Exhibition Tour – Jock Mooney: The Eyes Turn’d Inward for the Nightmare was Real

Jock Mooney, Nightmares in a Damaged Brain II (detail), 2011, collage of original drawings, acrylic and ink on paper, 61x79cm. Image courtesy the artist and Vane

6 June 2012


North Member Programme

First Floor, Commercial Union House, 39 Pilgrim St
Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 6QE

Join us for a tour of The Eyes Turn’d Inward for the Nightmare was Real, Jock Mooney’s third solo exhibition at Vane, led by Sarah Williams, Gallery Manager at Jerwood Visual Arts, London.

Jock Mooney constructs a world populated by hoards of grotesque characters, weird animals, lurid flowers and morphed effigies of historical, mythical and religious figures. Visually informed by both high and low culture – from pop art, underground comic books of the 1960s and manga, to pastoral landscapes, Japanese prints and nursery rhymes – all of his work shares the same imaginative manipulation of materials, intensity of labour, and quirky outlook that is equally disturbing and endearing.

The exhibition at Vane is a survey of new and recent work. It includes exquisitely sculpted figures and objects, which, with exaggerated features, wave a satirical finger at the traditional sculptural portraits and icons of high art, as well as domestic ceramic ornaments. Also featured are Mooney’s drawings, which offer similarly grotesque visions of a daily apocalypse. In his pen and ink drawings, what appear as distorted human and animal skulls are, in fact, composed of writhing fingers and hands.

Mooney is also known for wreaths collaged from hand-drawn and coloured images, cut out of card, and combined and contrasted in a variety of formations. Fascinated in the varying ways in which societies visually memorialise death – in particular the gaudy ceramic wreaths seen in French graveyards – his are composed of dismembered body parts and the debris of everyday life, stray fingers dance with severed heads, swirling in a wild vortex, acting as both momento mori and doorways into some terrible void.

Jock Mooney was born in Edinburgh, in 1982, and currently lives in London. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art, 2000-04, and his work has featured in exhibitions including THE FUTURE CAN WAIT presents: Polemically Small, Torrance Art Museum, California and Pile, Chapter, Cardiff (2011), Deadpan, The Royal Standard, Liverpool, and Laboratory, Jerwood Space, London (2010); Strange days and some flowers, Storey Gallery, Lancaster and Rotate, Contemporary Art Society, London (2009) and in solo exhibitions A Show Withdrawn, Galleri 5, Lund, Sweden (2008), and Funland was no more, Gimpel Fils, London (2007).

This event is part of a series of events programmed by the Contemporary Art Society in the North East. Membership costs £50 per year / £25 for students.

If you are not yet a member and would like to join, or to receive further information about the organisation and its activities, please contact Rebecca Morrill at rebecca@contemporaryartsociety.org or call 07815 830 182.


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