Julie Keating - 'Celluloid Dreamers'

Wednesday 2 - Sunday 20 September 2015


Click here for artwork by Julie Keating

Through the medium of oil paint on canvas, artist Julie Keating toys with the genre of Still Life. Surfaces are smooth, backgrounds dark, her subjects considered. Like the great Flemish masters before her, Keating creates a mise-en-scène by choosing and arranging her objects carefully. Traditional single source lighting is used for dramatic effect. Reflections and shadows are crucial. Keating’s skilful brushwork reminds us of van Vucht, van Voet and van de Velde, all of whom created detailed Netherlandish dramas from everyday objects.

However, this is where the similarities end. Flemish artists more often chose to paint feathered fowl, loaves and fishes, whereas Keating’s subjects are dolls, their lives not so still. And where the Flemish artists documented excess (no doubt a requirement to satisfy their wealthy patrons), creating mouth-watering tableaux impossible to imagine in any ordinary kitchen, Keating’s paintings, by comparison, are pared back.

Where the Flemish painters focused on pleasure - in the form of weighty silver vessels filled with ruby wine and fish plucked fresh from the sea - Keating dishes up a decent serve of discomfort in an understated manner.