Geraldine O'Riordan

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A Grand Tour (2013)

Exhibition at the Boole Library, University College Cork, October 3rd through December 20th, 2013

My interest in the interplay between architecture and human/social experience continues in my current work, A Grand Tour (2013). The paintings provide glimpses of some of the finest Irish Georgian architecture. As a committee member of the Irish Georgian Society, the inspiration for this work was garnered during tours organised by the Cork Chapter over the last decade. The affection that is apparent in the paintings of Fota House reveal my favourite images from my work as a volunteer with the Irish Heritage Trust. The representations of impressive facades and sumptuous interiors in A Grand Tour are rendered without pretense, and thus retain their allure. As we are charmed by the beauty of the buildings, the weighty presence of the spectator expands the narrative. This includes the growing interest in this paragraph of our history, reassessing the meaning of architecture associated with colonialism. As our heritage is rethought, the association with British oppression is diminished. We have come on a journey, and now appreciate these buildings as part of our own history. The spectators' interest in their heritage draws us in, as they, as well as we, appreciate the skills of the the Irish craftsmen who built them. Stylistically, an appreciation of the Dutch masters such as Vermeer and Metsu is evident through, for example, the use of chiaroscuro. Interior perspectives reflect an admiration of the Danish artist Hammershoi. Technically, the definitive fluctuation between impasto and smooth application of paint is aimed at articulating the converging and diverging elements of the subject.

Viewing a Morrison
80x100 cm
Acrylic on Linen