About > Statement
'Beyond the Horizon' - 'A Thunderstorm' by J.A. O'Connor, woodland camouflage and plastic bottles, 2017, watercolour on paper, 49 x 66 cm
Sarah Iremonger's work is eclectic in nature, using a multidisciplinary approach with found, created and adapted images and objects, as well as painting, drawing, photography, digital media, neon and video. Based in Co. Cork, Ireland, her work investigates how we understand and navigate ideas of interconnectedness and separation, particularly with regard to the romantic landscape tradition.
Iremonger's early work in the 1990’s focused on depictig painted representations of space and light, using walls, windows and doorways to create space within the picture plane and was interested in how the illusion of space can be created on and beyond a flat surface through layers of luminous dark oil colours on canvas and board, and acrylic on paper.
The conceptualization of her practice since 1998 changed the way she approached her central concern at the time ‘the quandary of painting’ with particular interest in how context shaped its meaning.
Since then Iremonger has used a multidisciplinary approach to create installations and exhibitions, exploring the way site affects the meaning of an artwork. For example in her exhibition The Top Half of the Hero at the Triskel Arts Centre, Cork in 2002, images of the gallery space and the hidden office spaces were reproduced as part of the exhibition in the gallery in the form of drawn murals, this created a dislocation of space and meaning, creating a heightened awareness of the site. In the exhibition I thought I dreamed of you 2009-10 at the West Cork Arts Centre, a painted mural was included in the exhibition space and documentation of a fake painted mural, of the same image installed upside-down at the same site was also included. This documentation took the form of drawing on a photograph of the exhibition space, suggesting a slippage and dislocation of space and time, of fact and fiction.
Different materials such as video, neon, drawn and painted murals, printed media, and photographs have helped her explore the relationship between perception and meaning. The Hunting Box Party 2005-2011 was shown at the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork in 2005, the Knoll Gallery, Vienna, Austria 2010, the Knoll Gallery, Budapest, Hungary 2011 and The Armory Gallery, Sydney Olympic Stadium, Australia 2011. Iremonger used video, badges and greeting cards to explore the idea of the artwork as an ephemeral object of imbued meaning. While the Landscape Unions used politics as a context within which to make artwork. Both these works are critical of an anthropocentric view of nature.
The Travels of Eugen von Guérard shown at allerArt Austria 2011 and Sirius Arts Centre Co. Cork 2012, looked at how the work of nineteenth century Austrian artist Eugen von Guérard exported a specific European colonial vision of landscape to Australia, this work again explores the idea of the artwork as an ephemeral object of imbued meaning, this time colonial, and shows how our ideas about nature are a construct of our specific cultural perspective. Using found objects, photography, text and a painted mural to confound fiction and fact, past and present, exploring the nature of our understanding of images of landscape.
Solipsism Series was exhibited at the Macroom Town Hall, Co. Cork 2013 and the Royal Hibernian Gallery, Dublin 2014, this series of works consists of digitally manipulated images of nineteenth century maritime paintings of Cork harbour printed and mounted on dibond. By removing the subject matter of the paintings, for example the ships, offers the opportunity for a different interpretation of the paintings and collapses the subject / object duality these kinds of the paintings.
2014-prescent has seen the development of a new collaborative project Horizons with poet Derek Mahon. So far the project involves a prose piece completed by Derek Mahon, while the visual work, is developing in three parts. Part one involves works based on the mouth of Cork Harbour and investigates the idea of ‘separation’ represented through the idea of colour separations and the distant horizon. Part two is a reflection on ideas of identity through ‘lost islands’ in this case Skellig Michael, camouflage and Star Wars, while part three, looks at the idea of ‘beyond or below the horizon’ creating landscapes based on the works of James Arthur O’Connor, woodland camouflage and plastic waste. In this work I am interested in looking at ideas about interconnectedness and separation with regard to the romantic landscape tradition. Foreground and background, are collapsed, as are distinctions between handmade and digitally produced images in an attempt to dispel or displace the duality between humans and the environment.
The Rain Bridge is a childrens book published by The Gallery Press 2017, 'a story written by Derek Mahon for his son, then aged six, is a tale of loss, kindness and recovery. Iremonger’s illustrations match, in their simplicity, the purity of the author’s style.'
Sarah Iremonger 2017