THINGS ARE IN THE SADDLEDaniel MaccarthyOpens 5th of March 2020
This body of work for the Galera San Soda takes as its cue a poem by Ralf Waldo Emerson in which the American transcendentalist describes a phenomenon whereby human societies create systems and technologies to serve them, but which tend instead to become their masters. Things are in the Saddle is an exhibition of works spanning themes of protest, political obfuscation and sophistry, environmental destruction and entropy. They describe a world enslaved by its own insatiable genius for artifice. In some works the subject matter operates as an allegory for the western model of perpetual growth economies which is still the mainstay of political and economic thinking in spite of its incompatibility with the sustainable and environmentalist credentials western governments increasingly pay lip service to. Or it could be an allegory for the technologies and systems we have devised, which ostensibly serve our needs, but ultimately become a kind of deity for whom it is we who must make sacrifices. Made amidst the backdrop of the UK’s protracted and torturous exit from the EU these works also offer a long view of a political process that has become an unstoppable juggernaut of self harm. In an age of fleeting imagery and digital overload the paintings resound with the materiality of hand made objects. Heavily wrought scenes taken from memory, imagination or found images; in the end return to earth as pigment mixed with rabbit skin glue or oils on unprimed canvas.
Daniel MacCarthy (1986) graduated from Sussex University 2008 and the Royal Drawing School in 2012. He lives in Wales but is currently studying in London on the TURPS painting programme. His practice is informed by having studied history as an undergraduate, which culminated in a dissertation about man made apocalypses. Recent shows include, Darkness at the Edge of Town, w. Legion Projects 03/19, (solo) The Book of Dreams - 8 contemporary responses to William Blake feat. Grant Foster, Aimee Parrott, Oliver Mcconnie, Iwan Lewis, Jesse Wine, Josephine Baker, Sarah Rahboult (08/19) at COG, Wales.