THE BLOOD-DIMMED TIDE LOOSED
17 May 2018
The title of this exhibition is borrowed from the poem ‘The Second Coming’ by William Butler Yates.
The poem uses Christian imagery allegorically depicting the apocalypse and the second coming to describe the atmosphere of post-war Europe. The Second coming is a statement about the contrary forces at work in history and the conflict between the modern and the ancient world. A new civilisation will be born, one that will reject what the previous generations celebrated, while humanity descends into moral confusion.
McCaughey contemplates impenetrable forces shaping our contemporary society, from the ideological to the technological. Her work references Christian imagery along with Celtic rituals of the cult of the head. McCaughey’s portraits appear genderless, and from no clear socioeconomic background. They resemble a statue of importance, a bust on a plinth like a godly figure on a pedestal. They are represented in a way that questions how we use social media to construct false impressions of status and authority in an age of individualism that emphasises the moral worth of the self.
Photography by Steven Maybury