Cliona Fox | Perceptions of Isolation

Meet The Artist on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th of May from 12pm – 4pm

Cliona Fox is an Irish artist with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art and Contemporary Studies from the National College of Art & Design. She has undertaken residencies throughout the country, which have inspired subsequent work. These include the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, The Custom House Studios, Co Mayo and The Cill Rialaig Retreat, Co. Kerry. She has exhibited widely throughout Ireland and abroad including Brussels and Beijing, and has had many solo and group exhibitions. Her work is in several private and State Collections including The Bord of Works, Department of Foreign Affairs, Waterford Healing Trust, Cill Rialaig Collection, Sheraton Hotel Group and CIAA (European Union).

In her recent work Fox sources her images from nature and the landscape but focuses on making her work less figurative, more gestural and abstracted. It is evident that the element of drawing and the visceral substance of the paint are dually important to her as the painted surfaces reflect areas of expression and precision.

Having spent part of each year in Co. Kerry for most of her adult life, the artist made numerous  trips to the Skelligs Islands which lie 12 kilometres off the coast. Here she made initial drawings and it was from these, her experience of the journey, and the artist’s memory that she found inspiration for this body of work.

The work straddles the boundary between abstraction and representation and varies in size, successfully depicting the grand scale of this rocky outpost and capturing, through an extensive palette, the ever-changing light common in the Atlantic landscape. Central to and interspersed with the large expressive mark-making and loose brushwork to focused areas of detail, are hints of habitation long-abandoned.

There are no people portrayed but there is a sense of a spiritual presence gleaned from the remnants of the beehive huts and steep stone steps hewn from the rock face. In several of the paintings the artist uses cruciform shapes offering the reader an opportunity to immerse themselves in making this journey, a pilgrimage almost, as they too ascend some of these 700 approx. steps to the peak of this sacred mountain.

Apparent in the work also is the artist’s obvious love of her chosen medium where her constant layering and obliterating of the buttery-oil painted surface allows for areas of control and ambiguity. This friction and tugging makes for a constant gratifying challenge to both artist and viewer as they attempt to fill in the voids of what is portrayed.

Despite it being a major tourist attraction today, and the film set for the Star Wars movies, the artist’s images exude a feeling of solitude. In the midst of this pandemic  these are timely representations of the alienation, solitude and isolation, which we all endure.

Meet The Artist on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th of May from 12pm – 4pm

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24 May 2021 - 06 Jun 2021


10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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Signal Arts Centre
1a Albert Ave, Bray, Co. Wicklow


Signal Arts Centre
01 276 2039
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