Consider the Lobster


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Client: Diana Kingston Artist
Art Catalogue

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Consider the Lobster

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  2. 2. Dalkey Castle, 25—29 April, 2012.ii 1
  3. 3. Consider the Lobster This is Diana Kingston’s first solo demonstrated a change in direction and send her off enthused with exhibition since her much lauded from these earlier shows in the Tom painterly possibilities. show in the OSB Gallery in 2006. Caldwell Gallery so this one in Dalkey Kingston has never stood still as an Castle heralds a further evolution. The Coal Harbour Pier in Dún artist. While she is not one for radical She has taken a few steps back from Laoghaire was another rich source changes in direction you can detect her subject matter to give us a new of inspiration for the artist. Of the a gradual metamorphosis in style less ambiguous view of the world of multitude of fish to be found in the over the decades. These changes nature. The lushly hued mackerel and little shop at the end of the pier the encompass both her subject matter lobsters have replaced the often- modest mackerel seemed the most and her technique. Kingston’s early desiccated objects found by the beautiful and exotic. The women in shows in the Tom Caldwell Gallery in seashore. The mackerel are depicted the shop grew used to her visits and the Seventies were rigorously photo- in all their glory: blue, turquoise, and would pull their wares out into the realistic, often featuring self-portraits slate grey with hints of ochre, lime sunshine all the better to display the along with an occasional excursion and purple. There are suggestions of gorgeous colours. These encounters into trompe l’oeil. She mainly used oil their lost habitat the sea in the swirls were the genesis of three years work. and pencil and the work had a tight of gesso that surround them. Their graphical feel to it. It was light, well poignant and seemingly resigned These mackerel, symbols of fertility executed and often witty. appearance contrasts with the malign and fecundity, are indubitably dead. and purposeful lobster who seem to They have a tragic mien. The eyes lamented David Foster Wallace In the subsequent decades she began be emerging for mischief from some stare reproachfully at the viewer published in 2005. The title essay was to look outwards to the natural world dark unfathom’d cave. in a memento mori fashion. But a beady-eyed but humorous reflection for her subject matter and the work paradoxically the paintings are very on the farrago that is the annual Maine became richer and more expressive. These works are rooted in Kingston’s much alive - the energy and harmony lobster festival. Unlike the Maine She became a beachcomber gathering local environment. Her home in of the compositions transcend the event, no lobsters were harmed in the the detritus of the seashore: crab Dalkey is not far from Bullock banality of the fishes fate. They making of this exhibition. claws, shells, feathers, and stones. Harbour famous for its fish and its are shown in vibrant tableaux all She subjected these items to minute Cistercians. Its pier has been a source glistening colour and intricate So consider the lobster but have a scrutiny – homing in on specific of inspiration for her as far back as pattern. And if the mackerel are good look at the mackerel as well. details. The resultant works often the Eighties when she based her large dead, the lobsters are thrillingly alive had a mysterious abstract feel to crustacean paintings on the discarded and malevolent – giant sea spiders John P. O’Sullivan them, as their source was often not crab claws she picked up there. More lumbering with intent. Dalkey, 2012. immediately evident. In this exhibition recently, with the friendly assistance we find evidence again that Kingston of the local fishermen, she turned her The title of this exhibition is is still evolving as an artist. Just as attention to lobster. They would hold shamelessly filched from a book of that exhibition in Enniskerry in 2006 them up for the scrutiny of her camera essays by the late and very much2 3
  4. 4. Lobster 5 Mackerel 9 Mixed media on paper, 26 x 26 cm Oil, gesso and aquarelle on board, 50 x 38 cm4 5
  5. 5. Mackerel 8 Lobster 6 Oil, gesso and aquarelle on board, 50 x 45 cm Mixed media on paper, 26 x 26 cm6 7
  6. 6. Mackerel Salmon 2 Oil, gesso and paper on board, 30 x 30 cm Oil, gesso and paper on board, 30 x 30 cm8 9
  7. 7. Lobster 2 Lobster 1 Oil, gesso and paper on board, 48 x 48 cm Oil, gesso and paper on board, 48 x 48 cm10 11
  8. 8. Lobster 3 Mackerel 14 Oil, gesso and paper on board, 30 x 30 cm Oil, gesso and paper on board, 30 x 30 cm12 13
  9. 9. Mackerel 5 Oil on board (diptych), 23 x 120 cm14 15
  10. 10. Diana Kingston 4, Saval Park Crescent Dalkey Co. Dublin 01 2848073 Solo Exhibitions Group Exhibitions Collections 2006 ’Sullivan Bewick O 2008 angard Gallery, V • AIB Gallery, Enniskerry. Cork. • Office of Public Works 2004 etatron Gallery, M 2002 urator & Exhibitor C • Coopers and Lybrand Enniskerry. Dalkey Art Festival. • IONA Technologies 2002 angard Gallery, V 2000, 99, 97, 93, 90, 89, 88, 84, 83, 82 • O’Donovan Stewart Cork. RHA Annual • ontemporary Irish Arts C 1992 Jeffers Gallery, Society Kinsale, Co.Cork. Exhibition, Dublin. 1988 Rathaus, Stuttgart, 1996, 89, 83 Germany Oireachtas, Dublin. 1984 Tom Caldwell 1995 Lavitt’s Quay Gallery, Gallery, Dublin. Cork. 1981 Tom Caldwell 1990 Riverrun Gallery, Gallery, Dublin. Dublin. 1989 Taylor Gallery, Dublin. 1986 Redec Centre, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 1985 Cork Art Now (CAN). 1984 Claremorris Arts Festival. 1983 Independent Artists. 1983, 80, 79, 78 Irish Exhibition of Living Art, Dublin. 1981 Six Women Artists, Galway Arts Festival. 1980 Exposure, Dublin. Mackerel 11 Acknowledgements Oil and gesso on board, 75 x 55 cm Essay: John O’Sullivan Photography: Paddy Benson Design: JMC Creative16 Print: TMC Ireland 17
  11. 11. dianakingstonartist.com18