Essentials, 2021 - 2023

Unique monoprints, printed directly from embossed toilet paper onto paper.

© Caroline McCarthy

All images on this website are copyright of the artist

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This series of prints began during lockdown, with the first prints shown during 2021. A larger and complete set will be presented at Green on Red Gallery, Dublin, late 2023.

A dense, black rectangle repeats itself within white frames hung throughout the gallery. A closer encounter reveals each rectangle to carry a delicate and disquietingly familiar pattern. In fact, these are the patterns found on toilet paper existing in bathrooms up and down the country today, their embossed surfaces inked up and printed directly onto heavyweight paper to produce a unique series of monoprints titled Essentials. 

Embossed toilet paper is a current trend, where coloured toilet paper was in vogue before that; colour has now all but vanished. The embossed designs are highly considered yet inconsequential. Who chooses them? Where do these designs come from? They prompt such questions and evoke a variety of associations including Islamic geometric patterns, industrial materials, and antique quilts. In others, the ghosts of M.C. Escher, Al Held, Patrick Caulfield, and Andy Warhol are at play all within the same modest planes. Quiet poems inscribed on lowly ground, sombre and formal in their delivery. They are as charged and articulate, or as empty and dumb as you like.