Sarah Iremonger

from effect to ideology and back again 2000
from effect to ideology and back again was exhibited at CIT Cork Institution of Technology Exhibition Centre in 2000.
This exhibition showed the paths my work took over three years from 1998-2000. My early work was inspired by the way early Italian painters represented space on a flat plane and the problem of representation in abstract painting.  This work culminated in the production of a series of monochrome paintings, though the minimal associations with this work presented a dilemma and led to the production of a different type of monochrome painting, where instead of pushing out representation and association it came poring in. Through the use of different materials and a recognition of the importance of titles, for example, in the work ‘sky blue’ premixed and named household paint was used, sky blue, the paint was applied with a roller to mimic how the paint would appear in a domestic situation. Through the use of this type of paint I was exploring a situation where the aspiration for a representation, the idea of the sky, was already set-up as a marketing strategy. This situation lent itself very happily to a play on the meaning of the words used for the naming of the colour, and the use, the materials were originally intended for. 
The possibilities of narrative and association in relation to both representational and abstract issues in painting continued to inform my work, in ‘White Landscape' after 'Flatford Mill' by John Constable and ‘Bark, Shell and Sea Swirl’ super fresco embossed wallpapers, is a monochrome representational painting. The image was created by tracing the designs of embossed fresco wallpapers, and superimposing them onto a drawing of 'Flatford Mill' by John Constable. The surface of the painting was then painted with enamel paint which is vociferous and glossy and builds up a texture when painted in layers. The white paint was a reference to abstract painting, and abstraction's denial of representational issues in painting. The inclusion of the image of 'Flatford Mill' by Constable is a reference to paintings' representational history.  While the designs from the embossed fresco wallpapers are abstract, but aspire to a representation of nature, this complicates the aspiration for a recognisable representational image. The textured surface further complicates this aspiration, and confounds the desire for a figure/ground reading of the painting.
In 'bearable rules for making a painting' 1998, while all representational references have been eliminated from the work, the title reveals it as a play on the issues of representation in the context of modernist painting. In another work dating from 1998 'any time any place' a range of artists' painting panels, squares and rectangles. They have been painted or sprayed with different types of paint, while resisting the inclination to associate a certain shade with a certain size or shape. This resistance is continued throughout the installation with the intention of confounding any attempt of an aesthetic reading. Inevitably the work acquires its own balance and aesthetic associations are unavoidable. The title suggests the wealth of possible associations, which can be attributed to the colours and textures.