The exhibition will consist of paintings and drawings installed as a gesamtkunstwerk. The works were created with the artists collaborating in two different countries Hughes is based in Finland and Kallio in Germany. Through a series of many conversations the works unfolded. The following is an excerpt:
Taru: I would like to know more about your process of finding the images. I like the idea of wandering in flea markets. I find it much more interesting than going online because the work becomes connected to my body and how I move in my environment. I think it’s especially interesting because we are both living in foreign countries.
Jane: Searching with your hand through shelves is a much more pleasant experience and gentler on the mind than the internet. It leaves more room to ponder slowly about the images you see. Can you tell me about your method of working with the images you find? What do you like about drawing?
T: I started to work with graphite drawings because I wanted to see what happens when I work by copying, in a sort of controlled way. I try to copy the image as it is and in that process I feel I sort of eat and digest the image. By making drawings I can spend some time with the image and it becomes close to my own time. In the process of drawing the image disappears and becomes shapes and tones until it forms again.
J: We discussed early female christian mystics manuscript illustrations and their lives. In one of your drawings there appears to be a religious figure. Could you tell me more about her? And the intention behind the second image with the focus on the mouth?
T: There is a stubborn expression on her face which I found fascinating. I have been interested in female mystics and how they were trying to achieve some kind of freedom in their own lives. One method was controlling their bodies through fasting or vows of silence. While I was drawing I was thinking about control over one-self through the mouth.
J: I think it relates in a way to my painting “Ophelia” where the man appears in a state of shock lying in water. I want to have an image where the male protagonist is more vulnerable. To me it feels like an image of reckoning, a facing of one self. In Elaine Showalter’s Female Malady there are insights into the history between political oppression and mental health, female mental illness was categorised into 3 types; Ophelia – melancholic and suicidal, Crazy Jane – driven over the edge by passion and Cleopatra – angry and violent. I find the delicate nature of care and authority is interesting.
T: I like that idea of vulnerability. I have been working with this book I found in Germany that shows people receiving treatments in a Kurhaus. These images look unnerving and intimate.
Jane Hughes (b.1984 Ireland) lives in Helsinki. She has an MA in Environmental Art, from Aalto University in 2012 and completed her BA Fine Art, at National College of Art & Design, Dublin in 2006. Her most recent solo exhibitions include; Place, Histories and Other Matters at Toradh Galleries, Ireland (2020), Architecture of Emotions, Custom House Studios & Gallery, Ireland (2018), Gods & Demons of the Forest, Embassy of Ireland, Berlin, (2015) and Detroit-Stockholm, Sweden (2014). Her work is part of the Finnish State Art collection.
Taru Kallio (b. 1986 Finland) works between Germany and Norway. She earned her MA in Fine Art Bergen Academy of Art & Design (KHiB) in 2017, Norway and received her BA at the Lahti Institute of Fine Arts in 2011. Since 2018 she has been an artist in residence at the Vorwerkstift in Hamburg Germany.
*Exhibition will also be visible online from Sunday 26.07.2020 at http://www.janehughes.ie