I was honoured and excited to be part of the Welcome to the Neighborhood program of events, the 13th iteration of the Askeaton Contemporary Arts (ACA) Festival as curated by Michele Horrigan.
In association with ACA and working closely with the Office of Public Works (OPW), I have commenced a project entitled ‘The Stonebreakers’ exploring the day-to-day activities of the OPW workers on the site of Desmond Castle in Askeaton town. The project will see me embedded on various days over the course of perhaps 9-12 months on site, documenting the various activities undertaken through drawing.
Similar to my War Journal Project (see projects section of my website), my aim will be to push my drawing skills to capture an alternative take, and to more clearly understand how the Castle and OPW ecology works.
I intend to produce a publication, more than likely a comic to educate the public young to old on what goes on in stabilising and re-imagining the castle’s structure, and perhaps some larger illustrated panels referring to tools of the trade. We will also host another couple of informal public progress reports and information events over the lifetime of the project.
What are They Building Over There?, the title of the ACA event served as an information lunch for the general public, and my thanks to all who attended and made it happen.
Especial thanks to Joe & Edward (OPW), masons who gave a very informative talk and questions and answer session, and to Billy Foley (OPW) for his support, and as always my thanks to ACA, and The Arts Council.
Further progress will be reported here in the future!
Excitement is building around the city and the studio as we prepare to launch Gallery Interlude. A partnership between Contact Studios and Lucky Lane, with the aim to provide a venue to exhibit works by Contact Studios members, and to draw attention to the lack of exhibition opportunities and cultural resources, we will operate at 6 week intervals. The first show is scheduled for 7-9pm, Friday June 22, and will be on view the following day also between 11am and 3pm.
Simply entitled ‘Cats’, I will present a solo exhibit consisting of 6 oil paintings, and 3 charcoal drawings, studies of my feline friends Squealer (pictured), Mindy & Mandy. The majority have been completed in the last few months, during my time in Wickham St. Studios, and have a playful, direct style, which I hope will be enjoyed by the public. It’s my first solo painting show in over 3 years, so there is some trepidation on my part, but sure that’s only normal.
A big shout out to Mark and Dave of Lucky Lane with whom I’ll collaborate. Their indoor market captures the essence of Old Limerick, and they, like myself are very keen on the idea of making the city viable as a living entity, and as a location that embraces and fosters the Arts.
A big shout out also to our other partners, The Bigger Picture Framing Centre, and the Glen Tavern, local businesses who will provide additional help and support to the project.
I’ll follow this post with an update on how things went, but do come along!!
Thrilled to be accommodated in the ranks of Wickham St Studios in Limerick, where I moved into in the second week or so of the New Year. With all the upset and tumult of closing Contact Studios last year, and concentrating on trying to keep it open, it was hard to keep creative. It’s a great relief therefore to just get in and draw, paint, think, have tea (or coffee!) and be among like minded individuals.
My sincere thanks to everyone involved, and I hope 2018 is an improvement on the last.
There are deeds afoot in train for this year, details of which to follow, but for now Happy New Year to all!!
I am honoured, as ever, to be in the company of the irrepressible Dave O’Shea, Commander in Chief of the Chimera Gallery, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath Friday December 8.
The occasion is my Hometown launch of Skippy’s Tale, and Dave has repeated his courtesy of two years ago (for Mathilda’s Tale), facilitating and hosting said launch.
As a story, and a project that has taken almost 3 years to realise, it is absolutely fantastic for me to be able to showcase my work to my Family, Friends, and the local audience where my journey started.
Sincere thanks to Dave, Mullingar, and my Family and Friends, hope to see ye there!!
Absolutely thrilled and delighted to have a temporary home for Contact Studios in the Cahill May Roberts building in central Limerick.
We have been talking with representatives of the Limerick City and County Council Cultural Strategic Committee for the last 10 months or so, explaining the significance of our group, and the need for autonomous, well run studios for the city. We feel that our voices have been heard, and in particular that we represent not just current members, but also every potential future user of the studios.
With FG Councillor Michael Sheahan, FG Senator Kieran O’Hanlon we visited the Cahill May Roberts building, where we met Pat Brown, who (along with Ray O’Halloran and the Council) have graciously allowed us usage of the space, until the Council have a fresh space to move into prepared.
We have had overwhelmingly positive support from many, many people, not least because of kind coverage by Nick Rabbits of the Limerick Chronicle/Leader, Rose Rushe of the Limerick Post, and Joe Nash of Limerick Live 95 FM.
A special shout out to FF Councillor Jerry O’Dea who was a good neighbour to us on Mulgrave St, and fought very hard for us with his colleague Michael Sheahan, and Josephine Cotter Coughlan Director of Services with the Council.
A very heartfelt thank you to FF Willie O’Dea also, who has interceded on our behalf several times, and effectively secured an additional 7 months in Contact (Prime).
Lastly, a massive thank you to our previous members, Arts organisations, fellow practitioners and members of the Public who have given us great support. It has meant an awful lot in our darkest hour.
After a long year and a half or so of the impending threat of closure, and no last minute reprieve as we had hoped for, Contact Studios, my artistic residence for 19 years, closed its doors for the final time on the afternoon of Friday 4th August.
It was an upsetting experience to put it mildly, for me and for my fellow 13 artists, to be uprooted with all our work, scattering pieces of art throughout the county and beyond and trying to remain positive.
I have been privileged to have been a part of the artistic community that has provided the opportunity for artists to live and practice in Limerick, to have made many great friends, and to contribute to the mental health services in Limerick.
I do hope that there will be some use made of the building that was our home for so long.
We had a great attendance and reception on the first leg of the Skippy’s Tale Book Launches. Askeaton Contemporary Arts Curator Michele Horrigan (pictured) had some kind and incisive words when launching, and I was delighted to come back to the place that inspired my first book, Mathilda’s Tale.
I was happy to explain something of my thought processes in this informal circumstance, and toasting and remembering our departed friends, and in particular Mathilda and Tricky.
My thanks to all the Civic Trust members, and especially Anita Guinane and Anthony Sheehy, and the man himself, our good friend Micilín Ó Fliri for the image.
I’ll launch my second illustrated book, Skippy’s Tale, next Monday 10 July, during the Welcome to the Neighborhood Askeaton Contemporary Arts Festival (ACA).
I’ve been working on the book for over 2 1/2 years now, ever since my friend Des Hayes related the story to me, about a stray cat that his family adopted way back..
With each launch I plan to donate 2euro per book sold to a local animal charity.
My sincere gratitude to Michele Horrigan and Seán Lynch of ACA, Askeaton Civic Trust, Des Hayes & Family, Limerick City and County Council, and all others who have helped the project along the way.
Coinciding with the launch and of interest to book and art lovers, Gustavo Grandal Montero, librarian and Special Collections curator at Chelsea College of Arts and Camberwell College of Arts, London, will speak about and exhibit a collection of rare and important artist books. This event is a special and intimate opportunity to see publications by seminal artists from the 1960s such as Ed Ruscha, Dieter Roth and Daniel Spoerri, guided by Gustavo’s dedicated and expert knowledge.
A Limerick City launch will follow later this month.
Gustavo Grandal Montero, librarian and Special Collections curator at Chelsea College of Arts and Camberwell College of Arts, London, speaks about and exhibits a collection of rare and important artist books. This event is a special and intimate opportunity to see publications by seminal artists from the 1960s such as Ed Ruscha, Dieter Roth and Daniel Spoerri, guided by Gustavo’s dedicated and expert knowledge
I’m delighted to be showing some new works in a group show organised by respected Limerick Painter/Printmaker Gavin Hogg, and happening in The Mews Coach House off Little Barrington St. Limerick.
The show will feature ourselves as well as fellow Contact Studios’ artists Sheila Richardson, Julie Brazil, Nuala O’Sulivan and also features Stephen Murphy and Grace Roberts to complete the (magnificent) seven.
The above work I made while waiting at home for a gas meter replacement between 1-5pm (needless to say I had along wait).
The second piece made a couple of weeks back was painted in situ in a country location in Co. Clare, courtesy of my colleague Declan Greene (a noted Landscape/plein air artist in his own right). It was completed on the spot, and I think it fits in with the theme of the show.
Many thanks to Sonya Shinkins for facilitating the show and indeed for being a super host previously.
Do come along if you’re round, the show will be open Thursday 1st-Saturday 3rd, 12-6pm, and by private appointment where possible, and will be opened by John Quinn of Quinn Architects.