Friday, 2 October 2015

Recent Works 2015

Clear Horizon as a Solipsistic Solution 1
Digital Image
TIFF File 35MB

After 'The Steamship ‘Nimrod’ of the Cork Steam Packet Company' by George Mounsey Wheatly Atkinson c.1844.

Clear Horizon as a Solipsistic Solution 2
Digital image
Tiff File 52MB

After ‘The ‘Sabrina’ of the Cork Steamship Company’ by George Mounsey Wheatly Atkinson c.1845.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

World View of an Oyster / text

Its an old adage of academic training that in painting you are not trying to create something where there is nothing, but rather trying to create space where there is none. In her Solipsism Series, artist and curator, Sarah Iremonger has taken the works of academic landscape painters and digitally divested these worlds of their subjects. Historic landscape painting invites the viewer to the comfortable pose of the surveyor; the world laid out for the viewer to enjoy. All the pleasure of ownership and none of the obligations of stewardship. The complete worlds of others’ making are suddenly vacated.  By removing the scenes for which they are titled, Iremonger performs a paradoxical act upon them. By opening space, she insinuates herself as viewer/maker/squatter into them, and, by extension invites us in as well. In offering entry through she also imparts the viewer to a kind of peculiar responsibility. She, and we, can no longer merely survey a world, the cost of our imagining is the new found imperative to act within our imagining.

In her new digital drawings Iremonger creates shapes from forms repeated, reversed and redoubled creating a form of recognizable parts that takes on a new identity. The Solipsism drawing, takes as its base one of the ships removed from George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson’s Ship in Stormy Seas c.1854 and by flipping and reproducing its form creates something of a Rorschach test image; taking what was a titular subject and making of it playful ambiguity.

In an earlier series Iremonger creates a campaign for Landscape Unions and all the attendant visual propaganda of buttons, badges and postcards. The landscape, as genre of art and image history which belongs to cultural history is unlike land, hard to delineate. Its borders are not easily drawn out. By making land; landscape, she abstractly liberates. Even as a playful gesture, a subtle awareness of the often arbitrary delineations of power structures become apparent, in a way that argument could not equally elucidate. Iremonger works at the borders of worlds, where the abstract world of story becomes space, where image becomes, where play can become politics, and here, she creates space where there was none and invites the viewer in.

By Daniel Ferrari for the catalogue World View of an Oyster 2013

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Solipsism Series 7

after George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884)
A Boating Party, Cork Harbour

Sunday, 24 February 2013

About 'Solipsism Series'

In previous work I questioned the nature of the object as work of art, looking at the work of art as a sight for exploring issues of access and identity. I created art works in the form of paraphernalia such as greeting cards and badges, for example in ‘The Hunting Box Party’ and ‘Landscape Unions’. In this work ‘Solipsism Series’ I am questioning the nature of subject matter in the work of art as a symbolic sight for the imagination.

In this work I have taken paintings by eighteenth and nineteenth century Cork artists Nathaniel Grogan the Elder (c.1740-1807) John Butts and George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884) and removed from them, via digital manipulation, what is identified as the subject matter of the paintings, for example, through the names of the paintings, in ‘Solipsism Series 6’ George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson’s ‘Ship in Stormy Seas’  the ship has been removed and the storm has now become the main subject of the painting. The painting has been changed and now inhabits a different plain from the original, the ship is still there, but in a different form, in our mind, our imagination. The paintings have become their backgrounds, stages waiting for action.

By removing the ships from these paintings and creating an undisturbed/clear horizon I am instigating a dialogue about the gaps created in our history because of our colonial past. By changing the focus from the subject matter to the background I have created the possibility of a different space for contemplation within the painting.

Atkinson was a self-taught marine painter born in 1806 in Cobh, Co. Cork to English parents. His paintings mainly consist of ships portraits, painted from sea level with a sensitive handling of the seascape. They symbolise for me a particular relationship Cork Harbour has with its colonial past. This relationship is evident in the fact that, the crucial role played by Cork Harbour in winning the War at Sea against German U-Boats during the First World War under the control of the British Navy and commanded by Admiral Lewis Bayly from the Admiralty House in Cobh remains unacknowledged in Cobh today, this is particularly evident as the town asserts a burgeoning tourist industry against a backdrop of commemorations, such at the sinking’s of the Titanic 1912 and Lusitania 1915.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Solipsism Series 6

after George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884)
Ship in Stormy Seas c.1854

Solipsism Series 5

after Nathaniel Grogan (c.1740-1807)
Fishermen at Old Blackrock Castle on the River Lee, with Tivoli in the distance c.1766

Solipsism Series 4

after George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884)
Paddle Steamer entering the Port of Cork 

Friday, 22 February 2013

Solipsism Series 3

after George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884)
Frigate Being Wrecked off a Rocky Coast

Monday, 18 February 2013

Solipsism Series 2

after Nathaniel Grogan
Man Drinking from a Stream in the Grounds of Vernon Mount House c.1780

Tuesday, 12 February 2013