James in Limbo
21 June to 27 July 2003
Mikey Cuddihy's paintings inhabit both public and personal domains. Telephone jottings - snippets of messages and conversations subconsciously scribbled down or arrangements to be made with friends and family - are photocopied and pasted onto the canvas. Over this, coloured cutout shapes derived from these doodles become leitmotifs for the work, hovering among painted calligraphic marks in a field of decorative activity. The private resonance of the underlying sheets of A4 paper that draw you into the paintings vie with the lyrical abstract shapes that dance across their surface. These overlaid patterns, curlicues and cartoonesque biomorphisms hover as a formal or sensual response to the chatter of life glimpsed below. Associations with repetitive wallpaper patterning, however, are dodged by the dripping paint and an overtly intuitive touch.
The title of the exhibition, James in Limbo - a truncated and de-contextualised phrase from an earlier telephone note pad scribble seems an absurd yet strangely sad statement. With their autobiographical references and aesthetic lexicon of decorative forms, Cuddihy's paintings speak frankly of the mundanity of the artist's life. Her work restages the theatre of domesticity as a perpetual struggle for harmony between internal conflicts and external order, the romantic vision of the artist and the reality of the individual.
A 12 page, colour illustrated publication with an essay by Sally O'Reilly is available. Click here to buy a copy.