Figurative Thoughts

March 15 - April 1, 2019

We’re delighted to present to you ‘Figurative Thoughts’ featuring three figurative artists practicing different mediums. The show runs from 15th March-1st April.

The artists on show are Fergus Ryan, Ani Mollereau and Gillian Hyland.  

Figurative art, sometimes written as figurativism, describes artwork (particularly paintings and sculptures) that are clearly derived from real object sources and so is, by definition, representational.

Italian Renaissance art promoted an 'ideal' type of representationalism, as typified by the David sculptures of Donatello and Michelangelo. The human nude was seen as the highest form of creative expression, and figures were frequently painted and sculpted in idealized ways. There were very few 'ugly' faces or bodies on display in Renaissance FlorenceRome or Venice. Techniques of linear perspective were explored and documented.

However, this situation changed during the Mannerism period (c.1530-1600) beginning with Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel fresco "The Last Judgment". Figures became less idealized and more 'real', especially outside Italy, where non-idealistic oil painting dominated, notably in Holland where the realistic traditions of Jan Van Eyck (1390-1441) and Roger Van der Weyden (1399-1464) led to the incomparable school of Dutch Realism exemplified by the exquisite interiors of Jan Vermeer (1632-75). However, due to the power of the Church as well as the enduring influence of the Italian Renaissance - as expressed through the great European academies of art - it wasn't until the Industrial Revolution (c.1790-1850) that the Realism movement was born and painters began to represent the true reality of life instead of the idealized variety. ‘Figurative Thoughts’ is a take on realism in the 21st century.

Fergus Ryan’s works have a melancholic feel to them. Influenced by American realist painter Andrew Wyeth, Fergus works from ideas that are inspired from day to day life. Inspiration comes to Fergus in an instant which he then expands upon and works to the idea that surfaced originally. The imagery may come from something as simple as walking along the beach with his wife Sarah or seeing somebody in a crowded café that he has to paint. 

Ani Mollereau is a Dublin born artist who is known for her woodland creatures as well as her horse sculptures. Having spent most of her life around horses she has a great love and affinity with them. Her memories and experience have cultivated the unique and intricate stories behind her Bronze Horse collection. Ani's inherent passion for nature can be seen in her collection of woodland creatures and animal sculptures.

Gillian Hyland's narrative photographs are psychologically evocative - at once sublimely theatrical yet poignant. Frozen in time, solitary and vulnerable moments are presented in glorious technicolor and timeless sets. The photograph explores Hyland’s sense of self and society and aims to engage and trigger an emotional response from the viewer. The composition of each image suggests a larger narrative within a single moment.