Bray: Reiltín Murphy at Signal Arts Centre

Circa 110 review

Reiltín Murphy: Loss , watercolour and goldleaf on paper; photo Anthony Hobbs; courtesy the artist

As the title Amalgam suggests, Reiltín Murphy's exhibition displayed a number of groups of mixed-media works. The exhibition consisted of twenty-seven well crafted and properly framed works which were nothing short of elegant in Signal's gallery space. Murphy combined calligraphic design, leatherwork, handmade paper and gilding in her faultlessly designed arrangements.

Murphy studied calligraphy and it shows in the exquisite penmanship within her work. In most of the pieces exhibited the calligraphic element was barely decipherable, as it was more important for its texture than content. This use of hidden language adds some mystery and complexity to the work, but not enough to carry the pieces.

Aesthetically I found the works pleasing, but I am disturbed that I am left cold by their seeming 'perfection'. From series titles such as Loss , Sacred place and The poet's teabag I was continually expecting to find an emotional engagement which was sadly missing.

Lorraine Whelan is an artist and writer based in Bray, Co. Wicklow.

Reiltín Murphy: Amalgam , Signal Arts Centre, Bray, October 2004

Article reproduced from CIRCA 110, Winter 2004, pp.68–69