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Review Of Janet Pierce Exhibition

Munster Express
18th June 2004
Liam Murphy

There is a wonderful sense that the Janet Pierce exhibition at Joan Clancy Gallery in Ring is fated to be there in such splendid natural surroundings. Helvick Head on a summer's day has its own draoicht/magic and Pierce's work has that force of nature and hidden depths.

Called Idir Eatharthu (Between Two Worlds), it is mostly watercolour on paper and the mixed media work shows that Pierce is a watercolourist at heart. Many of the exhibited images are of internal light in darker places.

A series Heartlands is so impressive with its dark layers suffused with a strong light that grows out of the canvas. You get the impression of a painter looking out on a landscape or skyscape while at the same time projecting an inner vision that is not always as confident on the canvas. At once you can sense the beating heart, the pulse of the work and yet feel the change, the hesitation. The leaving in, and the painting over, the flux as the light changes faster than the hand paints or the memory remembers.

In the title series, two paintings stand out. Idir Eatharthu 6 with a swirl of pink like the merging of conscious choice into a hesitant unconscious choice of colours. There are great swirls of mood, of conflict, of not being sure, and of being surprised by the vision that is at once escaping and arriving. The sense of Idir Eatharthu/ Between Two Worlds is so strong. Idir Eatharthu 7 has a darker, hide and seek of images and sensations; the secretive and the exposed are there in the one frame, yet planes apart.

A large canvas Red Dawning is so dramatic with a turmoil of light and red paint framed in an ochre border, set off by touches of gold.

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