Marianne Collins


In these recent works, both a continuation of previous works in terms of their high rendering and bodily concerns and yet a departure in their deepening ambiguity and uncommon action, the subject resides always on the brink of overt emotion. There is no decisive feeling on display, but rather a synthesis of feeling; a cusp positioning that works to leave the viewer simultaneously intrigued and uncertain. Partly, the sexual reveal aids in this, as do the elements of inanity (blue skin tones, ovoid heads and torsos –these latter colours and forms best read metaphorically). But there is no real invitation to intimacy in these drawings: the corporality is not suggestive, but even, seemingly, residual of the subject’s mental pre-occupations. The subject’s regards are glancing of the viewer. They resound as wary, sceptical; aloof. Transparency, despite the promise of the mylar ground, is not arrived at, nor, perhaps, even sought. Instead, the vitreous ground works to highlight the isolation of the figure and to hint at the subject’s complex emotional impenetrability. Despite a looming sense culled from the figure of incisive emotionality, its exact origin remains at a remove. The precise pencilled rendering of the works, often suggestive of accessibility and certitude, here thwarts that aim, subverting starkly any allusion to ease of access. A self-reflexive dislocation is afoot in these works, with which, ultimately, the viewer can uneasily identify…

Colleen Collins MFA