Paintings & Drawings - Camden Art Centre

Rita Donagh is well-known and respected as an artist and teacher, and this exhibition provided a rare opportunity to see a large body of her work from 1975-1995.

The exhibition comprised of groups of paintings and related studies charting the artist’s personal relationship with the political situation in Ireland. Donagh employed a map-like convention in her work, using preparatory drawings to develop a network of grids, contours, projections and aerial views in construction of her formally complex works. Often basing her paintings on images gleaned from newspapers, Donagh used art as a distancing device, transposing violent incidents onto a formal framework and creating an alternative perspective, both literal and metaphorical.

Two of her works demonstrated interlinked concerns with the personal and the political: a self-portrait entitled Slade showed her reflective strength as an artist and Declaration, based on a found image of the Downing Street Declaration of 15 December 1993, witnessed concern for the future of Ireland.


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