Last week, Kim McDermottroe’s exhibition Field Journal launched at ARC. Kim’s work started as six pages of a ‘Necronomicon’ book of illustrations for a local short film but she didn’t want to stop there. Full of ideas, she’s been adding pages since 2017 between commissions. She now has 109 pages of character illustrations.
Kim experiences pareidolia - she sees faces everywhere which can be very intense for her as she can experience an immediate connection with and empathy for the character peeping out from the knots in a tree or the marks on a path.
If she sees one when she’s out and about (in a blotch on a pavement, or in the knots on a piece of wood for example), she filters it through her imagination and develops it into a character in her sketchbook. Although detailed, her illustrations don’t aim for hyper realistic ‘portraits’ of the faces she sees, but rather they are a starting point of inspiration.
The exhibition is about difference and vulnerability. The hybrid and weirdos, the overlooked and discounted become central, taking up space, prints curl off the walls. The trouser press – a tribute to her work in costume – becomes a magical printer, artwork pushing out, rebelling and, again taking up space. Not flattened, no frames. Perhaps in the white clinical gallery, rust and imperfection can become beautiful and the unusual can be accepted.
Currently on display in the gallery at ARC are a wealth of the amazing characters Kim has created, from now until Saturday 24 December. You can come along and see the incredibly detailed sketchbook illustrations and 3D pieces on show.