Ciara Jeanne O'Flynn (2021): In The Hatred Of A Minute (Trembling Figures) (Image # 001)
My senior thesis titled “In The Hatred Of A Minute (Trembling Figures)” features a series of figurative, representational, dramatic oil paintings that explore the alienation that people experience within intimate family groups. Through the portrayal of a long-hidden family history riddled with tragedy, abuse, and profound mental dysfunction, this body of work examined my interest in the idea that you can look at family from a distant point of view, and that we never completely understand or know those that we consider to be an extension of ourselves. The works are painted with a detached coolness and subjects include family members that I am connected to, but do not necessarily know. In this project I used kinetic mark-making and moments of hyper-color to enhance the emotional charge of the static reference photos from family and official news archives. The work is representational, yet hinges on the materiality and saturation of paint when looking closely. Through this project I was able to learn how my practice as a painter could combine theatricality, manipulation of color, and a physical material surface to grapple with family secrets, private suffering, and a troubled past.