Working with hand-ground Japanese ink, Joy Gerrard (b1971, Dublin) makes small drawings and large canvases depicting bird’s-eye views of mass protests, here specifically anti-Brexit and anti-Trump marches from June 2018. Consciously working from media images – primarily stills from helicopter footage – which she collects in their hundreds, Gerrard selects those images that she will turn into her monochrome drawings, getting to know the image and memorialising it in the process.
Joy Gerrard, Protest Crowd, London (Brexit 1, June 2018), 2018. Ink on paper mounted on aluminium, 23.0 x 40.0 cm. Photo courtesy Alan Cristea Gallery.
From these, she then may select a couple to work up into a large canvas – using the same medium, but to very different, almost abstract effect. This time, she works from the drawing, concentrating on areas of tone and shade, creating a strong composition, built up in small sections. Overall, her aim is to make visible the masses who attend these protests, which she strongly believes can make a difference. Her work not only takes protest – and remembrance – as its themes, but it is, in itself, a form of protest.
Protest and Remembrance: Miriam de Búrca | Joy Gerrard | Mary Griffiths | Barbara Walker, installation view, Alan Cristea Gallery, London, 2019. Photo courtesy Alan Cristea Gallery.
Protest and Remembrance
Miriam de Búrca | Joy Gerrard | Mary Griffiths | Barbara Walker
Alan Cristea Gallery, London
28 February – 30 March 2019
Interview by ANNA McNAY
Filmed by MARTIN KENNEDY