Caragh Thuring

Caragh Thuring
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Caragh Thuring
8 October 2022 – 12 March 2023
Hastings Contemporary
Rock-a-Nore Road
Hastings TN34 3DW

Hastings Contemporary will present a major survey show of the work of Caragh Thuring her first UK exhibition in six years. The show of more than 20 works will include paintings, drawings and monotypes created over the last 15 years. 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 unique compositions oscillate between the humorous and the quotidian, juxtaposing signs and imagery from her recurring iconography of volcanoes, bricks, submarines, tartan, human silhouettes, and flora, and exploring where natural and manufactured worlds collide.

Caragh Thuring at Hastings Contemporary

Thuring grew up in Scotland near to the Holy Loch, the site of the renowned Cold War US nuclear submarine base and also the construction site for the first concrete North Sea oil rigs. This clash of nature and industry has endured throughout her practice with looming submarine silhouettes, vast industrial structures and 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.

Caragh Thuring August 1779, 2011
Caragh Thuring August 1779, 2011
oil and matting agent on dyed linen 182.9 x 243.8 cm. 72 1/8 x 96 in.
© Caragh Thuring. Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery.
Photo: Richard Ivey

Thuring is curious about what lies out of sight. Volcanoes and submarines lurk beneath, intermittently breaking through to the surface. 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’sfamiliarity of what they are looking at.

For recent works, Thuring has commissioned bespoke cloth from silk weavers in Suffolk to use as her canvas. Digital renderings of previous paintings, photographs she has taken, or found images are woven on a loom, sewn together, and stretched before being painted onto. As she describes it: “I want to build the work into the surface, to continue the work I’ve already begun.” Thuring’s fascination with boundary lines and liminal spaces is perfectly reflected in 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, seems to echo the local towering architecture of the fishermen’s huts on Hastings beach, while the language of maritime and landscape permeate throughout the work. Thuring says she is looking forward to the unprecedented experience of seeing her works created at different points through her career, together for the first time.

©2022 Caragh Thuring, Hastings Contemporary, Thomas Dane Gallery, Richard Ivey