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Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile: Ritualizing Place
by Jonathan Goodman


The Irish artist Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile (Quee-veen O Fra-ha-la) makes sculptures and drawings all over the globe—in Asia, Europe, and America. A reticent, monk-like personality, he maintains his peripatetic lifestyle by taking on residencies in different parts of the world. Despite his wanderings and the temporary nature and sometime remote locations of his large-scale work, a geographically diverse group of critics is bringing his wooden structures and exquisite drawings to the attention of the international art world. A strong will and sharp formal intelligence inform his wood, bamboo, and stone structures. Often highlighted by fire and moored on bodies of water, these ritualized sculptures exist essentially as pagan memorials. The drawings, done on unique sheets of handmade paper, look like ancient maps of places now beyond our reach.

The Cloud that Cries, 2006.
Wood, reed, rice straw, water, cloth, and fire, dimensions variable.
Installation view of work at the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial, Niigata, Japan.

 


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