Kevin Mooney’s Twilight Head Cult at Ormston House

Does the masquerade of looking signal our narcissism? The meeting of our gaze with the conceit of our own imagination is a grotesque event. Our own allure is the travesty of our doings and others’, the disorder of humiliation and obliqueness, strewn in time. A fiction dwells in the hedgerows. A chilly, wobbling elastic zone of alienation extends like mist, inflecting all perception and phenomena with the ridiculous. There is no topography. In such a climate you can’t paint what you see until you see it. Mooney’s canvases evidence the plain frontality of collision, the undetected, slowed-down like the rearing rubber duck, which apprehends the beholder at once with its eye and half rictus. Vacantness is littered countlessly, an unviewable assembly presenting everywhere, beyond sensibility and superstition. Dots and sprigs, like floaters, imply a stealthy, spittly rain, where we might discover other eyes. Mooney’s palette is alarmingly unyielding in its pallidness. The pink and earth cohabit in ageless disharmony. Bright hues cold and loveless, implicated erasure. Slumping organic jesters will rear their heads. They are unclassifiable figments, scarecrows in spotlight, insinuating into view clouds of misapprehension, with acrid, bitter touch. Their beard-jumpers are a psychotic, mustard-and-crimson torture. This landscape is churned with boggled weariness, joyless tendency inhabiting the paint, a weight of anticipation. An effort of objectification is straining through all that is seen. The paintings endure. Sometimes we grasp ourselves at sea, glimpsing our land over whorls of the bottle-grey stuff, the island itself perhaps about to take its long incisor of a pipe and blindly pap-pap at us, obliviously. This intimacy is an ineradicable reality.

Written by Danny Kelly

Danny Kelly is a painter based in Dublin.

Kevin Mooney’s ‘Twilight Head Cult’ at Ormston House, Limerick, 18 November 2016 – 22 January 2017.