Wednesday 18 September 2019

Then & Now: Janet Mullarney at IMMA

A few weeks ago I was delighted to see the exhibition of sculptural work by Janet Mullarney in the hallowed halls of IMMA. Mullarney was one of the first contemporary Irish artists that really impressed me when I had seen an exhibition of hers at the Project Art Centre about 30 years ago!

Mullarney's figurative work straddles that precarious space between dream and reality, fact and fiction - a space close to my own heart.

I concur with IMMA's description of the exhibition: "Although the works presented are diverse in scale, form and materials, they clearly belong to the distinctive world of Mullarney's imagination. Her underlying concerns with the strangeness, darkness and fragility of the human condition also form a connecting thread." IMMA website

Looking at the pictures and thinking about Mullarney's work now, I see a positive affinity with the work of Louise Bourgeois, another artist that I admire.

Mullarney comes from a classically trained background (Florence, Italy) and divides her time between studios in Ireland and Italy. The exhibition brings together old and new work, though I was surprised NOT to see any of the work I remembered from that early Dublin show that had so impressed me. The exhibition runs till October 13 2019.

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