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Alice Maher, b.1956

The Music of Things (Sleep)2009

“Drawing has always been a part of what I do, and it has never played a secondary role. I do not employ drawing as a plan or a sketch for a finished piece. I am very interested in scale and its effect on our relationship to and understanding of art. I try to address the scale of the space in which I work and the spaces in which my work is shown. When I was on residence at IMMA in 1996 my drawings grew and grew until I finished up with three giant ‘Ombre’ drawings, which mirrored the very tall walls of my studio there. I worked in the natural light at IMMA and consequently like to show the ‘Ombre’s in a kind of dull light so that they loom or float before us. They often work in a ‘tromp l’oeil’ way, in that you are not sure whether they are objects or openings in the wall. I like this lack of surety.

In more recent times my drawing has led me into the field of animated film. This was a very natural development, with the methodology of animation mirroring my own way of drawing. In order to ‘find’ an image I draw and draw and draw, erasing each layer as I go. For my film-drawings as I call them, I simply recorded each layer in a scan, then put all the scans together to form an anti-animation sequence. In my ‘film-drawing’ the normal storyboard technique of animation is inverted by putting together a back-story that has no fixed meaning or logical narrative and only makes any sense when ‘read’ backwards. It follows the inexplicable transformative life of a drawing. Afterwards I worked with composer Trevor Knight to find the right soundscape in which these moving drawings might operate. The sounds which we recorded often emerge as punctuation and are mostly made by my own voice to keep it in parallel with the personal style of the drawing. I see the element of sound as a whole new exciting dimension to my work, a new form of space, and a new way of drawing”.

Alice Maher (2010)

MediumVideo, sound by Trevor Knight
Dimensions Duration: 3:12 min
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, assisted by funding from Maire and Maurice Foley, 2010
EditionEdition 1/3
Item NumberIMMA.3214
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Alice Maher, The Music of Things (Sleep), 2009, Video, sound by Trevor Knight, Duration: 3:12 min, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, assisted by funding from Maire and Maurice Foley, 2010

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

About the Artist

Alice Maher b.1956

One of Ireland's leading contemporary artists, Alice Maher works within the realms of nature and culture, subversion and transformation, mythology and memory. Her work involves many different media including painting, drawing, sculpture, print, photography and installation.

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