press release

Caroline McCarthy's show at LCGA will, amongst recent works, present a new work entitled 'Promise' which once again has resulted from a return to the local supermarkets and corner shops, this time delving into the Deep Freeze. McCarthy's skill and ingenuity in both exploring and playing with our perceptions of the fabricated world remains central to her work. For some years McCarthy's work has turned to consumer packaging as material to work with. In this show she continues to discover and analyse how 'surface' can communicate expectation; demonstrating through colour, shape, pattern or images, how meaning is thrust into the everyday. Codes of communication are exposed which can be less to do with the function of a thing and more a vehicle designed to satisfy an innate human longing or desire.

Her interest is manifest in how packaging both conceals that which is inside and also how it is designed to appeal to a mass audience. Objects appear to be confident in their skin, therefore we trust them. McCarthy's work operates within this consumer trust, by presenting what the viewer initially perceives as something they see, recognise and understand. However any length of time with this work reveals that the basis of this recognition to be insubstantial or untrustworthy. The entire construction plays on several levels of deception and artifice. What has appeared to deliver in the first instance often transpires to be literally empty, shallow and transparent.

'Promise' presents an intersection of dinner packaging with plastic plant-pots. Packaging used in this work is specifically that which illustrates the meal with a sprig of garnish on top as an optional (unprovided) extra. The little green addition is there to attract us - like bait. It has a healthy, closer-to-nature appeal. In 'Promise', the pot is used to highlight and nurture the little sprig, each cut out to stand erect and feed from this luxurious bed of wanton design.

Born in Dublin in 1971, McCarthy graduated from NCAD, Dublin in 1994 and Goldsmiths MA Fine Art in 1998. Recent solo exhibitions include Gasworks Gallery, London (2002/3), Parkers Box, New York (2002), Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin (2002). Current and forthcoming exhibitions include Europe Exists, MMCA, Greece (curated by R.Martinez, co.H.Scheezman), Under Different Circumstances, Charlottenburg, Copenhagen, Denmark (curated by T.Bundgaard). McCarthy will install a public art project for Letterkenny, September 2003, followed by a solo exhibition in December 2003 at Hammer Sidi, London. Pressetext

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Caroline McCarthy - Promise