Damien Flood

Born: Dublin, Ireland
Lives: Dublin, Ireland

My work situates itself between fact and fiction. The paintings I create are modern landscapes that reference the history of painting with an underlying, otherworldly element. These paintings can be seen as visual contradictions and incomplete. We are not sure what time period we are in, what place we are facing or even what planet we are on. The scenes I create often don’t add up. This can be because the depicted world is in an immeasurable microscopic scale or that it is carefully incomplete. The paintings appear paradoxical in nature.

This tactic of incompleteness leaves the work open to the viewer, thus asking more questions than providing answers. I am interested in the language of paint and how it can be employed to suggest many different notions and can be used in such a way as to transport the viewer to another time and place. As the work moves from landscape and ventures into near complete abstraction, I utilize mountains and trees as signifiers and anchoring points for the viewer.

The reference points in my work can range from natural wonders of the world to a stack of CDs on a shelf; from a Casper David Friedrich painting to an ‘I ♥ Tenerife’ tourist book. Taking obscure and ambiguous references and combining them with more rational ones allows for diverse readings throughout the work. This can span from a theoretical reading to a dubious furrowed brow moment that leads to questions intertwined with further questions.

I employ a number of different methods in my practice. These range from different painting techniques, both traditional and modern, to different priming techniques. The painting surface can be heavily worked or consist of one single layer of paint, varnished, wet and/ or dry, encrusted or washed. The supports I work on can be a simple layer of gesso primer, up to twenty five layers sanded back to produce an almost porcelain working surface. In contrast, I also work on half oil ground which is a very old traditional primer. This is created by mixing rabbit skin glue with whiting and linseed oil. The resulting primer produces a very interesting working surface that allows for many possibilities within paint.

The use of photographs within my work provides not just research material but a means to bring the work somewhere new and to shift the reading of the work as a whole. The photographs are manipulated through paint and marker and can be seen as microcosms or cross-sections. Within the context of the installation of the work they bring a new energy and rhythm to an exhibition.

Education

2008
  • MFA, Painting
    National College of Art and design, Dublin, Ireland

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2010

Selected Group Exhibitions

2011

Selected Awards and Grants

2008
Applications close April 30th

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