French and Bruton put art in public eye
JILL French and fellow artist Emily Bruton of Implicate Collaborative have both had first-hand experiences of living a life in the public eye.
Jill, sister of model Katy French, and Emily, daughter of former Taoiseach John Bruton, open their first exhibition together this Thursday. Its focus is the boundary between privacy and intrusion.
French, 27, admits that her family name has stopped her from "doing art" in the past. "I certainly got paranoid about it," she told the Sunday Independent. "I didn't know who was a journalist and who wasn't. People will always find more in your work than you put there – that does deter people from making art because of that kind of exposure."
French, who met Bruton through friends, explained that neither artist was "aware of who the other person was" when they began taking an interest in each other's art.
French said she has experienced "fear, voyeurism and intrusion" in her own life because of who her sister was, her death, the court case and the inquest last summer.
Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan will open the exhibition, Implicated, this Thursday in Mart Gallery in Rathmines and Bruton and French, who curated it, will show alongside five other artists.
French's work includes five photos of strangers' homes she took through keyholes. Obtaining these images meant she had to "stalk houses for a couple of days and wait until people were out". She's also exhibiting a sound piece which is a recording taken without permission of an investigation into leaked documents.
Bruton has one oil painting in the show and it's of a photo that Billy Ray Cyrus tweeted of his blood-spattered, hospitalised son. Other work includes CCTV footage of a man falling under a train by visual artist Billy Ward.
How has Jill been since the inquest into Katy's death? "My life has been my work, everything that I do I approach as work and quite often emotionally removed."
She is also not happy with the open verdict. "I'm not at peace with that, no, probably not. I am not happy about the DPP dropping the charges."
'Implicated' runs from October 3–20 at Mart Gallery, Rathmines implicatecollaborative.com