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We Are Vain And We Are Blind, 2008
50cm x 50cm
Of Bright and Blue Things, 2007
64cm x 79cm
Fiona Curran's exploration of the decorative tradition in painting has seen her utilise pattern, colour and landscape imagery in the creation of her 'imagined spaces'. Playing with notions of the natural and artificial, Curran's line of enquiry stems from extensive research into various forms of interior decoration and their commodification of nature, ranging from scenic wallpapers from the nineteenth century to contemporary commercial paint colour charts.
The depiction (in the case of wallpaper) or allusion (the evocative names manufacturers give to paint colours) to landscape act as a means through which we bring the outside and the 'natural' world inside to our domestic interiors. Ultimately artificial and safe, they still, however, provide us with enough of a trace of the familiar, transporting us and our thoughts to some other, more exotic place.
'The ornamental... has been repeatedly theorised as an addition, an afterthought that, rather than enhancing the form beneath, cloaks or veils that form and creates a division between us as viewers and our experience of the true and proper form and therefore substitutes confusion for, the inessential for the essential. It has the potential to blur the lines between form and function.'1
Paul Stone, 2008
1. 'In Search of the Sensual', essay by the artist in the catalogue to Frenzy: L'art decoratif d'aujourd 'hui, The Metropole Galleries, Folkestone, 2006.
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