Mick Rooney RA: L on Earth (Love, Lust, Loss and Longing etc)
L on Earth (Love, Lust, Loss and Longing etc)
Until 17 June 2007
In the Sir Hugh Casson Room for Friends of the Royal Academy
Mick Rooney RA, A Sunday Tango Before the Children Appear, 2006 (detail). Gouache and Tempera on paper. Courtesy the artist. A diptych consists of two adjacent panels in which the left-hand panel ‘speaks’ to the right-hand panel. The ensuing dialogue creates a cohesive single entity. These days the religious significance is more or less lost. Historically, though, both the Orthodox and Roman Churches relied on the diptych (two panels), the triptych (three panels) and the polyptych (four or more panels) joined together to represent saints, scenes from the bible, morality tales, martyrdoms, the apocalypse, or overviews of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory.
My work has mostly attempted to focus upon describing in traditional, graphic, narrative and poetic terms, what is perhaps overly called ‘The Human Condition’. Music, world literature, poetry and travel are, and have always been, crucial to reinforce the subject matter.
The twentieth-century’s technological advancements mingled with extraordinary brutality and the painful unpeeling of the human psyche have, whether we like it or not, been absorbed into our daily lives.
But help and solace are at hand; those old faithful retainers of man’s estate- wit, humour, pathos, empathy, irony, love, ‘envie’, the graces, the virtues, and the deadly sins seem to have survived –
so far – the onslaught of the new world order.
The stories portrayed in these works have evolved almost unbidden onto the page, a little like scenes from old fashioned comics or like the allegories in Goya’s ‘proverbs’ and ‘caprices’, the titles reminding us of our daily struggle to make sense of our fate.
This series of images bubbling, I hope, alchemically along, may take the viewer, whistling a little off-key, a few paces down the pot-holed path of life’s urges and secret longings. As the writer Paul Theroux is kind enough to say:
I respond to his work as to few other people’s. For one thing, he is interested in ‘difference’, in happiness, in loss, in alienation. There is no faking and always a sort of wit and humour.
Mick Rooney, January 2007
The exhibition includes around 35 new and recent works all of which are for sale.
Friends Room opening times for non-Friends
Friends Room opening times for Friends of the Royal Academy of Arts
10am-6pm everyday except Friday