Image:The Golden Bough (Dublin: The Hugh Lane Gallery, 2011)
Essay within the publication, The Golden Bough, ed. Michael Dempsey (Dublin: The Hugh Lane Gallery, 2011)
Seán Shanahan's exhibition, Oasery, Tracery, within the Golden Bough series at The Hugh Lane consists of single installation made up of five elements painted directly onto the curving gallery wall. The individual motifs, realised in oil paint, share formal constraints; 30 centimeters square and geometric in appearance. Despite their abstract appearance the work is in essence figurative, being based on drawings Shanahan has made of his paintings installed in specific architectural settings. The approach affects an elliptical echoing through the painting traditions of still life, landscape, portraiture and abstraction.
The source drawings offer longitudinal and oblique views into corners to create acute perspectival distortion on the picture plane.