Gasworks presents the first UK solo exhibition of new work by Caroline McCarthy. Having recently won the AIB Art Prize in Ireland, McCarthy will show two major sculptural pieces alongside photographic works. McCarthy transforms the ordinary, the overlooked into something more exceptional, more compelling - investigating the language of the everyday with new and unexpected identities. Illusion is a recurring strategy, contesting the viewers expectation in works which set out to suggest the promise of surface whilst also exposing it as thin and unreliable.
The photographic works The Luncheon, 2002 and Composition (Pumpkin and Cherries), 2002 present the viewer with images of lavish still-life compositions of fruit and vegetables that mimic the tradition of 17th Century European Vanitas Painting. Carefully fabricated from a sodden palette of different coloured toilet paper, these still-life sculptures explore ideas of abundance, excess, desire and consumption.
In the project space at Gasworks, McCarthy will show From The Testors Military Range, 2002 which consists of an array of plastic bottles and other familiar consumable packaging painted in various shades of grey, sliver and black enamel paint and presented on long glass shelves filling one side of the gallery. The painting is such that the surface of the objects offers a spectacle of luxury electronic goods on display for purchase. Escape, 2002, the largest of the works, continues the exploration of surface appearances and desire through the presentation of an unoccupied domestic space, defined within the main gallery by a standard timber frame. This artificial room is filled with all manner of found objects. Collected over a number of months the objects have one thing in common, which is that they have been found with a leopard skin patterned surface. Looking through the bars of the frame, the viewer is confronted with the literal and metaphorical entrapment that such excessive desire can create.