Ronan Goti & David Hedderman

Joint Show July 28 - August 12 2004

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Ronan Goti's rapid ascension in the art world and his critical acclaim has been quite startling since his inaugural exhibition at the Oisín Gallery in 2003. These most recent works display an increased understanding and continued exploration of Ireland's coasts.

You experience a feeling of liberation when looking at Ronan's paintings. They are snap-shots of our own memories; captured and retrieved, evoking a youthful familiarity, connections with times-past and childlike perspectives of seashores where nature is bountiful, omnipotent and intoxicating. The fleeting and the mysterious are made accessible, while the pathos and inimitability of the Irish landscape is tenderly delivered through his unique style and method.

Working from both life and photographs, these accounts of his surroundings have incredible passion and precision. Ronan manages to construct stylised views of Dublin's shorelines and represent a vision of an idealised scene, untouched by modernity. These highly sophisticated compositions are testament to his acute awareness and acknowledgement of the importance of drawing and control of tone. Light is of major emotional and compositional importance in his work. His palette is limited, resisting the temptation to use richer, more traditional hues, thus exemplifying Ireland's cool climate throughout the seasons.

Ronan's paintings dazzle the eye and set the mind to dreaming. He instinctively captures a sensitive sense of a place without the predictable sentimentality found in so many works of similar subject matter, and it is for that reason that this series elicits a real fascination.

 

Twenty-year-old artist, David Hedderman is in his final year studying for a fine art Bachelor's Degree at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin. Recognition for his work occurred, most notably, during the gallery's celebratory 25th Anniversary show in 2003.

David's work combines traditional glazing techniques with contemporary figure and portrait painting. His themes are concerned, almost invariably, with the female form. However, a recent visit to Calcutta has resulted in a number of shadowy and forsaken interiors creeping into his repertoire. Dark entrances, interminable corridors and stairs leading up to unknown destinations hint at tales that challenge the viewer to mentally compose and complete.

In David's emotive explorations of the human form, with their lethargic gestures and meditative expressions, exist only in the marginal spaces familiar only to the artist; suffused in shadows somewhere between day and night. Within their visible glazes, soft painterly contours and warm, dark colours, there is a definite state of timelessness. Both figure and darkness weave together enticingly accentuating calm, sometimes melancholy, contemplative moments of solitude. His ability to transcend the personal relationship between artist and model and to involve us in this delicate and most intimate relationship with such prudence and sensitivity is both rare and affecting. His unique insight to get as close to his subject as possible in an attempt to offer a cropped, intimate view is perhaps a little voyeuristic, but not entirely intrusive. He allows us to enter the private world of the sitter; quietly and unnoticed. The results are enigmatic, frail and poetic.

 

Antoinette Sinclair

 

Paintings in the exhibition