The MAC will open its latest visual arts exhibition in the Sunken Gallery with a series of works by Northern Irish artist Roxy Walsh. The ‘Lady Watercolourist At Home’ exhibition is Roxy’s first solo show in Ireland since 1995 and arrives at the MAC on 15 September.
Roxy’s paintings are watercolour on paper. These small-scale, brightly coloured and patterned images evoke a number of emotions – some funny, others sad, baffling or tender. The images flit seamlessly between abstraction and cartooning, round eyes of assorted characters look out from the paintings, a red tongue licks a brilliant yellow sky, and a green owl with round black suns for eyes clings to the end of a branch.
Roxy Walsh creates her work by making rather than planning. The materiality of the paint is also central to the images. Watercolour is the simplest of paints, there is very little difference between the pigment and the paint, so colours have naturally different consistencies, and transparencies.
The title of this particular series, ‘Lady Watercolourist At Home’, may conjure up ideas of a romanticised domestic environment, but the reality is very different. In fact, the paintings were made during the artist’s year of adoption leave, when she sublet her studio in order to work from home to care for her twin baby boys.
The characters featured in Walsh’s paintings often have a threadbare or washed out quality, like toys in a charity shop. There is a highly developed strain of sentimentality at work in these paintings, creating a world for the inanimate, teasing very particular forms of life from paint.
In addition to these works Roxy Walsh will make a large scale work directly onto the walls of the MAC’s Sunken Gallery.
Hugh Mulholland, Curator of the MAC, comments on the exhibition:
“We are delighted to present this series of work at the MAC. Roxy Walsh’s paintings are beautiful and puzzling, she has a lightness of touch demonstrating a real understanding of her medium. She plays with our perception of the tradition of watercolour, producing challenging works which very much contribute to current discourses around contemporary painting.”
‘The Lady Watercolourist at Home’ by Roxy Walsh will be at the MAC from 15 September to 21 October. Admission is free for the MAC’s three visual art galleries. For more information on the exhibition please visit www.themaclive.com