Here and Away|Sunday Times Ireland’s culture supplement 20.10.2019

This exhibition by Ciara Roche features oil-on-paper studies of holiday destinations, each just bigger than a postcard. While the painting technique feels fast and casual, the outcome is intense and filled with details. The time and composition of each painting is clearly as important to Roche as the subject matter. Popular holiday spots are shown empty of people. The paintings include chairs, cafés and a beach, all looking deserted and allowing us to focus on the objects and the places which, for once, do not function as the backdrop of a person’s holiday memory. One location is Palm Beach, also known as “Summer Bay”, the setting for the soap opera Home and Away.  For many, it represented the ideal destination for a dream beach holiday. Other locations are rich historical estates and evergreen parks; on a postcard or Instagram Story they drive our desire to step away from the everyday and into a fantastical holiday. Here and Away challenges us to think about how we experience such holidays.  Seeing these places devoid of the stories superimposed on them by visitors piques our curiosity about the other stories that remain in the background.

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