25 May - 17 June 2023

Sheilla Rennick’s works are piled heavily with a range of paradoxes and

oxymorons.  With humour and hints of pathos, she creates what could be
described as pitiful scenes where the protagonists jostle in their own personal
turmoil and grapple to exist within the realms they inhabit. The works are vistas
into both ludicrous reveries and personal experiences to comment on societal
hierarchies and the patriarchy.
A recurrent theme in this body of work is that of couples - that are at once
engrossed and repelled by each other.  In one matrimonial scene the figures
expel tongues and vomit, prophetic of their future life together.  The groom’s fate
is heightened in the tendrilous entrapment of the encroaching stems from the
floral arrangements that choke his neck binding him into this martial grip.  In
another work ‘Little Lamb’, the trio of figures suggest a scene of adoration or
perhaps submission. There is something menacing about the grasp of the male
figure clutching his partner’s hand and framing her within his embrace.  This
sense of foreboding is also suggested by the variance in his domineering scale or
the uncertainty of her look as she shares this position with a pet lamb that
maybe is a foreshadowing of their relationship. In another domestic scene ‘Home
is Home’ a couple share the same space but are separated from each other's
existence.  This is amplified by their uncomfortable disengaged poses, and the
different styles of wallpaper that fractures the interior.
Animal figures reoccur in the works, albeit in various guises such as mangy foxes
and scraggy dogs, or represented in the figures that morph with animalistic
peculiarities. There are even some instances where the fur of animals are
suggested through the paintwork and patterning. Rennick’s expat London-Irish
identity is also hinted at in the works, where troupes of the urban fabric of the
city and its culture, infiltrate her own Irish sensibility.
In all of Rennick’s scenes we are left to ponder if these characters represent our
own rhizomatic identities or if they could even be portraits of those close to the
artist, allowing access into her subjective view of her world. Through her images,
both imagined and real, she uses satire to allure and arouse but also create a
sense of aversion. The title of the exhibition ‘Bang it Out’, suggests that the works
are produced hastily or un-skilfully, however it's quite the opposite.  With her
knowing palette, distinctive loose and free styling brush technique, they seem to
be more enthusiastic in their approach. In these paintings she seems eager to
document these dream or nightmare scenarios before being repressed or
restricted by realisms.


Accompanying text by Séamus McCormack