Turner Contemporary showcases the most comprehensive UK solo exhibition to date of new and existing work by the Irish artist Dorothy Cross. Connemara is an area of Ireland’s wild west coast, which has long been a destination for painters attempting to document the sea, sky, land and light. Connemara is also home to Dorothy Cross, and the source of inspiration for this new exhibition of her work. Cross’s sculpture, film and photography examine the relationship between living beings and the natural world around them, seeing both as sites of constant change, leaving residues of passing time, and strange and unexpected encounters.
Through major new commissions as well as existing works, the exhibition explores central themes in Cross’s practice, particularly the relationship between nature and the body, creation and destruction. Many of the artist’s works incorporate items found on the shore, including boats and animal skins, while others reflect on the environment. New videos will explore a cave near Cross’s home accessible only a few days a year, as well as Margate’s mysterious Shell Grotto. Also including photographs of the coast at Connemara, the exhibition will create a connection between that seaside location and Turner Contemporary’s position in Margate.
Dorothy Cross’s exhibition will be accompanied by Turner and Constable: Sketching from Nature. Works from the Tate Collection, an exhibition of oil sketches. Like Cross, these artists worked in direct response to their experience of the landscape. These two exhibitions champion Turner Contemporary’s ethos of bridging the gap between the historical and contemporary.
All images Dorothy Cross, Connemara, Installation view, Photo Stephen White.