Wednesday 8 September 2021

Pathos - exhibition at Rathfarnham Castle

I was initially planning to write something about the Pathos exhibition last week to follow up on my post about the Diana Copperwhite exhibition that was showing at Rathfarnham Castle at the same time. However, I got sidetracked by the Pluid: National Comfort Blanket exhibition at Farmleigh House, which I thought deserved more urgent attention. Anyway, I blogged about Diana Copperwhite's exhibition here, so now I will continue where I left off.

This is an overview of the Pathos group exhibition in the "Pistol Room", which is just off the larger rooms on the first floor where Copperwhite's work is displayed. I am not sure of the point of the show's title because, other than one particular piece of an empty room, I did not think the work largely connected me to feelings of pity or sadness.

This exhibition consisted of small works, appropriate to the size of the room and I like it when the false walls are arranged at angles to each other. I chose to look at the work in a clockwise direction.

 On the first false wall were two paintings by SinĂ©ad ni Mhaonaigh (left) and a framed watercolour by Alice Maher (right). I am always pleased to see Maher's sensitive drawings, and the small watercolour entitled The Glorious Maid of the Charnel House, from 2016, was easily my favourite piece in the show.

At first I thought this piece did not belong in the show at all - the graphic simplicity of it made me think of an album cover or high class graffiti art. But after several looks at the posterised image I began to laugh. I had never heard of the Canadian artist or art collective, Royal Art Lodge, and was curious about the meaning of Chickens. There are definitely two stylised human images as well as the chicken itself but the context eludes me.

The final, largest display wall has a disparate grouping of paintings and a wall sculpture on the end wall. Again, I am not sure what brought these works together under the title, but it was an interesting little exhibition. 

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