Orient Occident is an exhibition of new paintings by Anne Korff and opens at the University Hospital, Galway on Thursday 9 February 2012. The exhibition will be launched by Jack Harrison on the Art Corridor of University Hospital, Galway at 1.30pm.
Anne began this series of paintings in 2008 after traveling to Morocco in previous years. Having been mostly a landscape painter, her first encounters with Islamic architecture, art and culture led to a radical change in her work.
Two aspects struck Anne in particular. The first being the swamping of traditional life-styles and architecture by all the trappings of a Western consumer society; an all pervasive clash of two very different cultures. The second, the abstract nature of Islamic and Moorish decoration and its meditative qualities. These two things had a profound effect on the artist and her response was to produce abstract paintings, using shapes and colours in arrangements totally at variance with everything she had done before.
Visits to Tunisia, Andalusia and recently to south east Turkey, have deepened Anne’s interest in Islamic design, and witnessing again the pressure of Western societies on the lifestyles of North African and Middle Eastern people fed directly into this vein of work. Anne states: ‘Producing abstract paintings has been truly liberating, allowing me to incorporate and question aspects of Christianity, consumerism and capitalism, with motifs and colours borrowed directly from Islamic and Moorish decoration and buildings.’
As these journeys in the real world have fuelled her work, the resultant paintings have become an authentic expression of her ongoing inner journey. ‘I constantly grapple with the contradictions produced when East meets West where two radically different cultures are overlaid, becoming fragmented and sometimes distorted.’
This exhibition is a celebration of the beauty of Islamic art as seen by a ‘Westerner’. She hopes to encourage the viewer to embrace cultural diversity and the opening of dialogue that might help build bridges between the Christian and Islamic worlds.
The exhibition will be opened by Jack Harrison, Lecturer in Heritage Interpretation at the National University of Ireland, Galway on Thursday 9 February at 1.30pm, and will run until 26 March daily.
For further information regarding the hospital arts programme and the work of Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust contact Margaret Flannery, Arts Director at 091 544979.