Gwyneth Scally

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Artist Statement:

Gwyneth Scally's work explores and exposes, and at times even mocks, the insecurities contemporary culture has regarding the body. Such an examination has resulted in a powerful installation, Jelly, 2005, at the Tucson Museum of Art.

This large-scale work presents the body as religious iconography. Placed in a small, chapel-like setting, the single twenty foot wide painting-comprised of an interlocking system of ten wooden panels stained in deep mahogany-suggests an altarpiece. Reinforcing the altar's effect, meticulously crafted, strikingly realistic resin and fabric jellyfish "float" in front of the large panels. With their tentacles drifting menacingly down to the floor, these strange sea creatures act as acolytes to the narrative depicted in the painting.

By pairing primeval sea creatures with images of contemporary man, Scally reminds us that we are part of a remarkable chain of life. In spite of the elaborate altars we construct and the religions we follow, we are guided by a complex system of mind and body interrelationships we cannot control. Her ability to meld personal history, years of intellectual study and discourse, and the visual cornucopia of her travels into technically and artistically masterful works is the recipe for exciting possibilities.

Excerpted from an essay by Julie Sasse, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Tucson Museum of Art

Oil, gesso and stain on wood 72" x 144" 2005

Loaves and Fishes
Oil, gesso and stain on wood. 48" x 48" 2005

Jelly (Alterpiece)
Oil, gesso and stain on wood 132" x 240" 2005

Installation at the Tucson Museum of Art, 2005

Jelly (Sculpture). Fiberglass, fabric, oil.
Dimensions variable. 2005

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