The Last Supper’ is the first of seven sacraments of the Catholic liturgy to be explored by the Dublin artist Abigail O’Brien. “Here the sacrament of marriage is explored through the use of photography and a sculpture installation. The marriage rite is sidetracked and instead the focus is on a group of twelve women and a baby who come together to celebrate a bride’s final hours as a single woman”*.
Her guests at this last supper, the ‘hen night’ preceding the nuptials, make no judgement on the bride’s choices but appear as willing participants in the rite. Easy female intimacies are played out in six of the seven panels which refer, through colour and hand gestures, to Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’.
The central panel of the photographs shows two empty chairs. In front of a wedding table, with a single place setting in the bride’s position, prompting questions about potential risk or failure or perhaps independence.
The border of the hand-embroidered tablecloth carries a counting motif the purpose of which is also left open.
*Statement from the artist, 2005, IMMA
|Medium||7 cibachrome photographs,table,chair, embroidered tablecloth, dinner set|
|Credit Line||IMMA Collection: Purchase, 1996|
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