Something Borrowed, Something New. Ian Irvine vs the VG&M
25 May 2019 - November 2019

Location: Gallery 5, first floor

Artwork by Ian Irvine


Something borrowed, Something New

Ian Irvine vs the VG&M


Ian Irvine

Artist’s statement:

When the VG&M invited me to respond to artworks in their collection, my reaction was to appropriate a number of images and transfer them to my preferred media of printmaking and collage.

Certain artworks immediately appealed to me, such as the portrait of Anna Ashton by Joseph Wright of Derby. I’d already been making a long series of collages using 18th and 19th century paintings as a source, but making interventions that entirely change the narrative of the original. Turning them into something surreal, dark and disturbing, but frequently humorous.

I transferred some images to silkscreen and began making screenprints. Invoking the spirit of artists Robert Rauschenberg and Richard Hamilton, I added layers of colour and painterly gestures, allowing the original images to remain visible through the overlaid colours.

Using the VG&M’s paintings in this way allowed the formal qualities of the original works to be appreciated, while turning them into something entirely different. Something related to Pop Art prints of the 1960s and 70s.