Doyle has wasted no time since his graduation from Crawford College Cork in 2017, where he received the ‘Student of the Year’ award with a solo show at the Lavit, Cork.
Abroad he won both the Ashurst Emerging Artist Award and the Sunny Art Prize. Most recently he was shortlisted for the Zurich Portrait Prize at the National Gallery, Ireland. This body of work continues to explore Doyle’s interest in gender identity in contemporary society.
The work challenges societies preconception of binary gender categories and suggests that gender is more complex than simply, male or female. Although the representation of the gender debate crops up in mainstream media from time to time.
Terms such as queer, genderfluid, non-binary etc. cause confusion due to the lack of education and open dialogue around the subject matter in wider society. Doyle invites the public to an overdue conversation around gender ‘norms’ and poses the question, ‘Should a system that suits the majority be a system worth keeping when it can cause harm to the minority?’
Doyle uses fabric as a metaphor to describe our individualism through shape, colour and pattern. From birth, we are conditioned to view our environment in binary terms and thus see floral patterns and bright colours as being feminine and geometric shapes and dark colours as being masculine.
Thanks to everyone who came to 'Post-Binary' last night. It was fantastic. Huge thanks to @SO_FineArt for putting in so much work. Exhibition on until 21st March. Let me know what you think 😊 'Frankie' Oil and Mix Media on Canvas. 90X90cm. pic.twitter.com/hhNj6eEC3Q
— Stephen Doyle (@stephendoyleart) February 15, 2019
According to Doyle, he subverts these beliefs by surrounding the spectral figures in his paintings with a variety of material thus rendering each figure neutral. Furthermore, he brings the fabric into the physical space opening up public discourse and allowing the viewer to readdress their ideology on identity.
We are fortunate that we can interact and view these works by this talented painter as he continues the gender discussion in the public domain.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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