Exhibition explores Alison Pilkington’s connections to Sligo

The Model is very pleased to present an exhibition of fresh and exciting new works by Sligo-born artist, Alison Pilkington. Through a series of interconnected paintings, drawings and artists’ books, Pilkington has produced a show at The Model that explores her connections to Sligo. 

Speaking about the exhibition, Artistic Director, Emer McGarry said “The Model’s eclectic, diverse and multidisciplinary artistic programme for 2021 looks to the local in a celebration of all that makes the Northwest a powerful and unique creative forcefield. Audiences will love this glimpse into Pilkington’s unique universe, populated as it is by strange and otherworldly creatures. It is at once playful and disconcerting, teasing out themes that are both universal and deeply personal” 

Pilkington’s practice taps into an inner world of personal experiences to conjure up disquieting vistas where all is not entirely at ease. Humour and the absurd abound in strange unsettling landscapes, where bizarre figures are a recurring motif. Her work frequently draws on a variety of eclectic influences from ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture – from the classical painting of the 17th century western traditions to the writing of Stephen King, the humourist Ivor Cutler, and the stories of James Joyce. 

In this exhibition of new work at The Model, a series of recurring characters inhabit surreal landscapes that evoke lakeshores, seashores and distant mountain ranges. As is particular to Pilkington’s practice, she draws on eclectic references from the poetry of WB Yeats to the paintings of El Greco and the cinematic imagery of Ridley Scott and Andrei Tarkovsky; all of which collide and merge in a richly allegorical body of work. 

I Build My Own Island will be accompanied by a very special artists’ book, designed by Niall Sweeney of Pony Designs, featuring an essay by Francis McKee, Director of the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, and will be launched in September.


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