Feb 3rd, 2011 To Feb 26th, 2011
"My work is rooted in the town land of Ummeryroe, my mothers birthplace in county Sligo. Ummeryroe derives from the gaelic, iomaire rua , meaning red ridge. Red clay can still be found on the land.
I spent many summers there in childhood. A winding lane with high banks full of wild flowers and grasses led into my grandparents house. The comings and goings along this path were always full of expectation. I have made a series of paintings based on the lane on copper. I found the paint stood out on the surface and any mark made by hand was visable.
Bogland lies nearby and paintings of bog cotton on canvas were made as a series also.
I have re-visited the land in recent years and made paintings and drawings. Farm implements, sickle, pitchfork, potatoe-sprayer have inspired paintings and prints in the studio. A knitted cushion cover made by my grandmother on a sack used to contain chicken feed knitted itself into several large paintings. Painting the cross-stitch patterned coloured cover linked me with my past and to a time when life was simpler and hand craft like knitting was commonplace.
I have made paintings on old floorboards, where the marks of nails and time still exist. Memory plays a part. Paintings of white enamel buckets, hearthstone, wash-stone, all tell a story which is embedded in my mind." - John O'Connor
Mar 3rd, 2011 To Apr 2nd, 2011
Barrie Cooke RHA, began his 81st year with this exhibition of personally selected works, spanning the last decade, at the Hamilton Gallery. The works on exhibition included watercolours and oil paintings from Cookes travels to New Zealand and South Africa. Selected works include two portraits of Sligo author Dermot Healy and paintings from Cill Rialaig, Lough Arrow and Knocknarea. The artist also selected a series of lithographs for the exhibition.
In the words of Nobel Laureate and fellow Aosdana member Seamus Heaney ‘Much of his art has exhibited the fluency and first-handedness of cave art, combining the now of perception with the then of fulfilment. Whether he is painting a nude in a landscape or water-hurry in a river, whether it is an elk with horns full of galactic light or a tench-lake sluggish with lilies and twilight, there is something at once erotic and absorbed in the pursuit.’
Barrie Cooke has exhibited widely throughout Europe, the US and Canada. Major retrospectives include shows in the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin in 1986, the Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague in 1992, and LAC, Perpignan, France in 1995, and the Royal Hibernian Academy Gallery, Dublin in 2003 His work is represented in the collections of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Ulster Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Haags Gemeentemuseum and in many other public and private collections worldwide.
Grainne Cuffe & Ruth O'Donnell
Apr 7th, 2011 To Apr 30th, 2011
The Nightingale and the Rose is a frequent lyrical theme in Iranian decorative art of the 18th and 19th centuries. Ruth O’Donnell is fascinated by the way deep truths are traditionally dealt with so lightly by decorative art of this era. Taking the 12th century Sufi narrative poem The Conference of the Birds as a starting point, O’Donnell has explored the communication of these ideas through a series of suites of prints with related bird motifs.
Though not strictly botanical, Grainne Cuffe’s delicately balanced work takes it’s inspiration from the floral. There is strong reference to the pigmentation of petals, lending vitality to the colour in her etchings. Compositionally, balancing the square is a preoccupation in her work, while Cuffe’s use of scale gives a sense of expansive optimism to the larger prints.
May 5th, 2011 To May 28th, 2011
Felim Egan's paintings are built up slowly with layers of thin colour applied to the canvas, and stone powder ground into the acrylic. He is known as a painter of restrained eloquence, who sparingly deploys a vocabulary of hieroglyphic motifs over monochromatic expanses of colour. His paintings are built up slowly with layers of thin colour applied to the surface and stone powder ground into the acrylic. The work is universal in spirit and at the same time emotionally intimate. His paintings are epiphanic, in that they convey to us the essential nature or meaning of something of which we were previously unaware. He is an abstract artist, a painter of quite formal abstract images, and yet his work is tied to the place he lives and works, to the long horizons, big skies and empty sands of the Strand and sea. In this way his abstract paintings are almost landscapes, with a magical quality that his neighbour, the poet Seamus Heaney, has aptly described “ a balance of shifting brilliances”.
He represented Ireland at the Paris Biennale in 1980 and the Sao Paulo Bienal in 1985, and has had more than 50 solo exhibitions across Europe and the USA since 1979. Major exhibitions of his work were held at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin in 1995-96, and at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam in 1999. Large-scale commissions include works for Dublin Castle, Temple Bar Properties, the National Gallery of Ireland, City Quay, Dublin, Cork Street, Dublin, and New Providence Wharf, London. In 1993 he won the Premier UNESCO Prize for the Arts in Paris, and he received the Gold Award at Cagnes-sur-Mer in 1997. His work is held in numerous collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; New York City Public Library; Irish Museum of Modern Art; Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin; Ulster Museum, Belfast; Deutsche Bank, London; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the European Parliament. He is represented in Ireland by the Kerlin Gallery.
Jun 2nd 2011 To Jul 2nd, 2011
Jane O'Malley was born in Montreal. In 1973 she married artist Tony O'Malley and lived in St. Ives, Cornwall, until 1990, when they then moved permanently to Ireland. On working holidays they travelled to the Isles of Scilly, the Bahamas, and the Canary Islands. Inspiration for her work comes from these landscapes, and the objects she has collected on her travels: native jugs and vases, a carved spoon, fruit from the garden. These are then distilled and arranged, giving them a simple presence and the weight of accumulated memory.
Vanya Lambrecht Ward
Jul 7th 2011 To Jul 30th, 2011
'Every vision takes place somewhere in the tactile space. There is double and crossed situating of the visible in the tangible and of the tangible in the visible; the two maps are complete, and yet they do not merge into one. The two parts are total parts and yet are not super-imposable.' Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Vanya Lambrecht-Ward's work grapples with the idea of dwelling and our relationship with space. Between the ocular and the tactile experience, between the flat and the spatial, the work attempts to return this space from the visual to the physical. Photography - a way of collecting and even hoarding space (in combination with pencil and paint), deconstructs and destructs these environments to create re-assembled spaces.
The photograph as a non-truth - rather than the perceived verisimilitude of the photographic image, is a constant dominating factor in Vanya's work. The physical experience of the built space rather than its measured reality, and the work as an object itself, contribute to a re-examining of the mediums of photography and painting.
Aug 4th, 2011 To Aug 27th, 2011
Long associated with a unique interpretation and exploration of our land and coastline, Gwen O’Dowd, Aosdana, focuses here on the restless energy of the sea. This exhibition comprises a new series of paintings that sees this artist working in exuberant form. Wonderful, joyful and powerful, this new body of work captures the rhythm and magnificence of the ocean.
Sep 1st, 2011 To Oct 1st, 2011
"My art is related to ancient culture as well as to modern technique. I feel that every artist, be they poet or writer or sculptor or painter, must have roots, roots that will tap into the ground. It's not to say that you don't live in the modern world - I use all the technology that I possibly can to express myself, I am very aware of what's going on in terms of technical innovation - but in terms of Irish art, we have had a gap between the Middle Ages and the 20th Century when no visual art was produced. So I had to go back: the future was in the past, if you like.
The Renaissance wasn't experienced in Ireland. So I felt I had to rediscover things and deal with them and bring them forward. I've also had a good look at the Classical civilisations - Greek and Roman, particularly the Greek - and that has had a huge impact on my recent work.
You have to deal with that; I think anybody with an Irish background does. Art must have a basis - if it takes it from other cultures that's fine, if it takes from its own culture that is also fine. What I have done is I have tried to combine all these different elements to find a solution for my own problems." -John Behan
Oct 6th, 2011 To Oct 29th, 2011
"My work relates to landscape in one way or another. I’m either working directly outdoors painting or drawing or I’m extracting ideas and stories from researches relatingto a particular landscape. Over the years I’ve noticed my artwork always has a narrative of sorts and I like to think that the narrative is the line I peg the images on. Based on my almost daily walks on the banks of the Royal Canal I’ve developed a fascination on how this failed mode of transportation now fits as if it is a naturally occurring waterway in the landscape. Over time it has converted its bank’s into a vast nature reserve and a walker’s paradise. It opens up the closed midland landscape in a way never intended.
It is this ‘constructed landscape’ that I’m exploring in order to create a number of series of new artwork for this exhibition." -Geraldine O'Reilly.
Geraldine O’Reilly works in the medium of painting, drawing, print making and photography. She has had many solo exhibitions as well as participating in hundreds of group exhibitions. Her work is represented in many public and private collections. In 2004 she was elected a member of Aosdana. She is a former chairperson of the Graphic Studio Dublin. She lives and works in County Westmeath.
Leo Higgins & James McCreary
Nov 3rd, 2011 To Nov 26th, 2011
Leo Higgins lectures at The National College of Art and Design and is a Director of CAST Bronze Foundry in Dublin. Winner of the Oireachtas Prize for sculpture in 1984 and 1985, Higgins has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout Ireland.
“James McCreary, Aosdana, possesses all the obsessiveness of the practising printmaker. Using mezzotint, he rhythmically generates tight, abstracted views…mostly in a letterbox format – when he increases the vertical proportion of the plane, it’s as if he’s opened the front door.” Aidan Dunne