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Work of the Week | 13 November 2023

CAG.3233 Dorothy Cross, Daunt, 2021, Cotton, polyester, wool, cotton mercurisé and acrylic, 184 x 294 cm. Purchased, 2023. © the artist.


One of the newest additions to the Collection, Dorothy Cross’ Daunt (2021) is a tapestry that replicates a photo taken by her father in the 1930s.

Opening a portal to our maritime past, the work depicts a lightship that once marked the position of Daunt Rock, a historic shipping hazard off the coast of County Cork near Rocky Bay. In 1936, the crew of this lightship were saved during a 49-hour rescue mounted by Ballycotton lifeboat volunteers. It was replaced by a buoy in 1974.

The tapestry is, therefore, concerned with the perils of the sea and sea crossings. Although the name Daunt refers to a land-owning family from nearby Tracton Abbey, the word daunt itself means ‘to overcome with fear; intimidate, to lessen the courage of; dishearten.’

Daunt links to a transient focus in Cross’ work and also hints towards projects such as Ghost Ship (1999), Heartship (2019), and Kinship (2022). Tapestry is an unusual medium for the artist and brings to the fore both familial and geographic traces.

Dorothy Cross (b.1956) works across sculpture, film, and photography in an international practice that looks at relationships between body and time, the human and the natural world, and celebrates wonder and beauty despite the brevity of human existence. Originally from Cork, she lives and works in Connemara.

Daunt (2021) by Dorothy Cross is featured in FOLLOWING THREADS until 28 January.

The Arts House: Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about a work from the Collection every Sunday morning on Cork’s 96FM and C103 Cork. 

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