“The Pure Drop”/The Washington Post

by Chris Murray on June 9, 2011

GALLERIES, Friday, June 2, 2011
The Pure Drop
by Mark Jenkins

Cartriona McKay, Glasgow, Harp, Cavan County Museum, Ballyjamesduff, August 3, 2010. Copyright © Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

“Rendered quickly during last summer’s All Ireland Music Festival, the pencil drawings in “The Pure Drop” depict hands, instruments and the very motions of playing music. The title of Carlotta Hester’s Govinda Gallery show refers to the integrity of traditional Irish music, played on guitars, fiddles, accordions, flutes and – by one impure participant – a Roland synthesizer. But it also alludes to the rigor of the local artist’s approach: She sketched only in the instant, with no subsequent touch ups, and always from life, without any photographic assistance.

Hester’s attempt to catch the flash of inspiration yields some stark images, notably a dynamic, barely there drawing of a dancer who teaches Sean Nos (“old style” in Gaelic). Generally, however, the more compelling sketches are the most heavily worked, and the artist is more attuned to recognizing likenesses than freezing movement. The strongest selection is on one wall that features six portraits of festival veterans. Hester’s documentary pencil captures fingers at work in the moment but is most persuasive when looking deeply at faces that recall years and years of songs and songs.”

Other Reviews:

The Pure Drop reviewed by The Pink Line Project.

The Pure Drop reviewed in New York’s The Irish Voice.

The Pure Drop reviewed in The Georgetowner.

To see more drawings from The Pure Drop exhibition visit our website.

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