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Carry Me
Syra Larkin
Carry Me Home Syra Larkin "Going Solo" Exhibition of figurative work by SYRA LARKIN at GALLERY53,CAPEL STREET, DUBLIN 1. May 10th - June7th. Contact Louise Cody. MOb:+ 353 (0) 86 326 0118 SYRA LARKIN: SAATCHI GALLERY YOUR GALLERY CRITICS' CHOICE BY KATHERINE LEVY Syra Larkin's work is oddly emotive. It is odd because the visual immediacy of her art is procured through a very angular style, echoing a Picassoian impulse to distort and exaggerate. Limbs are edgily pronounced, the white curvy flesh standing out against a monochrome background. The facial features are sharp but faintly suggested, with more of an emphasis on the physical body. This suits her purposes well. The duo portraits 'Carry Me' and 'Carry me Home' work as a complementary pair in this instance. The former is more serene; two figures entwined, one bearing the body of the other and both necks leaning into a mirrored silhouette of affection. The splayed legs are both a vulnerable gesture and a signal of intimacy. Trust screams out across this painting. The latter portrait is darker and more dramatic; the landscape dull and cold, the fatigued head bowing deep into the comfort of her bearer's neck. An incongruous pair of bright orange socks has appeared which adds a perverse warmth to the overall picture. The portrait of 'Mary and the Whale' is equally eye-catching. Again we have the strange rubbery limbs in the vein of Matisse's blue nudes, in this case wrapped lovingly around the body of a miniature whale. There is something particularly poignant about this painting. Instead of cradling Christ, this Madonna is soothing another long-suffering creature. Larkin's painting seems to raise issues of environmental significance. The weird embrace possibly signifies a uniting of man and animal as key to worldly harmony. Or it may simply be a portrait of a woman cuddling a whale. Katherine Levy.

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