Exhibition 16 June to 29 July 2012
Helen O’Leary works from memoir, stories of growing up on a farm in Wexford and her life in the USA, short stories she then fashions from the archaeology of her studio. O’Leary’s new work delves into her own history as a painter, rooted in the ruins and failures of her studio for both subject matter and raw material. She has disassembled the wooden structures of previous paintings – the stretchers, panels, and frames and has cut them back to rudimentary hand-built slabs of wood, glued and patched together, their history of being stapled, splashed with bits of paint, and stapled again to linen clearly evident. Humourous and enigmatic, these fragments bare their histories as well-worn objects speaking to both the strengths and frailties ingrained by hard use and the passage of time. Through the process of deconstruction and reassembly, the pieces invert the conventional anatomical hierarchies of painting in an attempt to find what is fresh and vital among the entrails of the image.