Artist of the Month

April 2018
Caragh Thuring

Often painting directly on to untreated linen rather than the traditional white canvas, Caragh Thuring creates what she refers to as ‘speculative environments’. The works require the viewer to seek their own meaning in what they see; as the artist has stated: ‘I’m not interested in constructing readable vignettes within painting, but rather in how little traces of things might trigger interpretation.’ Although her brushstrokes are often gestural and appear impulsive, each mark is carefully considered. Combined with large areas of unpainted canvas, these jolt the paintings in and out of focus, causing the eye to slip from one surface to another.

To produce her most recent paintings, the artist collaborated with weavers from Suffolk and Belgium to create canvases woven with images of her previous works. This innovative approach, which combines handcraft and industrial process, brings to light Thuring’s continued interest in sequence and repetition. Inspired by time spent in Scotland observing the comings and goings of HM Naval Base, Clyde, these works feature looming maritime vessels merged with painted tartans. In her previous paintings, human presence was only alluded to by the inclusion of industrial objects such as cranes or ropes. In Ardyne Point (2016) the outline of what appears to be two women swims into view, protruding from the brick-patterned background. High-heeled shoes, emphasised by the use of gold leaf, shimmer at the edge of the canvas. Disjointed text overlays the scene; CORMORANT ALPHA, an oil-rig platform which was built at Ardyne Point and USS HOLLAND, referring to the US Navy’s first commissioned submarine. Having long considered the intentionally unprimed, unpainted areas of her work, Thuring has perhaps found a more personal starting point with these new woven surfaces.

Caragh Thuring (b. 1972, Brussels) is an artist living and working in London. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1995 from Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, and has since exhibited widely in the UK as well as internationally. Her recent solo exhibitions include Chisenhale Gallery, London (2014) and Thomas Dane Gallery, London (2016).

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