Penny McCarthy – Cloud falls in love with mortal

Hastings Contemporary, Rock-a-Nore Road, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3DW
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black and white drawing of man standing in smoke with trees in background


Solo exhibition by the Evelyn Williams Drawing Award Winner 2019 at Hastings Contemporary.

Cloud falls in love with mortal is a solo exhibition by Penny McCarthy and comprises an extensive series of graphite drawings made between 2019 and 2022. The artist received the biennial Evelyn Williams Drawing Award in 2019.

The catalyst for these drawings was a newspaper image from 2016 of a Fata Morgana mirage in the sky above Hastings that looked like a portal to another world. Each drawing in the series is associatively linked to the enigmatic Fata Morgana mirage, in which the sea appears in the sky and the world is turned upside down. Penny McCarthy uses pencil drawing with an exacting slowness that is a kind of reverie or extended contemplation.

Prevented by the pandemic from making her planned visits to Hastings, the artist found opening up instead a speculative and metaphorical exploration of myths and narratives associated with the sea and sky. The suite of drawings is very much a reflection of an interior world conjured out of paper, clouds, water, dust, and light, with a material frugality that comes, at least in part, from being made during the turbulent time of the global pandemic.

The Evelyn Williams Trust supports the biennial Evelyn Williams Drawing Award, which is delivered in collaboration with Drawing Projects UK, the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize, and Hastings Contemporary.

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Opening Times

Hastings Contemporary (8 Oct 2022 - 12 Mar 2023)
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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