Château La Coste is delighted to announce a solo exhibition ‘499 seconds’ by the multi-disciplinary Irish artist, Isabel Nolan, to include paintings, sculpture and a large new tapestry.
Nolan’s exhibitions are rooted in big subjects: cosmology and deep history; religion and mythology; mortality and love. Her works are alert to the behaviour of humans in regard to each other, other animals, the environment and objects alike. Exploring the “intimacy of materiality”, Nolan’s output ranges from hand-tufted wool rugs illuminated with striking imagery to improvisational coloured pencil drawings and deliquescent paintings made with water-based oils. Borrowing imagery from diverse sources, astrophotography, neolithic tombs and trecento painting, in concert, they are both enchanted and alienated by the world we’ve made; expressing humanity’s deep need for connection, as well as celebrating our startling achievements in science and culture.
The acts of reading, drawing and writing are indispensable processes for Nolan, to reflect on both the world and on herself, and it is these basic activities that gave rise to the works in this exhibition. Vivid colour and fluid forms create ethereal yet joyous paintings full of movement and energy. Natural forms such as plants, waves and sunsets are present alongside patterns and geometric forms verging on abstraction. Nolan’s works give form to fundamental questions about the ways the chaos of the world is made beautiful or given meaning through human activity: celebrating the profoundly normal, yet very strange experience of being alive and the delicate nature of existence, and the extraordinary fact that we know it takes exactly 499 seconds for light leaving the sun to reach the surface of our earth.
“The arc of almost everything I’ve proffered in public, in exhibitions or texts is quite similar. It goes as follows: Life is often hard and without meaning in any grand, a priori sense. Art is a good way to find meaninglessness beautiful. Meaning must be invented. And those inventions must be contested and questioned, and never taken for granted.” Isabel Nolan
Born in 1974 in Dublin, Nolan continues to live and work there. She has had numerous solo exhibitions in galleries and institutions across North America, Europe and Asia, including Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Mercer Union, Toronto; London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE, London; Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Kunstverein Graz, Austria; Kunstverein Langenhagen, Germany and Musée d’art moderne de Saint Etienne, France.