Meet this Irish theatre designer, who with her clever imagination is recreating world-famous paintings into portraits of her mom and dad. By Upasana Singh
As the world is staying indoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19, people have started discovering new hobbies to keep themselves entertained and remain positive. For instance, a theatre designer along with her parents is recreating some of the most famous artworks.
Molly O’ Catháin, an Irish production design assistant working at the National Theatre in London is one such example of creativity in action. Molly is keeping herself busy at her parents’ home in Dublin by recreating portraits that cast her mother, Liz Nilsson, and father, Brian Ó Catháin, as the leads in famous paintings. As per Molly, a suggestion by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, for people to recreate paintings from their galleries, inspired her to take up this hobby.
Starting from American Gothic by Grant Wood, Molly with the help of her parents staged famous classics such as Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss; the Meeting on the Turret Stairs, by Frederic William Burton; Salvador Dalí and his wife Gala, photographed by Narique Meneses; and Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, photographed by Nickolas Muray.
These replica portraits were created by basic household items such as scarves, blankets, tablecloths, and ties. As a resourceful theatre designer, Molly is normally used to going through charity shops and costume hire departments to find props. Presently, she has been creating backdrops and costumes with the help of her parents, piecing together odds and ends from the house.
An accidental project taken up during coronavirus pandemic has not only proven to be a productive exercise but also helped the artist gain some fame. The clever use of creativity and imagination, by a young artist, is inspiring many worldwide.
Molly has regularly been posting her recreations alongside the originals on her Instagram and Twitter accounts. “Day 18 Dosso Dossi: A Man Embracing a Woman. 1524 Molly O’ Cathain: My Mum Crashing into my Dad. 2020,” said one of her tweets.