Matisse’s Garden Group Show, Opens Wednesday 31 May, 7-9pm, The Mews Coach House

View from Back Door, pen on paper
View from Back Door, pen on paper

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).

Ivy clad post, Clonlara, oil on board
Ivy clad post, Clonlara, oil on board

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.

Contact Studios Table Quiz and Postcard Art Sale, May 26 Shannon Rowing Club

table quiz may 26
table quiz may 26

Myself and my 13 fellow Contact Artists are hosting a quiz and art sale this coming Friday. We’re raising money for the studios and encouraging past members and friends to come along – in fact many of the affordable works have been produced by Alumni for the event. It will be in the Shannon Rowing Club on the river Shannon, lovely venue and lovely people to deal with.

I am, as is my wont, acting MC and quizmaster, so hopefully it’ll go smoothly.

Do come along if you’re in the mood for a bit of head scratching, a flavour of art from artists who made Limerick and Contact their home over the last 20 years, or just want to soak up the friendly and aesthetic surroundings!

 

Playtime at KUNSTVLAAI, AMSTERDAM

My new project, All The World Is A Stage, will debut in Amsterdam, on May 22 as Askeaton Contemporary Arts’ (ACA) contribution to Kunstvlaai, the internationally-renowned platform for experimental art spaces.

Wednesday, gallery 4, War Journal, Galway Arts Centre
Wednesday, gallery 4, War Journal, Galway Arts Centre

‘Established in 1997, this year’s Kunstvlaai focuses on innovative methods of exhibition making, based inside the Stadsschouwburg, a nineteenth century building once home to the Dutch National Ballet and Opera. Distorting the lines between stage and audience, Doran draws and sketches throughout the theatre – onstage, offstage, among and around the theatre, all the time shifting points of view. His aim: to capture in real time this space and its protagonists, to construct a new sense of place and vitality’ (courtesy Askeaton Contemporary Arts website).

I’m very much looking forward to the challenge of making art in a short space of time, with unknown results, and of course revisiting this beautiful city.

My sincere thanks to my colleagues Michele Horrigan and Seán Lynch of ACA for facilitating the project, and to the good folks of Kunstvlaai for their hard work and dedication.

 

Contact Studios Open Day, Thursday May 4th, 3-9pm

 

Open Studios
Open Studios

This Thursday myself and my 13 fellow Contact Studio Members open the doors of our Mulgrave St., Limerick home to the public.

The focus is on the informal – chatting to our guests, tours of members’ spaces and a raffle for an original piece of work by Gerry O’Mahony.

There’ll be refreshments, soft drinks and wine later on, and maybe a few scoops after.

Come one, come all!

Dogs’ Tales reunited

Dogs' Tales Reunited
Dogs’ Tales Reunited

A few months back, around Christmas, I was happy to find Loulou’s forever home for her own personalised Dog’s Tale.

Her owner had been unable to collect her piece at the time of the project, but I had heard ‘on the grapevine’ that she was based in Limerick Animal Welfare and so dropped in. It was really great to see my two clients again, and the fact that they were in great form!

Joining the ranks of the University of Limerick National Self Portrait Collection

Selected by panel, the University of Limerick approached me around October last to produce a work to be included in their collection. It’s a great honour for me, and I was absolutely thrilled. After 4/5 months work, I was happy to hand it in to Normoyle&Frawley Framers before it lands at its final destination.

Self portrait sketch
Self portrait sketch

I often think that we’re more the sum of our parts when it comes to being identifiable- where we live, what we own, who our friends are. I wanted to construct something that did a bit more than just relay facial structure or hair colour, for example.

I did a quick sketch, an idea for a collage(above), with the intention of creating a mini collection of things in my front room – paintings, musical instruments, favorite mug and of course, my cat friends, who like to be in as much as possible.

Carl, with Squealer, Mandy&Mindy portrait cropped
Carl, with Squealer, Mandy&Mindy portrait cropped

As the piece progressed there were changes, but here is a cropped version (we’ll wait ’til it’s officially unveiled!). This represents about the bottom right 1/4 of the piece.

Watch this space for info on the unveiling, scheduled for this June!!!

SAW 2 -Small Art Works exhibition, 7.30pm, Thursday 1 December 2016, The Mews, 14 Schoolhouse Lane, Limerick.

I’m delighted to be part of SAW 2, small artworks exhibition Thursday next. Organised by my former tutor in Limerick School of Arts Painting Department, and well respected Artist Gavin Hogg, the show will also feature (Isa)Bella Walsh, Sheila Richardson, Julie Brazil and Nuala O’Sullivan from Contact Studios, along with Gavin himself, and PJ O’Connell.

The show will take place in The Mews, 14 Schoolhouse Lane in Limerick, from Friday 2 December to Sunday the 4th, open 12-6pm.

squeal-a-sleep-oil-on-board 2016
Squeal’ (a sleep), detail, oil on board 2016

I’m showing 3 pieces, all made in situ- a plein air piece from an orchard in Clare, and two paintings completed at home featuring my four legged friends (as shown).

caught-out-l-r-squeal-and-mindyoil-on-board 2016
caught out (l-r-Squeal’ and-Mindy) oil-on-board 2016

We’re delighted to have Úna Mc Carthy, Director of Limerick City Gallery to launch proceedings, and thank N0.1 Pery Square for sponsoring our reception. All are welcome back to the self same venue after for beverages and analysis of the night.

A big thank you to Gavin, and also to Professional Fine Art photographer Declan Greene for documenting the work at short notice. These images are compressed of course for the internet it should be noted.

Now showing at Limerick City Gallery…

 

Deconstruction of a still-life
Deconstruction of a still-life

Delighted to have two works re-presented in the Limerick City Gallery of Art (LCGA) this September/October, courtesy of Simon Fennessy Corcoran, current Shinnors Scholar.

These two works were first shown in the South Gallery, as part of You Should Really Go There, curated and ably handled by Seán Lynch. The two pieces (a small part of my contribution to the original show) are visual deconstructions of still-lifes featuring food from the City Gallery Permanent Collection. The food from my chosen works was then prepared and cooked by Master Joiner Raymond Griffin, in a ready-made café constructed by Seán. Our Contact Studios colleague at the time, Michele Horrigan also created some beautiful pinhole camera prints in situ. also, complementing the show as examination of place and purpose.

Deconstruction detail
Deconstruction detail

I believe it to be the only show in the gallery that had a punk band playing in the basement simultaneous to the opening also, with Con Cremin, Fiona and Mickey giving it socks.

Deconstruction of still-life with mackerel
Deconstruction of still-life with mackerel

A word of sincere thanks to Simon on his excellent installation which was completed with sympathy and good judgement. When transposing works of this nature to differing areas and contexts it’s very easy to lose sight and logic in the name of practicality. This most certainly wasn’t the case here and I wish him well.

I’d also like to mention Mike Mc Loughlin whose audio mapping of Limerick through various organisation’s conversations led to this showing. Mike was one of the founders of Contact Studios almost 20 years ago, and his show Cumann is an intricate audio experience, with our studio members forming part of the ‘grid’. It’s to be experienced in the South Gallery as I write.

Lastly thanks also to Úna McCarthy, LCGA Director for green-lighting the show, and kind words.

Culture Night at Contact Studios featuring my acting debut in Seán Lynch’s new film

S Lynch Campaign to Change
S Lynch Campaign to Change the National Monuments Act

Friday September 16 2016 from 5 – 9pm we’ll open our doors to the public, offering hospitality and art and in addition in a first for us, a Limerick Film Premier.

At 7.30pmish we’ll show my good friend and Contact Studios Alumnus Seán Lynch’s ‘Campaign to Change the National Monuments Act’, a short film he showed recently in the RHA in Dublin.

In the film Seán effectively queries the reasoning behind laws in Ireland regarding the use/abuse of metal detectors. In my first onscreen role I characterise the hapless metal detectorist going about his business, unaware of the gravity of the situation.

It’s fun and informative, and should add a lot to Limerick’s Culture Night scene!!

image: Sean Lynch Campaign to Change the National Monuments Act video still, courtesy Kevin Kavanagh Gallery Dublin & Ronchini Gallery London

 

New Paintings

Sleeping Cats and en plein air orchard painting
Sleeping Cats and en plein air orchard painting

I’ve been working on some paintings while also nearing completion of my Skippy’s Tale illustrated book. The piece on the left in progress is based on a sketch of Mandy and her mother Squealer sleeping on the couch. It’s hard to say how much more work will go into it – certainly some more layers of solid paint/ dry – brushing and some light glazes at least.

On the right a painting made in situ in an orchard near Clonlara, Co. Clare. The day started out sunny but rain began in earnest after about an hour and a half and brought proceedings to a close. I think I managed to get something of the trees’ lyrical structure, and hearing random apples drop in their own time around me was an extremely pleasant experience.

My thanks to fellow artist Declan Greene for letting me tag along!

 

Next up – news on Culture Night 2016.