Ishmael Claxton and Marie Le Men
In Samhlaigh, the work stands as a biograph of the human community. Through the striking relationship between subject and viewer, themes of race, gender, identity and exclusion are explored and confronted. Specifically, Le Men and Claxton use the fragility of their subjects as a means of challenging our views on what it means to be Irish.
Samhlaigh explores complex modern narratives, both personal and communal, to ask questions of current identity politics and to propose that our heritage is one of collaboration, rather than opposition.
Le Men and Claxton’s work weaves together, blending towards a culmination where historical and traditional ideals are deconstructed and reimagined to present a living document of Irish life. Samhlaigh is counter nostalgia, yet the viewer is faced with a sense of knowing, and understanding, and comfort. The subjects are us, open and flawed and human.
Ishmael Claxton is a photographer born in New York and living in Dublin for 8 years. He has exhibited widely, both in Ireland and internationally, and is currently taking part in group exhibitions at the Outset Gallery, Galway and Rua Red Gallery, Dublin. Last month, his portrait of artist Sean Hillen was selected for the Lens Culture Portrait Awards 2023. He had a solo exhibition last year in Gallery X, Dublin. He took part in exhibitions last year with Hang Tough Contemporary, Centro Espositivo San Vidal in Venice, Atlantic Gallery, New York and Gallerium, Ontario Canada.
Marie Le Men
Marie Le Men is an emerging Dublin-Based watercolour portraitist and plein air painter born in France. She has a keen and prolific practice of figure drawing and is self-taught with a background in Printmaking. Inspired by the human body and its infinite expressiveness, she likes to work mainly from life. Marie’s prints and artworks have been exhibited in France, Sweden and Ireland. Self taught in drawing, she studied oil painting in RHA School and printmaking in KKV Print Studios (Sweden). She recently won a prize at Dublin Plein Air festival 2022, and was a selected artist at Signal Open Exhibition 2022.