Working in sculpture, film and photography, Dorothy Cross examines the relationship between living beings and the natural world. Living in Connemara, a rural area on Ireland’s west coast, the artist sees nature, the ocean and the body as sites of constant change and flux. Her works harness this fluidity and generative power, staging unexpected encounters between plants, animals, body parts and everyday objects, resulting in strange, hybrid forms that range from the lyrical, sublime and meditative, to the erotic, humorous and playful. Her sculptures might incorporate classical materials such as Carrera marble, cast bronze or gold leaf alongside discarded antiques, old boats, washed up jellyfish, whale bones or animal skins found on the shore. Treating these materials with equal reverence, Cross honours the legacy of art history but also the geological and ecological histories that far predate it, reflecting upon our place within the environment. Her works also draw upon a rich store of symbolic associations across cultures to investigate the construction of religious, social and sexual mores, subjectivity, memory and vulnerability.
Dorothy Cross lives and works in Connemara.
Dorothy Cross has exhibited in museums including MoMA PS1; ACCA, Melbourne; Tate, St Ives; ICA, Philadelphia; Modern Art Oxford; Turner Contemporary, Margate; the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol and Camden Arts Centre, London. In recent years, her solo exhibitions and projects include Libby Leshgold Gallery, Vancouver (2018); New Art Centre, Roche Court (2017) and a collaborative performance with Lisa Hannigan at Sounds from a Safe Harbour, Cork (2019). Recent group exhibitions include University College Dublin; Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry (both 2021); Fries Museum, The Netherlands (2020); the National Gallery of Ireland; the Irish Museum of Modern Art; Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio (all 2019) and Linda Pace Art Foundation, San Antonio (2018). Cross has participated in the Venice, Istanbul and Liverpool biennales.