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Dorothy Cross

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.

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails
Everest Erratic

Dorothy Cross
Everest Erratic, 2019
Carrara marble
172 x 136 x 243 cm / 67.7 x 53.5 x 95.7 in 

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ROOM 2

Dorothy Cross
ROOM, 2019
Carrara marble
24 x 240 x 480 cm cm / 9.4 x 94.5 x 189 in 

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Listen Listen - 2

Dorothy Cross
Listen Listen, 2019
Greek marble 
right pillow: 16 x 69 x 45 cm / 6.3 x 27.2 x 17.7 in
left pillow: 16 x 72 x 45 cm / 6.3 x 28.3 x 17.7 in

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Foxglove, 2020

Dorothy Cross
Foxglove, 2020
cast bronze, unique
94 x 47 x 37 cm / 37 x 18.5 x 14.6 in

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Everest Floor

Dorothy Cross
Everest Floor, 2017
Carrara marble
200 x 320 cm / 78.7 x 126 in 
photo: Jason Wyche

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Hand and Foot

Dorothy Cross
Hand and Foot, 2017
cast bronze, alabaster and steel wire
alabaster disc: 50 cm / 19.7 in diameter, height variable

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Dorothy Cross
Arms, 1996 – 2017
cast bronze, gilded 24 carat gold
16 x 80 x 9 cm / 6.3 x 31.5 x 3.5 in each
Collection of The Tia Collection

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2014 Eye of Shark

Dorothy Cross
Eye of Shark, 2014
9 cast iron baths, marble panel, shark eye and display box, amber glass, dimensions variable
Installation at Lismore Castle Arts, Waterford

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Whale  2011

Dorothy Cross
Whale, 2011
Cuvier whale skeleton, cord, wood, rusted bucket and marble plinth
700 cm / 275.6 in
Installation view at Turner Contemporary. Photo: Stephen White

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2010 Stalactite

Dorothy Cross 
Earth, 2011
cast bronze
195 x 35 x 35 cm / 76.8 x 13.8 x 13.8 in 

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2002 jellyfish lake

Dorothy Cross 
Jellyfish Lake, 2002
DVD PAL, duration: 6 minutes

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Dorothy Cross 
Lover Snakes, 1995
stuffed snakes and cast silver reliquaries containing snake hearts
37 x 14 cm / 14.6 x 5.5 in
Collection of Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

 

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1999 ghost ship

Dorothy Cross 
Ghost Ship, 1999
DVD PAL, duration: 12 minutes 17 seconds, loop 

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Dorothy Cross 
Teacup, 1997
video, 3 minute loop, 1 hour duration

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Dorothy Cross  
Virgin Shroud, 1993
cow hide, satin train, steel structure
201 x 81 x 120 cm / 79.1 x 31.9 x 47.2 in 
Collection of TATE, London

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Everest Erratic

Dorothy Cross
Everest Erratic, 2019
Carrara marble
172 x 136 x 243 cm / 67.7 x 53.5 x 95.7 in 

ROOM 2

Dorothy Cross
ROOM, 2019
Carrara marble
24 x 240 x 480 cm cm / 9.4 x 94.5 x 189 in 

Listen Listen - 2

Dorothy Cross
Listen Listen, 2019
Greek marble 
right pillow: 16 x 69 x 45 cm / 6.3 x 27.2 x 17.7 in
left pillow: 16 x 72 x 45 cm / 6.3 x 28.3 x 17.7 in

Foxglove, 2020

Dorothy Cross
Foxglove, 2020
cast bronze, unique
94 x 47 x 37 cm / 37 x 18.5 x 14.6 in

Everest Floor

Dorothy Cross
Everest Floor, 2017
Carrara marble
200 x 320 cm / 78.7 x 126 in 
photo: Jason Wyche

Hand and Foot

Dorothy Cross
Hand and Foot, 2017
cast bronze, alabaster and steel wire
alabaster disc: 50 cm / 19.7 in diameter, height variable

Dorothy Cross
Arms, 1996 – 2017
cast bronze, gilded 24 carat gold
16 x 80 x 9 cm / 6.3 x 31.5 x 3.5 in each
Collection of The Tia Collection

2014 Eye of Shark

Dorothy Cross
Eye of Shark, 2014
9 cast iron baths, marble panel, shark eye and display box, amber glass, dimensions variable
Installation at Lismore Castle Arts, Waterford

Whale  2011

Dorothy Cross
Whale, 2011
Cuvier whale skeleton, cord, wood, rusted bucket and marble plinth
700 cm / 275.6 in
Installation view at Turner Contemporary. Photo: Stephen White

2010 Stalactite

Dorothy Cross 
Earth, 2011
cast bronze
195 x 35 x 35 cm / 76.8 x 13.8 x 13.8 in 

2002 jellyfish lake

Dorothy Cross 
Jellyfish Lake, 2002
DVD PAL, duration: 6 minutes

Dorothy Cross 
Lover Snakes, 1995
stuffed snakes and cast silver reliquaries containing snake hearts
37 x 14 cm / 14.6 x 5.5 in
Collection of Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

 

1999 ghost ship

Dorothy Cross 
Ghost Ship, 1999
DVD PAL, duration: 12 minutes 17 seconds, loop 

Dorothy Cross 
Teacup, 1997
video, 3 minute loop, 1 hour duration

Dorothy Cross  
Virgin Shroud, 1993
cow hide, satin train, steel structure
201 x 81 x 120 cm / 79.1 x 31.9 x 47.2 in 
Collection of TATE, London

Biog 1

Bible, 1995
 

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.

Biog 2

Mollusc, 2012

Exhibitions

Exhibitions Thumbnails

Dorothy Cross
Desire: A Revision From The 20th Century To The Digital Age, 2019-20
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland 

Dorothy Cross
Glance, 2017
New Art Centre, Roche Court, Salisbury, UK

Dorothy Cross
Riddle of the Burial Ground, 2016
Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp, Belgium

Dorothy Cross
Eye of Shark, 2014
Lismore Castle Arts, Co. Waterford, Ireland

Dorothy Cross
Connemara, 2013
Turner Contemporary, Margate, Kent, UK

Dorothy Cross
Gravity, 2011
Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland

Dorothy Cross
Desire: A Revision From The 20th Century To The Digital Age, 2019-20
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland 

Dorothy Cross
Glance, 2017
New Art Centre, Roche Court, Salisbury, UK

Dorothy Cross
Riddle of the Burial Ground, 2016
Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp, Belgium

Dorothy Cross
Eye of Shark, 2014
Lismore Castle Arts, Co. Waterford, Ireland

Dorothy Cross
Connemara, 2013
Turner Contemporary, Margate, Kent, UK

Dorothy Cross
Gravity, 2011
Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland

The Works presents a five-part series in which John Kelly meets five women in Irish culture. In this second episode John meets artist, Dorothy Cross. In conversation with John, Dorothy explains how nature nurtures her and how she has always wanted to live by the sea. Dorothy is someone who cherishes our native landscapes and all the life they hold. Her works bring nature very much into our cultural life. 

Working from a remote studio on the west coast of Ireland, Cross often uses the remains of dead animals or other found natural materials in her sculptures. In this film she talks about transforming shark skins by coating them in gold and casting them in bronze, and how the coastal landscape around her inspires and feeds her art.

From 5 October 2013 - 5 January 2014 Turner Contemporary presents Dorothy Cross: Connemara. Here the artist talks about her work, the exhibition, her home Connemara, on the wild west coast of Ireland, and the connection with Margate's coastal location.

TEDxDublin was hosted by Science Gallery at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on September 8th, 2012.

Dorothy Cross explains how she made ‘Virgin Shroud’, by stitching together a cow-hide, complete with udders, and her grandmother’s old wedding dress. The extraordinary sculpture that resulted is a favourite in Tate’s Collection.

2019 The Works

The Works presents a five-part series in which John Kelly meets five women in Irish culture. In this second episode John meets artist, Dorothy Cross. In conversation with John, Dorothy explains how nature nurtures her and how she has always wanted to live by the sea. Dorothy is someone who cherishes our native landscapes and all the life they hold. Her works bring nature very much into our cultural life. 

2014 TATE

Working from a remote studio on the west coast of Ireland, Cross often uses the remains of dead animals or other found natural materials in her sculptures. In this film she talks about transforming shark skins by coating them in gold and casting them in bronze, and how the coastal landscape around her inspires and feeds her art.

Turner

From 5 October 2013 - 5 January 2014 Turner Contemporary presents Dorothy Cross: Connemara. Here the artist talks about her work, the exhibition, her home Connemara, on the wild west coast of Ireland, and the connection with Margate's coastal location.

TED

TEDxDublin was hosted by Science Gallery at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on September 8th, 2012.

2008 TATE

Dorothy Cross explains how she made ‘Virgin Shroud’, by stitching together a cow-hide, complete with udders, and her grandmother’s old wedding dress. The extraordinary sculpture that resulted is a favourite in Tate’s Collection.