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Andromeda by Alice Maher


Since her series 'The Thicket' in 1990 (to which 'Girl with Big Braid' in the University of Ulster Permanent Works of Art Collection belongs), Alice Maher has continued to employ drawings as a vital part of her artistic practice. Her installations include enormous charcoal drawings, made on site and directly onto the wall, along with other sculptural media.

In recent works she draws on fairytale and mythological narrative to explore the ambiguous language of womens hair. Immersing her viewers in a literal and visual interplay, she unravels the contradictory associations we have with hair, some alluring but others filled with terror.

This drawing on paper called 'Andromeda' is ten feet long, its surface densely worked with charcoal. The forms of Andromeda and the monster sent to devour her, have merged into one writhing mass. There is almost a tromp l'oeil effect in that we don't know whether we are looking at an object or an image.

This use of 'indeterminacy' as a cultural sign seeks to destabilize essentialist constructions of both female and monstrous identities, diving right into our own uncertain relationships with that paradigm.
Artist:Alice Maher
Artwork type:drawing
Material:charcoal on paper
Measurements:1520 x 3040 mm
Technique:drawing
Date:2000
Location:Nolan Eckman Gallery, New York, USA
Culture:Irish
Rights owner:Alice Maher
Rights status:UK HE use only
Institution:University of Ulster
Notes:The image displayed here of the work 'Andromeda' has been reproduced courtesy of the Nolan Eckman Gallery, New York, USA

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