The Molesworth Gallery is delighted to present Penumbra, a joint exhibition of new work by Megan Burns and Francis Matthews.
The work of Burns challenges, alters and rearranges our perceptions of what we know to be familiar and constitutes an ongoing exploration into architectural space and the freudian terminology of the uncanny. Through the use of geometry, colour and form, she creates illusionary spaces that aren’t quite right, that don’t function properly, spaces that are both open and confined, suspended between the real and imagined.
For his part, the practice of Matthews is informed by light, architecture and the phenomenology of place. The scenes he creates are almost always absent of people, describing places of neglect or moments of silence in otherwise inhabited locations. In a way, the viewer is cast as the inhabitant of the scene, a feeling achieved through the careful organisation of viewpoint and framing.
Although Matthews is a realist and Burns is an abstract painter, both artists are concerned with light and shade – with the ensuing contrasts giving their work its dynamism. Both also have a strong underlying geometric structure to their compositions and a tightly controlled, tonal palette. The work offers an interesting formal juxtaposition of style, draftsmanship and method, but with more in common between the two artists than at first apparent.
Born in Newry in 1991, where she still lives and works, Burns has a degree in fine art from the Carmarthen School of Art in Wales and an MFA from the Belfast School of Art. She is shortlisted for the 2019 RHA Hennessy Craig Award, the winner of which will be announced on October 9th.
Francis Matthews graduated with first-class honours degree in architecture from UCD before pursuing a career as an artist. He has won multiple awards at the RHA Annual, including the Hennessy Craig Scholarship, and has had two solo exhibitions at the The Molesworth Gallery.
Image: Megan Burns, ‘Altered space 0.11’, emulsion on board, 45 x 31 cm