Arts Council Ireland acquired three paintings for permanent collection
In conversation with Anna O’Sullivan at the Butler Gallery
My work explores how biography and memories are shaped through experiences, stories, and objects. As works of auto-fiction, the process of painting has developed my awareness of memory’s fragileness and truth’s flexibility. With painting I am trying to reorient myself into these actual places I remember — oftentimes resulting in a meandering perspective.
As I develop the work, I try to make an object or space as emotive as it is in my mind. I notice the distance between the actual event and its existence as memory — one operates in the physical world, the other in the mental plane; the act of painting bridges these two. Though these memories are my own, I trust that my process of remembering and imagining translates to something universal.
From a young age I was captivated by color. Now I express emotion using saturated vibrant colors, reminiscent of technicolor films from childhood.
It has become critical to spend long periods of time with my work. My home studio allows for this durational coexistence. My process is rarely efficient; for example, image 3 in my portfolio required seven layers to find resolution. I carefully correct parts that are not working without disrupting parts that feel delicately certain. A work is complete with a sense of crisp, clicking closure; suddenly, the emotions I feel for the subject parallel what I feel when looking at the painting — it is like a door locking shut. Painting is an act of compassion, patience, and love.
Mollie Douthit (b.1986) is a Cork-based oil painter.
Originally from North Dakota, Douthit has resided between Ireland and the US since 2012. She holds a BFA from the University of North Dakota; Post Baccalaureate from Tufts University, Boston; and MFA from Burren College of Art, NUIG. Major achievements include the 2013 RHA Hennessy Craig award, a solo exhibition at the North Dakota Museum of Art, twice awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Grant, a 2022 Arts Council Bursary, and 2022 acquisition of three works by the Arts Council, Ireland.
Additionally, her work has been featured in Hyperallergic, The Irish Times, Sunday Times Culture, New American Paintings, and Ilikeyourworkpodcast. Her work has been supported by residencies at the Tony O’Malley residence, Jentel Foundation for the Arts, Tyrone Guthrie Center, Ballinglen Arts Foundation, and Vermont Studio Center.
Recent exhibitions include Tyranny of Ambition, Highlanes Gallery; Cover Versions, RHA; Save the best part, BernBaums, Fargo, North Dakota; and Generation 22, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny. Currently Douthit is building work for solo shows at Molesworth Gallery in Dublin (July 2023) and the Butler Gallery in Kilkenny (January 2024). Douthit will be an artist in residence at Uillinn West Cork Arts Center during the fall of 2024.
Douthit starts every day with a run, followed by coffee. She is a fan of all things domestic and finds thrills in mending clothes, baking bread, and reading. With a home-based studio, daily moments, objects, and places inspire her personally narrative paintings.