Alice Maher: Portraits, 9 - 30 Sep 2003
PORTRAITS | Alice Maher
9 - 30 September, 2003
Maher presents us with' ... a dreamy, oddly recognisable world of magical transformation, endless possibilities and exceptional violence.' Aidan Dunne - The Irish Times.
' ... that sting in the tale, that way of making common place things seem rare or oddly beautiful.' Ros Drinkwater- The Sunday Business Post
The Millennium Court Arts Centre is delighted to present 'Portraits', an exhibition of new work by one of Irelands' leading artists, Alice Maher. MCAC is fortunate to have obtained this opportunity to bring Maher's most recent photographic images to Portadown. 'Portraits', only previously exhibited in Dublin and London, signals Maher's return to Northern Ireland with her first solo show here since 1995.
Alice Maher is an artist much associated with her extraordinary use of natural, found materials to construct what has been described as ' . .. objects that both threaten and exhilarate by holding out the possibility of breaking all the rules.'-Aidan Dunne, The Irish Times. Religious iconography, mythology, fairytale and folklore have typically informed her artistic process. In this new series of photographic work, Maher re-appropriates natural material and evokes a sense of the "uncanny", to construct twelve singular, startling tableaux.
Using Renaissance portraiture as a reference and herself as the subject, Maher uses found materials to extend, transform and transgress her own body; a protagonist, in a sometimes macabre scene, encroached by nature. These unusual manifestations incorporate a duality that is integral in much of her work. They are images invested with a terrible and profound knowledge of the natural world and yet, many of the portraits express a wry humour at what is happening to the artist herself. As artist and subject, Maher becomes a bemused player in various stages of metamorphosis that occurs as the body coughs up its complex imaginings.