Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire
On Show 2020
Frances Hennigan

My work expresses the ebb and flow of divinity in living organisms. Bulbus, fleshy life forms in fresh and succulent colours multiply and surge in my work, spilling over each other and stuffing every available space, they ripen and burst, oooozing the seepage of new life which blisters up to recreate the sequence. Living is represented as the visceral, slimy secretions evident in humans, animal, bacterial and plant life. These secretions glisten and disgust in an horrific duality of beauty. I use these beautifully ugly to show the sacredness of life. What is held sacred in contemporary society? I had a fascination with things I found on the farm as a child and I remember bursting open snowberries which would leak a foam and finding insects inside the snowberries, not knowing what part was alive or was I killing them it was so gratifying bursting them, that I couldn’t help it. This fascination with living messiness both repulses and allures. This way of representing the divine comes.

from exploration into aniconism, used in many religions and is the representation of divinity through the portrayal of beauty. Inherent beauty along with bodily disgust is particular to being alive and I explore these qualities in an aniconistic manner. I think when items are enriched with detail and time, is a beauty infused with life that can take your breath away. Corporal masses and secretions come along with being alive, for any life form, they can be quite gross so therefore must be something sacred interwoven throughout these life’s if something so disgusting can be beautiful to look at.