About > Statement
'Beyond the Horizon' after 'A Thunderstorm' by J.A. O'Connor, woodland camouflage and plastic bottles vector, 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 the separation of humans and nature, and romanticisms failed attempt to address this.
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.
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.'
2014-prescent has seen the development of a collaborative project Horizons with poet Derek Mahon. The project so far involves a completed prose piece, which has been published as part of the collection 'Olympia and the Internet' The Gallery Press 2017. The visual work is being developed in three parts. The first part involves works based on the entrance to Cork Harbour, which investigates the idea of ‘separation’ represented through colour separations and the distant horizon. The second part is a reflection on the idea of ‘lost islands’ in this case Skellig Michael using nature camouflages and Star Wars imagery, while part three, looks at the idea of ‘beyond the horizon’ creating landscapes based on the works of Irish nineteenth century painter James Arthur O’Connor, nature camouflages and plastic waste vectors. In this work Iremonger is investigating the separation of humans and nature, and romanticisms failed attempt to address this. Foreground and background are merged collapsing ideas about subject and object. Though the paintings are painstakingly hand painted, they suggest mechanically and digitally produced images, through the fragmentation of traced images into a kind of multilayered camouflage, as if the images are hiding within themselves.
Sarah Iremonger 2018