Excitement is building around the launch of Mathilda’s Tale, a 12 page book written and illustrated by myself, taking place on March 16th at the Civic Trust in Askeaton, Co. Limerick at 8pm. The good folk of the town have been most kind to me over the years of my association with Welcome to the Neighborhood ( Askeaton Contemporary Arts Festival ), and local tour guide Anthony Sheehy and Anita Guinane particularly deserve my thanks.
Mathilda ( née Squealer, née Cáit ), a fluffy tabby cat along with her brother Tricky were repatriated to the small town from my shed in Thomondgate about 5 years ago after some ingenious trapping. She found a fantastic new home with the Horrigan family, but in 2013 a Bold Blackbird took umbrage at her presence and proceeded to harass her at every turn. What happened next you’ll have to peruse the book to find out!
My sincere thanks to Anne and Michele Horrigan and Seán Lynch for providing a nice home for the pair, and indeed for looking after me over the years. Also my thanks to Chris of McKerns printing in Limerick for their excellent and accommodating services.
A big shout out also to Allan Hughes, a Welcome to the Neighborhood Alumnus who will present his work simultaneously on the night in question, with work pertaining to ‘The Emergency’ as the World War 2 period in Ireland was called, and local circumstances at the time.
If you can come the following day, my good friend and ( also ) fellow Askeaton Alumnus Susan MacWilliam will have a float or variation thereof in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. It’s inspired by the fall of a meteorite on the town in the 1800’s and should be great fun. Lets hope for good weather!!
There was a great buzz on the afternoon of December 13th for the closing day/presentation of all the Dogs’ Tales (see Dogs’ Tales Page). 38 prints in all were on show in the Kiosk with the public and participants all invited. A mildly chaotic feel to the proceedings was provided by the presence of a number of our canine subjects, some saying hello for the first time.
For the cold but bright afternoon we had some delicious mulled wine from ‘Canteen’ in Limerick. As is customary, I did have a few words of thanks for all involved, with a comic ‘dog-related’ pun theme. Sincere thanks to the participants, my new four legged friends, Limerick City of Culture, and all who took the time to engage with the project.
To mark Contact Studios 17th year we invited previous members to exhibit work alongside our current members. The Studios were cleared and cleaned and presented as a gallery space.
26 Alumni along with our current 14 members partook, and there was a great crossover of the Contact Generations. There was a great response to the show, and hopefully this network will grow and consolidate over time.
On the night I exhibited a 2x2ft (60x60cm) work which forms part of Skippy’s Tale. It’s a tonal piece, depicting a moment when 3 of Skippy’s kittens observe a snowy landscape for the first time, and contemplate venturing out into it. The collage will form part of the illustrated aspect of a book, which will be the second after Mathilda’s Tale (of which more in the short term).
Limerick School of Art & Design host current students and Alumni June 7th weekend. As part of this celebration Luggage doors Operating, a composite band of a patchwork of Limerick Studios will present music to this arty audience.
Pictured above is the cover sleeve depicting the members (l-r), Carl Doran (Highwayman), Pamela Dunne (Sailor), Rory Prout (Dam Builder), and of course Kevin O’Keefe (Starship Navigator). Expect some original songs, and some original approaches to covers.
This chapter, a 3 x3 ft (90 x 90 cm) oil painting will be displayed as part of the RHA Summer show in Dublin, commencing May 27th, public Opening May 26th. She’s pictured here all ready to depart in Normoyle & Frawley’s Gallery and Framing, who did a great job as usual. My thanks to Gary Coyle for facilitating my participation in this prestigious event. My thanks also to my Artist friend Seán Healy (in advance) for his hosting and critical skills.
Continuing on the theme of Cats’ Tales (see Cats’ Tales Page and March 2013 post), this painting imagines Cáit wandering around Monilea by Moonlight. Monilea, a rural area in Co. Westmeath is where I spent many of my teenage years, and was the subject of many Landscapes I painted. It seemed apt to combine the two subjects, both lost times, existing in a half-remembered, dream-like area of my consciousness.
For Culture Night my studio (along with my co-Contact Studioers) opened to the public, and slightly tidied up for safe public access. On view and in process at the moment were some ‘Seasonal Variations’ paintings on the ground, along with a few finished pieces, and a preview of ‘Mathilda’s Tale’. ‘Mathilda’s Tale’ is predominantly a series of fine pen sketches concerning a step-sister of Mindy&Mandy (see Cats’ Tales post below), and concerns the ongoing tensions between an Askeaton (Co. Limerick) Blackbird, and a Thomondgate Cat. Ourselves and our 300 or so guests had a great night, with much-needed funds raised through ourPostcard&Affordable Art Sale, and as always, some photo’s from the night will follow.
Also, as part of (Faber Studios) Kevin O’Keefe’s project in the Bellwether show in the Church Gallery, Clare St., Limerick, myself and Pamela Dunne from the Limerick Printmakers played some music inspired by the spirit of Limerick inter-studio cooperation – and an upholstered electric guitar between 6pm and 7.30pm. It is possible to be in 2 places at once!!
Bourn Vincent Gallery, University of Limerick, curated by Yvonne Davis.
Bourn Vincent Gallery, Foundation Building, University of Limerick
Contact Studios and the Visual Art Department of the University of Limerick would like to invite you to inEXCHANGE, an exhibition of work by artists in Contact Studios at the Bourn Vincent Gallery in the University of Limerick. The opening is on Thursday April 4th from 5 to 7 pm and the exhibition will run until June 6th.
Marie-Claire Boothman, Julie Brazil, Niamh Brown, John Collins, Susan Corcoran, Ann Daly, Carl Doran, Maurice Foley, Declan Greene, Gerry O’Mahony, Anne Marie Morrin, John Murphy, Nuala O’Sullivan, Sheila Richardson, Andreina Scott, Sheila Stone
From Cáit to Squealer, to the Unknown Kitten, to Mindy&Mandy, and now Squinter, this collection tells stories true and hypothetical about the lives of the cats of No.54.
For the first time the tale of Squinter will be shown consisting of new drawings, collages and an oil painting. Squinter née Squealer was one of four kittens, but was born with one eye closed, poor hearing and a poor sense of smell. As his siblings grew and ran about exploring, Squinter was left behind as they were brought into the wider world, himself unwilling/unable to join them. I would come home to find him miaow-ing facing in the garden’s direction, until I arrived back one day to discover he was nowhere to be seen. Squinter’s Tale is an imagining of what happened to him.
My thanks to Catriona Tierney and Limerick Post’s ‘For Pets Sake’ feature, 9 March 2013, page 50, for their coverage of the show – greatly appreciated! Also, I am very grateful to the local vet’s and Limerick Animal Welfare for allowing me to put posters/invites up for the show.
We had a great launch for the show – estimated at 200 attendees – many thanks to all! Following that, there were 349 logged visitors to the show, many of whom I had illuminating and engaging chats, covering art and cats while invigilating – new tales perhaps for the future. My thanks to Kathleen Bartlett for photo’s of the night.