Review Of Disco Dolls Exhibition By Rayleen Clancy
11th October 2002
When Rayleen Clancy's new exhibition DISCO DOLLS opens in the Dyehouse Gallery this Friday, 11th October, it will mark a
significant development in her career as a figurative painter. She returned to Helvick from San Francisco Art Institute in
2000 and in the short while since has developed a fine style of painting application and an in-your-face immediacy.
The American brashness shines out of the work with it's strong reliance on photo-realism with it's distorted perspective and
larger than seemingly real heads.
DISCO DOLL is 14 oils on canvas and 4 mixed media on paper. There are so many moods looking at you out of these paintings of
young girls on the cusp of womanhood or pubescence. Some times it's old heads on young bodies as the girl/women prepare for
discos and it's associated metaphor for excitement, thrills, fears and lots of aggressive poses that challenge the viewer.
Some have the power to intimidate or make you feel uneasy. Faces stare you out, stare you down, provoke you, beguile you,
include you and ask you questions. Hands hang gangly-like or are hooked into belt-straps and the work on fabric is sacrificed
for skin tones, smudged noses and electric eyes. Heads are in dreamy pools of light like angels and most of the lips are
closed; the expression too knowing, too adult, than seems right but there is still innocence and knowing and wanting to know
and pretending to know. Some are shadowy background figures that mirror or prefigure.
JOKE is a powerful piece where you can share the sense of humour and yet feel the two girls might be giggling at you. WAR
PAINT is a triptych with lots of self-absorption.
DANCING DOLL has such clarity of texture and intention in blue tones as a background. NICE TRY is a wonderful vortex of
expression with a sense of peace and transcendence that is in no way doll like. In general the title DOLLS is a misnomer.
Three large studies are the strength of this exhibition COWGIRL, DEVIL DOLL and MOLLY & PINKY WINKY. COWGIRL is suspicious of
you and blanks you out yet the eyes follow you. DEVIL DOLL is provocative and sexy and dares you in a way that suggests you
shouldn't waste your time. A come-on and a put- down in one. MOLLY AND PINKIE WINKIE has a shadowier figure in the background
that exudes power and dominance. The deep tones are wonderful here. RAYLEEN CLANCY is an exciting painter on her way to
better things. The exhibition runs until 22nd November.