'Hotel du Lac' (2014); Bliss Painting no.1 (after Wordsworth’s reflections on the French Revolution)' (2014); 'Bliss Painting no.2 (Charlotte Corday)' (2014): Exhibited at MAC International 2014

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Submitted to the inaugural MAC International 2014 exhibition of contemporary art; selected by a panel consisting of Judith Nesbitt (Tate Galleries), Francesco Bonami (Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin) and Hugh Mulholland (The MAC, Belfast). 25 artists were selected from an international field of 1,016 submissions, contending for the biggest art prize on the island of Ireland. The shortlist was drawn from countries as far apart as South Korea, Colombia, Switzerland, Lebanon and Finland, with 2 artists representing Northern Ireland. My work sought to investigate possibilities of a contemporary painting practice addressing the subject of history and historiography. Additionally, the paintings challenged the notion of such a practice being simply a self-contained world of depiction: by foregrounding the concept of ‘painting as object’, the viewer is confronted with a more tangible sense of not just picturing, but actually experiencing, the physical presence of the work. Through the work I proposed that if the painting of histories produces objects, then those objects (the paintings) must in turn naturally connect to other things physically. I therefore took the actual surface and physicality of the paintings, along with an attendant sense of 'things', as important starting points- including collaged elements, dress garments and an old LP record sleeve. The paintings were also motivated by research into Anita Brookner’s writings as both an art historian and novelist, William Wordsworth's time spent in France after the Revolution, and the songs of Rita Coolidge and Nana Mouskouri. The studio as a site of research and testing, along with the intention for the paintings to address the exhibition environment itself, resulted in very specific installation methods. It was particularly important for the large work to 'float' from the wall, resulting in two specially constructed supports that facilitated the appearance of the painting as levitating above the gallery floor.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationThe MAC, 10 Exchange Street West, Belfast BT1 2NJ
PublisherMetropolitan Arts Centre
EditionMAC International 2014
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 29 Oct 2014
EventThe MAC International 2014 - Metropolitan Arts Centre / Belfast, Northern Ireland
Duration: 30 Oct 201418 Jan 2015


  • Painting
  • Historiography
  • International exhibition
  • French Revolution
  • Installation
  • Anita Brookner
  • Wordsworth
  • Charlotte Corday


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