Thursday 15 November 2018

A truly candid camera reveals Amanda Coogan's body of art

PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS AN ARTWORK: Amanda Coogan signs herself
PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS AN ARTWORK: Amanda Coogan signs herself

LIAM COLLINS IS Amanda Coogan's body art? It certainly is a very nice body - and she has even signed it herself, in one of the photographs in her latestexhibition. "It is a piece about what I do, I am signing myself as an art object," says Amanda, speaking from the Limerick City Gallery where her exhibition opened on Friday night.

Has anybody ever asked: is it art? "No," she answers, laughing.

AIB, the country's largest bank, certainly think it is art. They've given the Dublin artist ?20,000 to mount this exhibition of her work which consists of a series of pictures and other performance art.

Included is what she describes as a "sumptuous" photograph of her almost completely bared breasts with a red stain coming up on her chest, called The Sacred Heart.

"I think some people might find it slightly repulsive: over 45 minutes the stain comes up and becomes blood red," she explains. "It is a very Catholic image; it took me six or seven months to get the right colours for the photograph."

Born in Dublin and living between Dublin and Berlin, she has been exhibited at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and was selected by the Royal Hibernian Academy for its 'Futures Exhibition' last year.

"My art is about female artists taking control rather than being the model," Amandaexplains.

She has also launched her own book in Limerick called Amanda Coogan: a Brick in the Handbag, the title of which is a line taken from a Nina Simone song.

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