Waterford News & Star Article, July 2015
Pat McEvoy, Arts Correspondent from the Waterford News & Star, featured my work for his “A View from the Green Room” segment.
“IT IS WHAT IT IS: MAURA McCARTHY EXHIBITION AT THE COASTGUARD.
In a sense, we’re all somewhat afraid of abstract art whether it’s on canvass or on stage. We like the certainty that a narrative brings and we’re afraid of the unknown. We like beginnings, middles and definitive endings. When we don’t find them, we’re out of our comfort zone and searching for answers. Déise AM host Billy McCarthy remarked, when opening his sister-in-law Maura’s exhibition at the Coastguard station in Tramore, that we’re comfortable with pictures that offer a narrative that draws us in, and offers some certainty of character, setting and time. ‘But’ argued Billy ‘these pictures draw you in and ask you to respond in a different way, to see beyond the obvious and to trust your emotional and spiritual response’.
Maura McCarthy’s work is different. It has vibrancy and a spiritual energy that conjures up its own narratives and reflects itself on canvasses that are layered with colour, texture and vibrancy that draws you into the subject matter. Maura’s exhibition is titled ‘Open Your Mind to Colour’ and asks us not to be afraid of letting our senses respond to something different.
All her paintings are vibrant energy sources whatever the subject matter. And there are faces everywhere…watching, reacting, feeling, and searching. The thought-provoking ‘Water on Fire’ is a beast of red-hot energy and life like lava floating over a river; a merging of fiery hues against a calm of purple-blue haze. Her ‘Silhouettes’ are dark and mysterious figures that barely escape from a vibrant and almost idyllic turquoise-blue background; hidden from view they conjure up the mysterious and mythic.
‘Octopus’ Garden is exactly what it says on the tin except the colours offer the narrative. A splash of neon-orange creatures floats on a palate of deep ocean blues with textured iodine blue sea-grass that invites you to rub and to feel the mystery of the ocean floor. Similarly ‘The Glades’ follow the progress of fauna seeking the light as they arch from their deep, sea-blue floor towards a shimmering surface. Maura’s ‘Colour Falls’ is a fusion of merging colour with turquoise becoming blue, amber becoming yellow and the half-light becoming light. Clearly her significant influences come from nature where oils, acrylics and mixed media reflect her passion for colour.
I wasn’t surprised that ‘Dancing in the Dark’ was the first picture to be sold. Flowers in a home add a beauty that only nature offers and their vibrancy and colour will always raise the spirit. But this picture asks us to imagine the life of the flowers when the lights go down and remind us that the energy and beauty continues on. This is an extraordinary picture that drew many gazers because there is a pulse to this canvass that will continue in someone’s living room long after the exhibition ends.
Two fishes in red-yellow follow each other across a canvass of ocean blue in ‘Follow Me’. There is a strong bond between the pair that suggests affection and, perhaps, even love. There’s a frisson of sexual energy suggested by the textured layers of current and waves in fabulous deep blue that screams there’s a lot going on in this canvass.
In fact, there’s a lot going on in all of Maura’s work and the attendance really allowed their imaginations to roam in response to it. ‘Lakeside Mirage’ was another picture that gathered many admirers. I loved the merging of form, light and colour in this work and the manner it worked our perspectives. I loved the shimmering haze that facilitated the merging of patterns, levels of light and the amalgamation of colours that made for an exceptionally attractive canvass. And yet the splashes of yellow throughout the work injected an energy and an alternative response that says that…just maybe…all is not as it seems as reality threatens to break through.
A pair of pictures that carried the title ‘It is what it is’ summed up the exhibition. These pictures are what they are; they are defined by what we take them to be. A face emerging from a cloaked personality seems as if it is an energy force of inspiration while in the complementary work, a pale face floats on a sea of power that suggests confusion, turmoil and pain. Maura McCarthy urges us to ‘use our inner eye’ when responding to the work and to acknowledge that her work are all stories that come from the heart.
‘This is my work’ says Maura who recognises the special space that is the Tramore Coastguard Gallery. ‘Open your eyes to colour agus bain sult as’.”
I would like to thank Pat McEvoy for this feature and for allowing me to use his article on my Website.
Ionad Cultúrtha Article, April 2016
07.04.16 – 02.05.16 ‘Turas le Dathanna’
le Maura McCarthy
Rugadh agus tógadh Maura i mBaile Mhic Íre, Co. Chorcaí. D’fhág sí Baile Mhúirne i 1979. Maireann clann agus gaolta léi sa pharóiste fós. Anois tá Maura ina chónaí i Sciobairín le breis is fiche bliain, áit atá croí látharnach leis na n-ealaíon i Iarthar Chórcaí.
Tá sí ag gabháil le Ealaín Theibhí le deich mbliana anuas. Nuair a dheineann sí cur síos ar a cuid oibre is breá léi an slí a thagann dathanna le céile agus an turas a thógann siad i dteannta a chéile. Chuireann sí sraitheanna péint ar an canbhás agus bíonn éifeacht uigeanta go rialta ar na píosaí a dheineann sí. D’fhoghlann sí a cuid saothar trí cúrsa ealaíona lán-aimsire a dhéanamh agus ansan ag obair leis an ealaíontóir Éireannach/Meireánach Matt Lamb ó Chicago. Chaitheadar an-chuid samhradh i dteannta a chéile sa stiúideo oibre a bhí aige in aice le Sciobairín, Iarthar Chorcaí. Mhúin sé scíleanna agus teicníocht di agus chuir sé comhairle uirthi rud a bhí luachmhar di ó thaobh a stíl féinigh a cothú. Tugann an nadúr agus an timpeallacht inspioráid di ag obair ar píosaí éagsúla.
Bíonn Maura ag díol a cuid ealaíon ar ceantanna beo go rialta ar an suíomh idirlín www.morganodriscoll.com ‘Off the Wall auction’. Tá sí mar bhall don Ionad Ealaíona Iarthar Chorcaí. Bhí taispeántas aonair aici san Ionad Ealaíona agus Cultúra sa Trá Mhór, Co. Phort Láirge i 2015. Bíonn sí ag díol ar a suíomh idirlín www.mauramccarthyartist.com Tá bailitheoirí aici timpeall na cruinne – na Stáit Aontaithe, An Ghearmáin, Dubai, An tSín agus anseo ag a baile. Tá an-áthas ar Mhaura bheith thar n-ais ina baile dúchais lena taipéantas ildaite.