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Work of the Week | 2 May 2022

CAG.2122 Dorothy Cross, Jellyfish Lake, 2002, DVD (edition 4/4), 06:00 minutes. Purchased, 2003. © the artist.


Jellyfish Lake (2002) by Dorothy Cross is a short film that pulls the viewer beneath the water’s surface as a naked woman floats amongst jellyfish. Feelings of apprehension quickly subside as the gentle pulsing of the jellyfish, amorphous and transparent, appears to reflect a mutual awareness with the solid, vulnerable human figure.

It was filmed at an isolated lake in Palau, Micronesia where millions of golden box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) migrate daily. Here, the artist – who ‘sees nature, the ocean and the body as sites of constant change and flux’ – was conducting investigations into the biomechanics of these jellyfish. The resulting short film captures a particular resonance between the motion of human hair in water and the alternating contraction and relaxation of the jellyfish.

Dorothy Cross (b.1956) ‘examines the relationship between living beings and the natural world’ through works in sculpture, photography, and film. Having studied in our gallery building during the 1970s, she went on to represent Ireland at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993.

The artist lives in coastal Connemara and continues to exhibit nationally and internationally, most recently with Damascus Rose (17 February – 14 April) at Frith Street Gallery, London and in Simone Rocha’s girls girls girls (2 April – 30 October) at Lismore Castle Arts, County Waterford.

Jellyfish Lake (2002) by Dorothy Cross shows daily in our Screening Room (Floor 2) until 15 May. Open daily | Free entry.

Emmett Place, Cork, Ireland
T12 TNE6
Tel: 021 480 5042

Opening Hours
N.B. Last entry is 15 minutes before closing

Monday–Saturday 10.00am–5.00pm*
Thursday until 8.00pm

Sundays and Bank Holidays
11.00 am4.00pm

*Second floor closes 15 minutes before closing
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