‘The Bathers’ (oil on canvas, 120 x 145 cm) is a response to the canonical depiction of the bathing woman in art history. The painting acts as an intervention within a genre which expects the female form to be naked, passive and sexualised (e.g. Paul Cezanne Les Baigneurs 1906). In direct contrast ‘The Bathers’ draws upon a vernacular representation of bathing. The female figures are wearing swimming costumes; their forms are athletic and active. Most significantly, they are wearing goggles. This device dehumanises the figure whilst simultaneously reinforcing the act of looking. Both women are staring at the viewer; their gaze is active and challenging. This is a break with the canonical depiction of a passive female gaze which allows the viewer access to the sexualised body. ‘The Bathers’ was selected by the arts council of northern Ireland for inclusion in the exhibition Contemporary Art in Northern Ireland, Parliament Buildings 16.11.2011 –04.01.2012. Doctor Suzanne Lyle, Head of Visual Arts Northern Ireland said “Anyone visiting the exhibition over the festive period will see the extraordinary quality and range of work from Northern Ireland’s visual artists, which goes far beyond what might be expected of a small region and something to be immensely proud of. This exhibition celebrates the vibrancy of our artists in recent times and I would encourage everyone to visit it while they can.” The exhibition received in excess of 4500 visitors in the first month and so was extended for one additional month.
|Place of Publication||Belfast|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 4 Jan 2012|
|Event||Contemporary Art in Northern Ireland - Parliament Buildings|
Duration: 16 Nov 2011 → 4 Jan 2012
Bibliographical noteArts Council Northern Ireland Press Release
Exhibition at Parliament Buildings Extended Due to Popular Demand
An exhibition showcasing work from some of Northern Ireland’s finest emerging and established artists at Parliament Buildings has been extended until Wednesday 4th January 2012.
Contemporary Art in Northern Ireland, an exhibition of the Arts Council’s purchases of art within the last decade was officially opened in The Great Hall on 21st November by the Arts Council and William Hay, MLA, Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The exhibition, which has already received 4,500 visitors, was originally set to end its run on 2nd December. Due to popular demand, eighteen art works, from the original twenty four piece exhibition will be displayed into the New Year.
Dr Suzanne Lyle, Head of Visual Arts, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said, “The exhibition is receiving a very positive response from the artists involved, arts community, MLAs and visitors to Parliament Buildings. This is the first time that an exhibition from the Arts Council’s Collection has been displayed in Parliament Buildings, and we are thrilled to provide an opportunity for audiences to see it for an additional four weeks.”
“Anyone visiting the exhibition over the festive period will see the extraordinary quality and range of work from Northern Ireland’s visual artists, which goes far beyond what might be expected of a small region and something to be immensely proud of. This exhibition celebrates the vibrancy of our artists in recent times and I would encourage everyone to visit it while they can.”
William Hay, MLA, Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, said: “We are delighted that this exhibition has been so popular and that it has enhanced the experience of those who visit the Assembly.
“I have been committed to opening up Parliament Buildings to the people of Northern Ireland and I believe it is fitting that celebrating local creative talent from well established collections is part of that initiative.”
•The extended Contemporary Art in Northern Ireland exhibition includes:
Jennifer Trouton, “Harrow”
Gareth Reid, “Interior”
Brendan Jamison, “Yellow Helicopter”
Simon McWilliams, “Stairwell”
Christopher McCambridge, “Re-interpretation: Falling for Grandeur”
Robert Peters, “Uccello of the Potato Field I” and “Uccello of the Potato Field II”
Colin Darke, “Mannish Boy V- Policeman”
Mark Francis, “Untitled”
Terry McAllister, “Wood at Mostinica Gorge, Slovenia”
Shaleen Temple, “Jerita 2010”
Maria McKinney, “The Earl of Leicester”
Gail Ritchie, “Dead Tree”
Carrie McKee, “Orlaigh 2011”
Louise Wallace, “The Bathers”
Holly Anderson, “Untitled 1”
Mark Shields, “Who Is My Beloved”
Miguel Martin, “Neil Shawcross’s Studio Space”
William McKeown “Forever Painting”
Outputmediatype: oil on canvas