Arrangements, Review by Aidan Dunne, The Irish Times, July 2011

In her work, Caroline McCarthy has from the first been concerned with how we see things and, increasingly, with the language of consumer culture. How, that is, our perceptions and desires as consumers are shaped and persuaded by forces of which we remain blissfully unaware.

In Arrangements she considers the notion of “the range” in branding, advertising and selling.

In Shelf Arrangement No 1, for example, she stacks and mounts on bronze brackets a full range of Ikea-branded veneered shelving. In other words, the exclusive, arty bit – the cast bronze – is pressed into service to hold a kind of advertisement for mass- produced consumerism. It’s a curiously satisfying work that is not so much a critique of mass-production as a reflection that prompts us to consider what is going on and what we think about that.

Elsewhere, McCarthy uses the ubiquitous plastic drinking straw as a versatile art material, and the colour red as a prototypical branding device run amok. It’s a conceptually rich exhibition with an easygoing air.