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Irish Artist in California Art Gallery Project
Michelle Bourke-Girgis is Artist-in-Residence at the Red Bluff Art Gallery in Red Bluff, California. She is producing a large installation piece entitled "Bubblegum Paradise" which features a rolling landscape and a mythical chupacabra.
Michelle recently graduated from St. Martin’s College of Art in London. During her final year she was also selected by the Tate Modern to represent her school in a new Life Drawing Workshop sponsored by the prestigious Tate Gallery.
“I saw her working in a Life Drawing class, and recognized the special talent that Michelle has,” says Phil Dynan, gallery co-director, who invited Michelle to visit Red Bluff as Artist-in-Residence.
Michelle is working in the “Window Studio” of the downtown gallery, creating an installation art piece entitled “Bubblegum Paradise”. She has been assisted in the creation by various gallery art students during the weekdays. The students have been helping to make paper mache forms that will become a part of the final “installation”
Her work will take up a space in the gallery about ten feet square and will also crawl up the wall on one side. It includes a sculpture of a chupacabra and a large area of multi-colored round shapes punctuated with black and white conical shapes.
“It is still evolving and will continue to change. But at this point, the piece presents dichotomies of positive and negative, masculine and feminine, subject and object, white and black, order and chaos, reality and fantasy, ultimately form presented against glorified space,” Michelle says.
“The bulbous shapes texturize space, but do not define it, and their pure color represents the surreal, while the mythological figure of the goat sucking Chupacabra oddly is the link to mortality and the real, rescuing the audience from the fanciful dream.”
Visitors are encouraged to stop by and meet Michelle. She is normally in the gallery from Noon to 4 PM on Tuesday through Friday.
The artist will present her work, and accompanying drawings and notes at the First Friday Art Night reception on Friday, September 7th. She will stay in Red Bluff as Artist-in-Residence until September 24th and then return to Dublin, Ireland to begin her Graduate Studies at the National College of Art in Dublin.