Izzie Beirne (b.1996) is a UK, London based artist from Newcastle Upon Tyne. Beirne primarily works with painting alongside ceramics, creating works which deal with themes of sexual violence, the healing process from this and a reclamation of pleasure. Beirne uses video as a tool in her work creating paintings that have a filmic quality to them. Her work is influenced by lived experience, news and media as well as films such as Peter Greenaway’s ‘The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover’.
Beirne graduated from Goldsmiths University in London 2023 with a master’s in fine art, she won the Almacantar Award for her work in the postgraduate degree show and was shortlisted for the Acme Award and Global Design Graduate Show.
The themes in Izzie Beirne’s work surround sexual violence and trauma, the healing process from this and a reclamation of pleasure. Beirne’s process begins by making films which act as reference points for her paintings. In the video’s food such as fruit and cream are crushed and pulled apart, juices oozing through manic and violent actions. The food becomes a metaphor for the body and the frenzied hands are the perpetrators.
From these films Beirne finds stills to transform into paintings, through painting they evolve as their own work, becoming more open to interpretation. The paintings have a sensual quality in how they’re produced, luxurious in colour, which speaks to the pleasure aspect of the work. Simultaneously they have an ominous quality, with the frenzied hands always present in the canvases, looming over the fleshed, broken scene below.
Beirne uses ceramics to add to the level of discomfort permeating the work, creating pieces that reference decay, fragility and the grotesque. Ceramic worms, maggots and plates of fruit and cream create an uneasy dialogue with the ethereal paintings. This push and pull in the works is important in capturing the themes in her practice which are messy, gut wrenching and hard to digest.