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 Carrara 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. Cross is currently working on an ongoing project titled KINSHIP, a ritualised journey returning a mummified body from Ireland to Egypt. The artist has recently had work included in Tangible/Nothing, Ruby City, San Antonio, Texas; girls, girls, girls, curated by Simone Rocha, Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland; Performing PAC: Take Me to the Place I Love, PAC Milano; Bones in the Attic, The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin (all 2022); The Museum of Ancient History, University College Dublin; UnNatural History, Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry (both 2021); other.worldly, Fries Museum, The Netherlands (2020); Shaping Ireland, National Gallery of Ireland; Desire, the Irish Museum of Modern Art; and Sights & Sounds, Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio (all 2019). Cross has participated in the Venice, Istanbul and Liverpool biennales.