Selected Press reviews
“Passage”, exhibited Ireland 2002 – 2007
“As this exhibition clearly demonstrates, Carmel is an artist of extraordinary talent with a clear vision of what she wants to do, and in total command of her camera. She is also an artist with sufficient confidence and ambition to print her images to a massive scale…
This Antelope Canyon series is an extraordinary achievement by an extraordinary artist. The images were made to achieve their potential in a gallery context. This is what makes this exhibition a visual arts experience never to be forgotten.
At the end of the day, Carmel Cleary is one of those very few artist photographers whose work is better seen in a gallery rather than in a magazine context.”
From the catalogue foreword by John Hunt, curator of ‘Passage’
“The photographs that make up Carmel Cleary’s exhibition ‘Passage’ are beautiful be any standard. They follow the winding curves of the deep, narrow Antelope Canyon in Arizona.
In some of Cleary’s earlier work she photographed stone in a way that suggested the sensuality and pliancy of flesh. And that association comes through here as well. In some images the opposing canyon walls are like bodies engaged in an intricate dance. The similarity is there, and undoubtedly helps to draw us into the images, but it is never forced or contrived.” Aidan Dunne, The Irish Times
“Red Iron Bridge”, exhibited Ireland 1998 – 2001
“This exhibition is a darkly-powerful study of the disused iron railway known colloquially as The Red Iron Bridge.
These exhibits bear witness to an already accomplished practitioner of the visual arts. But technique is only part of the equation. It is the melding of outer technical expertise with the struggling spirit within that creates great and abiding works of visual art. But above all, these images have a sense of energy that transcends the logic of sum-totals.” Edward Power, Nationalist
“Explorations”, exhibited Ireland 1995 – 2007
Exhibited at Gothenburg Irish Festival and in 1996 represented Ireland at the Adelaide Fringe Festival
“Cleary’s photographs, all taken in one small cove in Co Waterford, imbue water-worn stone with the softness of flesh. The patterns of fissures and joins recall details of the human body. They make beautiful images...” Aidan Dunne, Sunday Tribune
“Cleary’s ability to select a subject in order to ease out it’s hidden compositional strengths is demonstrated well in the photographs of the humble limpet, which amazingly become precise components whose considered position is vital to the images success. It is no coincidence that these details relate to anatomical features…” Mark Ewart, Irish Times
"I was especially taken with three untitled photographs of limpets. I never thought limpets could look sensual, but Cleary's bold use of grey and shadows transform them entirely. They achieve a wonderful sensuality."
Alannah Hopkins, THE SUNDAY TIMES
“A Shot in the Dark” photographic installation, exhibited throughout Ireland 1992 – 1995
“This is definitely an artist to watch. She has the power, cogency, clever ideas, rich subject matter and the technical capabilities to weave the whole into art” Brian McAvera, The Irish News
“A most impressive and uniquely displayed photographic exhibition, ‘A Shot in the Dark’ cleverly combines light and pictures to give a most unusual and beautiful visual experience” Editor, The Nationalist