independent

Monday 18 December 2017

The past reimagined at artist's solo show

By Maria Pepper

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Co Wexford artist Patrick Redmond whose solo show runs in the Molesworth Gallery in Dublin until May 26

Talented Gorey artist Patrick Redmond has a fascinating solo exhibition entitled 'Whispering to the ground' in the Molesworth Gallery in Dublin which is continuing until May 26.

The exhibition was officially opened by the artist and art historian Aodhán Floyd who has written a comprehensive essay on Patrick's work (available on the Molesworth Gallery website)in which he talks about the artist's interest in personal photography which 'offers the illusion of apparent immediacy and the sense of absolute pastness'.

'Patrick takes as his subject, existing modes of personal photography within the family sphere, precisely because, although often fleeting and commonplace, they are the pictures that come to occupy the hinterlands of our everyday lives. Such images are enmeshed in practices of communicative memory that serve to reinforce interpersonal relations and shape personal connections with the past,' he said.

'And who, when looking through family albums, has not experienced something of this uneasy presence-as-absence. One has only to consider the fate and faces of relatives, orphaned by time and vanished contexts, to become aware of the extent to which our own photographic archives stand as material testimony to the truth that 'we all live by leaving behind'.

Commenting on the painting of the hands of an older man with two finches resting on his slightly cupped finger and wrist, Aodhán Floyd said the picture speaks of 'an intimate sphere - a simple act, a small, patient communion.'

'For all its apparent simplicity, its source and inspiration is multi-layered and gives an insight into Patrick's creative process,' he adds. 'Firstly, there is the world of private significance: the painting is an effort to recreate a memory which came back vividly to Patrick in a dream closely following the death of his father. Yet, as is so characteristic of the doubts that set in with all efforts to consciously recall autobiographical memory, an out-of-focus and badly exposed photograph of the same subject also exists in the Redmond family archive'.

For his latest body of work, Patrick has been inspired by material from old dictionaries, science encyclopaedias and reference books that predate his birth. Creating a world he cannot know or be a part of, he references and collages these sources with his own images to create hyper-realistic oil paintings and large-scale charcoal drawings.

All of the subjects who model for him are personal acquaintances, in many instances young people or children, suggestive of future possibilities. Patrick places them into worlds that are alien, creating histories that are simultaneously known and unknown, all with an underlying sense of the uncanny.

Patrick has exhibited extensively and has had five solo shows in the Molesworth Gallery and one in Wexford Arts Centre. He has shown regularly at the RHA Annual Exhibition in Dublin where he has received numerous awards and at the BP Portrait Award Exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Born in 1976, Patrick went on to obtain an degree from Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dún Laoghaire. He has been exhibiting at the Molesworth Gallery for about 14 years.

He currently lives and works in Gorey.

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