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Janet Mullarney, 1952–2020

Domestic Gods II1998

Janet Mullarney trained as a furniture restorer in Italy before becoming a well-known and innovative wood-sculptor. Her work draws on history and personal experience of life in Catholic Ireland and Italy which she expresses in her sculptures and installations, using a mixture of traditional techniques, found or recycled objects and new materials. The references in ‘Domestic Gods II’ are wide ranging. The female figure resembles those in Piero della Francesca’s fresco cycle of the True Cross at Arezzo, where the artist lives, but the altar she occupies is an ordinary kitchen table with the usual paraphernalia of kitchen utensils in the drawer. The relationship between child and mother figure is disconcerting however. The mother is not all that she seems to be. In addition to her mask, the cosy perception of motherhood is challenged by the cheap novel she holds open with her finger and the suggestive pose of the child. In Mullarney’s world there are no certainties. We must all take responsibility for our beliefs and actions. ‘Domestic Gods II’ was first shown in the IMMA Glen-Dimplex artist award exhibition for which Mullarney was nominated in 1998.

MediumWood, plaster, wallpaper, mixed media
Dimensions Unframed, 210 x 80 x 50 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 1998
Item NumberIMMA.835
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Janet Mullarney, Domestic Gods II, 1998, Wood, plaster, wallpaper, mixed media, Unframed, 210 x 80 x 50 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 1998

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Janet Mullarney 1952–2020

Irish artist Janet Mullarney attended the Accademia di Belle Arti and Scuola Professionale di Intaglio, Florence. Incorporating a range of materials including bronze, wood, plaster, foam, cloth, glass and wax, her dynamic sculptural works reference religious iconography, art history and human relationships. Mullarney’s work is represented in public collections including that of the Arts Council, the OPW, and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane.

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