These new paintings Aileen Murphy has made over the last six months function as vessels for the fictional figures she uses to investigate the multiple possibilities of making a painting. Faces appear in some as cartoon-like heads detached and floating on the canvas, their arms reaching out beyond the bounded surface. Legs stretch across the paintings, taking the measure of the picture plane - marking their confinement and stressing their constriction.
These ambiguous figures are both created and trapped by Aileen’s method of fast mark-making and slow layering. The relatively small scale acts as a way of condensing her experiments with colour in which expressive brush stokes, watery stains and ink marks are forced to merge together and commingle with the floating limbs. The effect is one of both confinement and sensuality, offering us a sense of unease and anticipation, aptly reflecting our contemporary moment.