Dorothy Cross

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Dorothy Cross (born 1956) is an artist born in Cork, Ireland. Working with diverse media, which includes sculpture, photography, video and installation she represented Ireland at the 1993 Venice Biennale. Central to her work as a whole are themes of sexual and cultural identity, personal history, memory and the gaps between the conscious and subconscious


She attended the Crawford Municipal School of Art in Cork before undertaking degree studies at Leicester Polytechnic, England, from 1974 to 1977. She also studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, California from 1978 to 1979 and 1980 to 1982.

Exhibiting regularly since the mid-1980s, Cross came to mainstream public attention with her first major, solo installation, 'Ebb', at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Dublin, Ireland. This was followed, in 1991, by 'Powerhouse', at the ICA in Philadelphia, the Hyde Gallery and Camden Arts Centre in London and Kerlin Gallery in Dublin. Like 'Ebb', several of the component parts that made up 'Powerhouse' were 'found' objects - many of which had been in her family's possession for years or were located from different environments. These were then incorporated into mixed media pieces for exhibit.

During the early 1990s she began producing sculptural works, utilising cured cowhide, cow udders and stuffed snakes, which explored the cultural and symbolic significance of sexuality and subjectivity across cultures. Virgin Shroud (1993), for example, is a veil made from a cow skin with the udders forming a crown.

She is perhaps best known for her public installation Ghost Ship (1998) in which a disused light ship was illuminated through use of luminous paint, in Scotman's bay, off Dublin's Dún Laoghaire Harbour. A recent series Medusae includes images of Chironex fleckeri, a type of jellyfish and was made in collaboration with her brother, Tom Cross, a zoologist.

The Irish Museum of Modern Art held a major retrospective of her work in 2005.

Notable group shows[edit]

  • 1993 Venice - Biennial
  • 1994 ICA London and CCA Glasgow - 'Bad Girls'
  • 1995 Brighton Museum and Art Gallery - 'Fetishism: Visualising Power and Desire'
  • 1996 San Antonio, TX - Artpace International Artist In Residence Program'
  • 1997 Istanbul - Biennial
  • 1998 Liverpool - Biennial
  • 1998 Boston MIT List Art Center, Miami Museum of Contemporary Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - 'Mirror Images: Women, Surrealism and Self Representation'
  • 1999 1st Liverpool Biennale of Contemporary Art��
  • 2000 Give and Take, Jerwood Space, London
  • 2001 At Sea, Tate Liverpool
  • 2002 Liverpool Biennial
  • 2003 Something Else, Turku Art Museum, Finland
  • 2004 Wonderful, Visions of The Near Future, Arnolfini at L Shed, Bristol Industrial Museum, (February – March) travelling to Magna, Rotherham, (September – October) and Cornerhouse, Manchester
  • 2005 Truth universally acknowledged, ACCA, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne
  • 2006 18:Beckett, The Banff Centre, Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff
  • 2007 Singing The Real, South African National Art Gallery, Cape Town
  • 2008 Through the Lens: New media art from Ireland, Beijing Art Museum of the Imperial City, Beijing, China
  • 2009 DLA Piper Series: This is Sculpture - Tate Liverpool, Liverpool
  • 2009 Underwater/Above Water – from the aquarium to the video image, Kunsthalle Wilhemshaven
  • 2010 POOL, Two person with William McKeown, The Kerlin Gallery, Dublin
  • 2011 Eleventh Plateau, Archeological Society Museum, Athens
  • 2012 WIDE OPEN SCHOOL, Hayward Gallery, London
  • 2013 ‘Aquatopia: The Imaginary of the Ocean Deep’, Tate St. Ives, Cornwall
  • 2014 Museum Kunst der Westkueste, Alkersum/Foehr, Germany

Notable solo shows[edit]

  • 1988 Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin - 'Ebb'
  • 1991 ICA, Philadelphia, Hyde Gallery & Camden Art's Centre, London, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin - 'Powerhouse'
  • 1991 Camden Art's Centre, London - 'Parthenon'
  • 1996 Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol - 'Even: Recent Work by Dorothy Cross'
  • 1997 Angles Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 2000 Mimara Museum, Zagreb
  • 2001 Frith Street Gallery, London
  • 2002 Kerlin Gallery
  • 2005 McMullen Museum of Art, Chestnut Hill - 'GONE: Site-Specific Works by Dorothy Cross'
  • 2005 Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
  • 2008 Antarctica, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton
  • 2009 Coma, Bloomberg Space, London
  • 2011 Stalactite, Heineken Ireland, former Beamish and Crawford Gallery, Cork
  • 2013 Connemara, Turner Contemporary, UK
  • 2014 Kerlin Gallery

Works in collections[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Allen Randolph, Jody. "Dorothy Cross." Close to the Next Moment: Interviews from a Changing Ireland. Manchester: Carcanet, 2010.
  • Dorothy Cross. Dublin: Irish Museum of Modern Art. A Charta Publication, 2005
  • Lydenberg, Robin. Gone: Site Specific Works by Dorothy Cross. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005

External links[edit]