Drawing for Moore is a site of inquiry where the artist's subjective experience questions how we perceive and respond to our environment both externally and internally. Inspired by her research into animal communications, display and camouflage systems where light, rhythm, pattern and repetition come into play. Animals respond to their environments in ways such as competing for pockets of light to be seen or evolving to become almost invisible in their natural environment.
For the past two years, Ciara Moore has limited herself to working with the concept and color black. The artist’s fascination with black stems from the intimate relationship of the color to light. It is the very intensity of light which allows the viewer to see how color reflects or absorbs, depending on its origin, its matte, gloss, metallic or velvet qualities.
Moore’s process creates an intricate aesthetic experience through the juxtaposition of two black pigments of varying opacity and texture on a page, the angle of a fold or how it behaves with the nature of paper selected. The reduction of color and composition down to core essentials, black and white/darkness and light, opens up the visual complexity and dynamic of the compositional plane. The works have a sculptural quality as the creases, contours and folds of the paper play against the black, textured, surface. The effects of changes in light and our position in relation to the work interrupt or alter our perception of it thereby creating a sense of visual rhythm within the work.
The works explore themes of movement and energy in nature such as tectonic plates, landslides, wild fires and Dark Matter. Some of the Black Unfolding drawings incorporate charcoal made after collecting the burnt wood from sites of wild fires in the Los Angeles area earlier this year. The charred remains are broken up and pounded into powder releasing clouds of dust which are collected through a fine gauze and used as pigment.
The artist’s fascination with the color black extends to our relationship to blackness and darkness throughout history, in nature, art and The Universe.
Also on view is a selection of works created by manipulating the flow of water and black ink on waterproof paper, using strands of natural silk from cocoons to tease out organic web-like forms and ink pools.
Born in Ireland in 1966, Ciara Moore graduated with an MA in painting from the National College of Art in Dublin. She has exhibited in Ireland, UK, Canada, Crete, Australia and Shanghai. She has been awarded artist’s residencies at University of Tasmania, Monash Melbourne and Artspace Sydney, Australia, the Amazon in Brazil and Contemporary Art Museum, Crete. She has been resident in California since 2016.