Kevin Mooney at Ormston House

Ormston House is proud to present Twilight Head Cult, a solo exhibition of new and recent paintings by Kevin Mooney. Please join us with the artist for the preview on Thursday 17 November from 6pm to 8pm.


Admission is free and all are welcome.

 

Kevin Mooney: Storyteller (2016), oil on canvas, 80 x 60cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

 

Dwellings, sweathouses or astronomical observatories? The structures dotted throughout Kevin Mooney’s Stranger Island (2016) and other landscapes depict playful perspectives on how our ancestors lived and saw the world. Without concrete evidence, explanations of our history are constructions rather than reconstructions due to the rupture in handed-down knowledge in the oral tradition. Yet the fragments of ruins, artefacts and legends offer a rich resource for interpretations of how Irish society developed or could have developed.

Spearheaded by Chief (2014), Mooney’s recent research into the “cult of the head” has evolved into an archive of sorts. In early Celtic culture, the head was perceived as a site of power or the seat of the spirit, with suggestions that warriors ritually decapitated the vanquished. The collection of paintings in Twilight Head Cultassemble distorted and mutated heads peering at us through puffs of smoke and floating eyeballs barely concealed by clouds and bushy beards.

Picking through embellished accounts and unreliable speculations on pagan parties and tribal conflicts, on seers and magic mushrooms, Mooney reimagines an Irish art history through Storyteller (2016) as a cultural entanglement. The story is interwoven with references to emigration, folklore and the supernatural. The exhibition is an imagined portrait of "Irishness" - on the one hand specific to national identity and on the other how Irish culture might have interacted with other cultures on its migrational journeys.

 

Dwellings, sweathouses or astronomical observatories? The structures dotted throughout Kevin Mooney’s Stranger Island (2016) and other landscapes depict playful perspectives on how our ancestors lived and saw the world. Without concrete evidence, explanations of our history are constructions rather than reconstructions due to the rupture in handed-down knowledge in the oral tradition. Yet the fragments of ruins, artefacts and legends offer a rich resource for interpretations of how Irish society developed or could have developed.

Spearheaded by Chief (2014), Mooney’s recent research into the “cult of the head” has evolved into an archive of sorts. In early Celtic culture, the head was perceived as a site of power or the seat of the spirit, with suggestions that warriors ritually decapitated the vanquished. The collection of paintings in Twilight Head Cultassemble distorted and mutated heads peering at us through puffs of smoke and floating eyeballs barely concealed by clouds and bushy beards.

Picking through embellished accounts and unreliable speculations on pagan parties and tribal conflicts, on seers and magic mushrooms, Mooney reimagines an Irish art history through Storyteller (2016) as a cultural entanglement. The story is interwoven with references to emigration, folklore and the supernatural. The exhibition is an imagined portrait of "Irishness" - on the one hand specific to national identity and on the other how Irish culture might have interacted with other cultures on its migrational journeys.

November 16, 2016