Launching at 6:30pm on Thursday August 19th and running till September 5th at the Hang Tough Studio Gallery, Lennox Street, Dublin 8.
Hang Tough Contemporary is delighted to present a new collection of ceramic vessels, oil paintings, pastel colour studies, and screen prints from Irish artist Emma O’Hara. This accomplished body of work spans multiple practices and the range is breathtaking.
Over the past year O’Hara’s work has evolved from structured screen prints of environments to a more elusive and intuitive representation of landscape. In March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic in Ireland caused studios to be closed compelling artists to re-examine their practices and how they make work. O’Hara was no exception and took the opportunity to expand her knowledge base and experiment with new processes and techniques in order to remain creative. This combined with the lack of interaction with landscape over the past year has pushed O’Hara to produce a new body of work. Presented as a dreamlike journey through unfamiliar jungles, this new work emphasises the longing felt by many throughout the pandemic to submerge oneself within the landscape. O’Hara generously grants the viewer access to her own experiences allowing them to explore and experience new while highlighting the necessity of the landscape and our obligation to protect it.
‘??? ??? ????? ??? ??????’ depicts lush and verdant, fantasy landscapes that evoke a sense of the sublime, nostalgia and wanderlust through immersive paintings, vivid paper works and ceramic vessels. These imagined paradises exist outside of any particular time or space allowing a more visceral experience that creates a sense of reverie and suspended sensation. The work explores the relationship between desire and dreams, culminating in ferociously lucid, imaginary landscapes. The work conjures the memory of a landscape rather than a specific site. The scale of the work draws the viewer into the landscape and by proxy into the memory. The spontaneity of the marks flowing over the surface suggest movement within the landscape itself, further immersing the viewer in the fantasy. All the while, colour and abstraction are used to remind the viewer that this is a dream, a subtle gesture that aims to highlight the urgency of our current environmental crisis and the danger posed to our natural environment.