Joanna Mccarthy

Joanna Mccarthy


Human vulnerability and the intricacies surrounding an intimate relationship are the focal points of my artistic practice. Romantic connections can be a violent, ecstatic, overpowering force superseding all other values, loyalties, and emotions; they can quickly become turbulent. To emphasize this, I combine both action painting and colour-field painting without any desire to depict the prettied up, dainty version of romance. The creation of my works is a private performance which is as important to me as the final piece. Using my hands to apply paint and taking prints of my skin I become one with the work. Overlapping emotive text, burning materials and smashing glass panels creates a disturbing atmosphere reflecting the emotional damage and violence romance can sometimes contain. Using wooden panels as a medium I highlight the fragility of the human psyche. The unpredictable fissures on the panels surface indicate the unpredictability of passionate relationships. Using themes of destruction in my practice I am reminding myself of Freuds theory of Psychic Censorship. The clarity of one’s conscience can be blurred or obscured while experiencing infatuation. Utilising a feminine rage I want to create a hopefulness and liberation through my practice.


Course: fine art

Year: 2023

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Photography: Seán Daly