The Permanent Collections

National Collection of Contemporary Drawing

Michael Mulcahy –Water Gypsy

Water Gypsy

Mulcahy, Michael

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 1989, acrylic on paper, 58 x 75 cm (National Collection of Contemporary Drawing)

Michael Mulcahy (1952- ) travelled extensively in western Africa, Australia, India and South Korea, and the influence of his interactions with other cultures and their sign systems features heavily in his work.

The title itself conjures forth images of something quite mysterious. The central motif in this drawing, suggests an abstraction on a kanji character (a letter from the Chinese language), both in shape and in the marks themselves which look like the brush work of a calligrapher’s pen. Text-like marks tumble down the incline on the left-hand side of the central bold figure, like some ancient hieroglyphs or alphabetic symbols from an Asian syllabary. It is possible the drawing may have nothing to do with language systems, this is just one possible association to interpretate the work.

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