinking processes. They share a reverence for the materiality of paint as a sculptural medium.

Bowen uses sheets of dried paint skins, cutting shapes with scissors or punches. He collages the pieces to create abstract compositions where liquid paint functions as glue. Murphy uses paint like plaster to cast found materials such as wallpapers and fabric, to beautiful effect. Her paint is often drilled through, slashed with a jigsaw or marked with chisels and lino tools.

Both artists are hoarders of dried paint. Bowen purposefully creates large sheets of it while Murphy has more of a scavenging approach, treating pieces of paint as found objects, saving dried blobs and discs of paint from tubs and trays or collecting the carved out shavings of previous works. Bowen never lets his paint go to waste either. Offcuts from previous works are saved for future use. Dried paint or objects are collected by both artists.

NOV 25 – DEC 0, 2023
wed to sat, 1 – 6pm, or by appointment

In their hoards, pieces of paint are catalogued, like archaeology finds, each one a precious remnant of what it was before and therefore connected to the whole cultural archive of the artists’ previous works and their processes.

Marks in Murphy’s works seem haphazard, like scratches on an old object or on the surfaces of an abandoned space. The titles, forms and surfaces in her works suggest events in domestic spaces and in some pieces, colour brings the body into those places. Clouds represent the artist’s memories or feelings about those events.

The paintings use the surfaces, textures and colours of the domestic to try to describe the very visceral, bittersweet experiences of longing, loss and nostalgia that certain objects and spaces can provoke. The surfaces are very tough but tactile and have the old, worn presence of neglected interiors or once-loved objects now languishing in the attic. The work is personally grounded and explores and expresses the Home’s many functions as a personal and cultural artefact. It is a primitive, protective shelter, a tribal headquarters, a repository of memory, a symbol of status, class and culture and a school of How to Be. In these works, the Home nurtures while it restricts, protects while it confines.

Ciaran Bowen’s work predominantly focuses on the materiality of paint and how it can be manipulated and push through a variety of processes. By combining the paint with industrial materials, it allows the surface of the work to be moved outside the constraints of traditional painting. By drying sheets of paint, he manipulates them by cutting, collaging, printing and flooding the surface of the work. It is not only about the surface of the work but the interplay of materials/ forms and how they intersect.

The show opens on Saturday November 25th from 6 – 8pm and will continue until December 9th. Gallery opens 1 – 6pm or by appointment, 087 7912337

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Claremorris Gallery is founded on being an innovative showcase for the ongoing presentation and promotion of strong, visceral and visionary contemporary art.