Paul Stolper is pleased to announce Grace O'Connor's fourth one-man show in the gallery, 'One Day in June' an exhibition about memory and music. Grace O’Connor spent a day in the company of a songwriter and musician that she has respected and adored since she was a teenager. The work emerged from processing the memories of their intense and inspiring afternoon together. O’Connor uses their conversations interspersed with lyrics from his songs as the subject matter for the paintings. The resulting work unfolds like a narrative, a tapestry of memory threaded with beauty, communion, honesty and empathy.
In conflating past, present and the never was, O’Connor proposes a narrative about two people who connected with each other fleetingly, allowing the paintings to play with the layers of reality and unreality that characterise both the encounter itself and the memories that followed. The paintings possess a humour and a darkness, laying bare the romanticised figure of the songwriter. The patchwork of imagery is tender and tough, groping towards a fractured narrative where O’Connor’s uncertainty and longing provides the raw material from which this work was made.
The exact identity of the songwriter is immaterial. His significance is felt throughout these works, and he emerges as a ghost, felt and traceable through his words, on the canvas.
Grace O’Connor studied at The Royal Academy 1996 – 1999, and has been included in the John Moores Prize, the BP Portrait Award as well as the Hunting Art Prize, where she won ‘Young Artist of the Year’.