The Respectful Distance
The Respectful Distance presents its audience with thirteen paintings that continue the artist’s philosophical and emotional response to the world that surrounds his Limerick home. Weeds or wild flowers stand in the foreground, dominating a panel with a long, ethereal landscape sweeping the background.
Although Canning’s practice stems from a conceptual source with sculpture his primary medium, these paintings draw from a Northern Renaissance well. While, in a sense, the weeds dominate and are objectified, these are not Still Life paintings. Rather than merely breathing life into the inanimate, Canning’s aim is to ask the viewer to consider hierarchies, the relationships between imagery and its meanings, matter and its transformations, history, memory and fact.