Of Innocence and Of Experience
6- November – 7 December
Cristina Bunello returns to Cross Gallery with ‘Of Innocence and Of Experience’, a collection of new work by the Italian born, Ireland based artist. The work will be exhibited from the 7th of November to the 7th of December with an opening from 6 – 8 on the evening of November 6th.
In ‘Of Innocence and Of Experience’, Bunello presents us with profoundly private and subtle paintings. Beautifully painted, the flat monochrome backgrounds offset the delicate detail on the models faces and bodies. Time is halted in her snapshot portraits, and we are called to question the perception, the reality and the experience, of the young girls held before us.
The ethereal angelic faces, bringing to mind images of a Renaissance or Pre-Raphaelite era, gaze back or away from the viewer with a wan, non-committal stare. They are all young girls. This raises some questions, one rather uncomfortably asks whether the work may allude to the premature sexualisation of children, another more innocently ponders if Bunello is sentimentalizing her own childhood. The young girls, while embodying the innocence that is expected from children, also seem to have something of an adult-like knowledge or experience placed upon them. This empowerment with something that they should not have, this sense of having a history, has the effect of jolting the viewer. There is an unnerving feeling that everything is not as it should be.
Bunello is not blatantly enticing an emotive response from the viewer but she does call for meditation. There is an undeniable allure and mystery to her work, which leaves the viewer questioning, doubting and hoping to unravel the enigma, the motive of the artist’s work. The result is a curiously poignant viewing experience.