This exhibition of work from the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s Collection is shown at the Cavan County Museum in partnership with the IMMA National Programme. Alternative Nature is based on the depiction of nature in art and includes works by artists such as Hamish Fulton, Marie-Jo Lafontaine, Alice Maher, Barrie Cooke, Oliver Comerford and Avis Newman.
Tipperary-born Alice Maher works within the realms of nature and culture, subversion and transformation, mythology and memory. Working with materials like bees, berries and hair she builds up a strong relationship with their histories and cultural associations in the creation of surreal works that appear like enchanted objects from a medieval folk tale. Maher's lack of conformity to a single medium and wide use of natural materials are typified in Berry Dress, 1994.
Nests There Are…, 1986-7, by Avis Newman presents a complex combination of natural objects (bird's feathers and honeycomb), industrial material (steel) and painting and refers at once, to nature, craft, and to art. It also focuses on the intangibility of the imagination, as real objects fuse with the artist's drawn image and symbols of freedom and nature are tightly contained in its glazed and boxed frame.