Dorothy Cross in-conversation with William Feaver

Working in sculpture, film and photography Dorothy Cross’ work looks at nature, time and authority. For the past sixteen years she has been living in Connemara, on the far west coast of Ireland - at times working with things found on the shore such as a twenty two foot long Cuvier’s whale and the skin of a basking shark.  During the 1990s, the artist produced a series of works using cows udders, which drew on the animals' rich store of symbolic associations across cultures to investigate the construction of sexuality and subjectivity, gender and strength. The work moves from object to opera having recently worked on a project called Heartship where she borrowed a human heart from the Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford that had been found in a crypt in Cork Ireland in 1863. It was placed in a Navy ship on which the singer Lisa Hannigan sang songs about the heart.

Dorothy Cross in-conversation 1

© Dorothy Cross / Courtesy of the artist

Born in Cork Ireland 1956. Dorothy Cross studied at Leicester Polytechnic BA (3D Design) in 1978 and San Fransisco Art Institute USA MFA (Printmaking) in 1982. Recent solo exhibitions/projects include: I dreamt I dwelt, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, (2019) Glance, New Art Centre, Roche Court, UK (2017–18); Connemara, Turner Contemporary, Margate (2013) Eye of Shark, Lismore Castle Arts, Co. Waterford; Bloomberg Space, London (2009). Recent group exhibitions include: Desire: A Revision From the 20th Century to the Digital Age, Irish Museum of Modern Art, (September 2019 – January 2020); Heartship, Sounds From A Safe Harbour Festival, Cork, an event with singer Lisa Hannigan (2019) and Sea Garden, Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, UK, (16 November 2019 – 26 January 2020). The artist has participated in the Venice, (1993), Istanbul, (1997) and Liverpool, (1998) biennials, and the groundbreaking 1994 exhibition: Bad Girls, ICA, London and CCA, Glasgow. Cross’ work is represented in the collections of The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The Hugh lane Gallery, Dublin; The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin; The Ulster Museum, National Museum, Belfast; Crawford Art Museum, Cork, Ireland; Art Pace Foundation, Texas; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Arnolfini Trust, Bristol; TATE Modern  London. Dorothy Cross is represented by Kerlin Gallery Dublin and Frith Street Gallery London.

Images referred to in the lecture:

1.Virgin Shroud. Cow skin silk and metal . Collection Tate Gallery. 1993

3. Amazon. Tailors dummy and cow skin. 1993

4.Teacup  Still from video. 1997

5. Eyemaker. Still from Video. 2000

6. Bible. Antique bible with drilled hole and wooden lectern.1995.

7. Kiss. Cast Silver.1996

8 .Ghostship. Lightship painted with phosphorous paint . Dublin Bay 1999

9. Worm Hole. Photograph.2005

10.Chiasm . Handball alleys Galway ,location for opera Chiasm . 1999

11.Chiasm Still from performance  soprano and tenor / projections of the worm Hole.

12.’Chiasm’ Still from performance

13. ‘Jellyfish Lake’ . Still from video.2002.

14. ‘Sheet ‘. Photograph Dried jellyfish on linen . 2004

15.’Relic’ .Dried shark skin and gold leaf .Bloomberg Space London. 2009

16.’Relic’ . Shown in Pool, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin. Two person show with William       Mckeown 2010

17.’Pearl Bones’. Inserting fingertip bones into black –lipped oysters, Rangiroa Tahiti. Still from video.2009

18.Putting oysters containing finger-tip bones on racks out into the lagoon.

19.’Pearl Bone’. Index finger tip covered with nacre.

20.’Paper Mountains ‘. Kerlin Gallery . ‘View’ . 2014

21.Detail Paper mountain. ( Mount Everest.)2014

22.’Everest Floor’ Studio Nicoli Carrara .2017

23.’Everest Floor’.

24.Carving Everest Erratic 2019

25.’Everest Erratic’. IMMA. Dublin

26.’I Dreamt I Dwelt’ Kerlin Gallery Dublin .September 2019

27 ‘Listen’.  Carved greek marble. 2019

28. ‘Alphabet’. Carved quartz beach stones. 2019

29. ’Heartship’ video2019

30. Borrowed heart ( from Pitt Rivers Museum ) that was placed within the navy ship for Heartship