by Ariadna Zierold
Dan McCarthy works quickly by rinsing and blotting thin layers of washed out pastel tones, allowing the paint to drip down the canvas. It’s a process based largely on intuition and working within the moment. He is stripping it all down to the essential basics, trying to let the sunshine in.
He recently started to work on ceramic sculptures that he calls Facepots. Wanting to express emotion, attitude and humour in his work, he chose faces as an obvious starting point. As Dan Mccarthy once remarked: “I’d like to include in my work something of the living spirit, something positive that can be taken away and built upon by a viewer. Certainly more a feeling than an attitude or ideology”.
The intuitive process in McCarthy’s ceramics is evident within the finished work. Wrestling with massive slabs of wet earthen clay, his rapid technique and composition becomes the work’s subject. Both painted and glazed with gold leaf and low fire lustre, the large facepots radiate a dynamic range of material possibilities, physical existence and emotional depth.