Caragh Thuring

Hastings Contemporary, Rock-a-Nore Road, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3DW
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painting with red brick wall and explosive volcano.

About

In Autumn 2022, Hastings Contemporary will present the first major survey show of the work of Caragh Thuring
(b. Brussels, 1972) – her first UK exhibition in six years.

Spanning the last 15 years with more than 20 works, it will include paintings, drawings and monotypes. All works are on loan from the artist and public and private UK collections, in order to avoid the environmental impact of international shipping.

Thuring's nuanced compositions juxtapose signs and imagery from her recurring iconography of volcanoes, bricks, flora, tartan, human silhouettes, and submarines, to explore where natural and manufactured worlds collide. 

Thuring grew up in Scotland near to the majestic Holy Loch, the site of the renowned Cold War US nuclear submarine base and next to the construction site for the first concrete North Sea oil rigs. This clash of nature and industry has continued throughout her practice: looming submarine silhouettes, vast industrial structures and striking landscapes frequently appearing across different series. Similarly, Thuring incorporates a recurrent brick motif in her work, which for her perfectly represents the natural and the manufactured in a single object.

Volcanoes and submarines lurk beneath, intermittently breaking through to the surface, obliquely referencing Thuring's curiosity about what lies out of sight. Brick walls obstruct our view and untreated or woven canvas draw our attention to the surface of the painting itself and what might lie beyond. What is not obscured is often fragmented, disrupting the viewer's familiarity of what they are looking at.

For more recent works, Thuring has collaborated with silk weavers in Suffolk to create bespoke cloth for use as her canvas. The fabric is woven on a loom, sewn together, and stretched onto a wood frame before being painted onto. These fabrics are digital renderings of previous paintings, photographs she has taken or found images. As she describes it: "I want to build the work into the surface, to continue the work I've already begun." Both the labour and the depiction are worked into the surface and the painting becomes a continuation upon this ground.

The paintings also illustrate Thuring's fascination with boundary lines and liminal spaces, perfectly reflected by the gallery's own position on the foreshore – surrounded by the town's historic beach, net huts and working structures of the fishing fleet. Massacre of the Innocents (after Breughel), 2010, almost echoes the towering architecture of local fishermen's huts on Hastings' beach, while the language of maritime and landscape permeate throughout.

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Opening Times

Hastings Contemporary (8 Oct 2022 - 12 Mar 2023)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday11:00 - 17:00

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Hastings Contemporary Art Gallery, East SussexHastings Contemporary, HastingsNestling between the fishing beach and Hastings Old Town, Hastings Contemporary is sensitively and intuitively designed by HAT Projects to complement the surrounding environment. 

1066 Country of Origin Original by nature
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