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Janet Mullarney, 1952–2020

The Straight and Narrow1991

Janet Mullarney divides her time between her studios in Ireland and in Italy. Following training with a furniture restorer in Florence she began to make wooden figures that engage dynamically with their surroundings. Compelled by inner necessity they cannot be contained by restrictive framing devices.
‘The Straight and Narrow’ refers to the path of righteousness on which the good Christian must focus in order to win salvation. Mullarney’s childhood fears of an unsympathetic, restrictive guardian angel are forcefully embodied in this piece. Instead of protection and guidance this guardian angel is a negative force, limiting the right to free choice, imposing righteousness through coercion. The work exists in real space but there is no attempt to deny the artifice which is evident in the mixture of highly finished surfaces and passages of raw chiselling.

MediumPainted wood
Dimensions 228 x 320 x 137 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 1992
Item NumberIMMA.88
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
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Janet Mullarney, The Straight and Narrow, 1991, Painted wood, 228 x 320 x 137 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 1992

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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