Michael Canning: Dust Secrets & Drawings for Photography

New collection of works on paper

Presenting a new collection of small scale works on paper by Michael Canning, an artist Waterhouse & Dodd have represented for almost 15 years. Thematically the works are linked to the larger oil paintings we regularly exhibit. The landscapes are fictionalised versions of the countryside surrounding the artist's home and studio near Limerick. The plants are local weeds and wild flowers that Michael collects on daily walks. The rather contrived setting of the plants in the landscape is a nod to the classical renaissance tradition of placing floral subjects within a window frame except Michael dispense with the frame, relying instead on the edges of the paper to frame the composition.

There are five works representing two series - Dust Secrets and Drawings for Photography. The 'dust' element of the title refers to Michael's practice of using unconventional materials in his painting - particularly on the more experimental works on paper - including soot and ash. The surface becomes richly pock-marked and occasionally scored, again marking a change from the smooth almost enamelled surface of his paintings. Drawings for Photography consists of a group of works on paper, perhaps more truthfully described as paintings on paper, rather than drawings, which are dedicated to the idea of photography, dedicated in thanks and respect, in acknowledgement of its earnest intention to simultaneously record and transform the focused upon, the addressed.

April 16, 2020