French Culture & Film Evening, Tuesday 1st April at 8 pm

The Courthouse Gallery presents the last culture & film evening of this season:

“Trop Belle pour Toi”  (1989)

Too Beautiful for You

Writer and Directed By: Bertrand Blier

Staring: Gérard DepardieuJosiane BalaskoCarole Bouquet

A well-to-do car dealer with a beautiful wife, finds himself attracted to his rather plain new temporary secretary. Despite her own commitments she feels the same and the two soon embark on an affair. Though it would seem it has happened before his wife finds this particular entanglement of her husband’s very difficult to accept.

Your last chance to speak some French, drink a little wine and enjoy a beautiful film before the Summer is upon us!

Admission €3.00

The North Clare Historical Society y concludes its current lecture series on Monday, March 24th at 8 pm, Seán Mac Mathúna 1876-1949: Diarist and Dedicated Recorder of Clare Tradition by Pádraig Ó Héalaí.

The North Clare Historical Society concludes its current lecture series on Monday 24th March with a talk entitled:

Seán Mac Mathúna 1876-1949: Diarist and Dedicated Recorder of Clare Tradition by Pádraig Ó Héalaí.

 North Clare Historical Society March

Seán Mac Mathúna was born 1876 and grew up in Ennistymon where his parents had a pub. The business did not prosper, and when Seán was eight years old, the family moved to their farm at Lúch, Dúlainn. He later moved to his sister’s house where he spent most of his life working on the farm with her husband, Peter Barrett.  Séamas Ó Duilearga, Director of the Irish Folklore Commission, visiting the Doolin area in 1929, met Seán, and was so impressed by his interest in folklore that he immediately asked him to set about doing some collecting work.

Seán occupies a very special position among those who collected folklore in Co. Clare by reason of his own intimate acquaintance with the material, and also because of the extensive range and volume of his collection. His entire work is now held in some 50 volumes in the archives of the Delargy Centre for Irish Folklore at UCD, commonly referred to as the Irish Folklore Collection. These comprise some 11,000 pages written in his own hand, of which a little under 4,000 are diary entries, covering the period from June 1937 to February 1942. This talk will focus to a large extent on the diary entries which offer some fascinating insights into life in North Clare in that period and also reveal interesting aspects of his own personality.

Pádraig Ó Héalaí: Retired for some years now from his position as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Irish at NUIG where he specialised in the area of Irish folklore. He has numerous publications on a range of topics in this field especially relating to legends of the supernatural, religious tradition, and rites of passage. He was editor of Béaloideas. The Journal of the Folklore of Ireland Society (1980-95). Recent works include Peig Sayers: Labharfad le Cách. I Will Speak to You All  (with Bo Almqvist, 2009)  and An Slánaitheoir ag Siúl ar an Talamh. (2012) narratives of New Testament characters in Irish oral tradition.

Admission €5

The Society would like to hear from any  relatives of Seán Mac Mathúna,  Seán Mártan or Johnny McMahon as he was known locally.

086 8493089

Noel O’ Grady, a one man show – The Voice of Joyce: An Exile Sings

Friday 21st March at 8pm.

North Kerry born Noel is a five time Oireachtas na Gaeilge winner for traditional singing in Irish. He believes that music should move from the throat to the diaphragm to the heart, and home to the soul – where it belongs.He has performed this show in London, Berlin, Trieste and Russia.

 Noel will paint James Joyce’s life, loves and works in song, poetry and story, including his friendship with John McCormack and the great love story of his roller coaster life with Nora.  Some of McCormack’s songs will feature as well as those of Thomas Moore.

Now based in Dublin, Noel is looking forward to returning to Clare where he lived for a number of years. It promises to be a delightful evening.

  “An invitation to all people to listen to the words and music of love at their most enchantingly beautiful” is how poet Brendan Kennelly described Noel O’ Grady’s singing.

Noel O'Grady image

Admission €10    –   Unwaged & Pensioners €5

‘FICTITIOUS REALITIES’ – a group exhibition

 In the Main Gallery & Red Couch Space from July 11 – August 1

 ‘FICTITIOUS REALITIES’ –  a group exhibition with artists:

Carolyn Wall – ceramist

Diane Reid – ceramist

Sinead O’Connell – ceramist

Emma Donaldson – mixed media, sculpture

Betty Gannon – drawing

The title for the exhibition ‘Fictitious Realities’ came from themes that the five artists use in their work, some of these themes are: memory, storytelling, fictional worlds, decay and change, past and present, and the way the body is a fleeting thing.

Carolyn Wall Originally from Yorkshire and spending her formative years in Bath she moved to the west of Ireland in 1980. She graduated from GMIT in 2009 achieving an honours degree in fine Art specialising in ceramics. Carolyn Wall new imageHer work is centered round an exploration into her female lineage and the concept of presence in absence. The materials she works with are porcelain/flax slip and clay, cotton thread for knitting and lace.  The transformation of the materials in the kiln is used to explore the transformative qualities of experience and emotion.  The cotton thread and lace disintegrate during the firing process providing a material metaphor for presence in absence.  Roses and spirals are also ongoing in her work

Diane Reid Based in Kinvara, Co Galway, studied Art in both Limerick and Galway and has a Fine Art Honours degree in ceramics. She has exhibited in many group shows in Ireland and works in both porcelain and on paper. Diane reid new imageHer current work is a visual exploration into the individual and elusive nature of early memory, the child’s non-verbal world seen as possessing a dramatic and deeply felt integrity sometimes interpreted as fanciful or fictitious from an adult perspective

Sinead O’Connell lives and works on the Galway/Clare boarder. She uses clay as a means to express biography through allegory using animal and human imagery. Sinead OConnell, nest and branch

“When we suffer anguish we return to early childhood because that is the period in which we first learnt to suffer the experience of total loss. It was more than that. It was the period in which we suffered more total losses than in all the rest of our life put together.” ― John Berger

Emma Donaldson – mixed media, sculptureEmma_Donaldson

Emma Donaldson works with memories of experiences belonging in the past, slipping into the consciousness of the present.  These short-lived events provide the material and impetus to dismantle thought and bring it toward substance. Test projects examined the momentary and immaterial in writings about repeat daily walks that were presented on gallery walls.  Watercolours help hold qualities of thought and lead to experimental objects referencing the body with low-key, usually domestic material: stained cotton, painted paper-mache and gloss.

Emma Donaldson (born, Belfast,lives in Armagh) studied Painting at Wimbledon School of Art, Royal College of Art, Graduate School of The University of Houston and Histories and Theories at the Architectural Association in London.  Her mixed media practice incorporates drawing, writing presented visually, The Light Project and more recently object making.  She has exhibited in the US, UAE, Europe and UK; recent exhibitions have included trouble = progress at MCAC, 2013 Portadown, Futures ’13, RHA, 2013, Dublin and The Past is Unpredictable at F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio’s, 2014, Banbridge.  Forthcoming exhibitions include Palimpsest, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, Museum of St Albans, England, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, The Dock, Carrick on Shannon.

Betty Gannon Lives and works in Westport Co Mayo, mainly working in drawing, painting, and photography. She has exhibited nationally and internationally with solo and group shows

. Betty Gannon,Fray & Fragment2

Her drawings made with india ink and a mapping pen explore decay and change in our surroundings from exposure to the elements and human activity. Her interest in the inevitable process entropy – of things breaking down or wearing out – is the fact that something new has to happen, a change takes place, something is replaced, repaired, or just abandoned, and in the process our attention is dawn to the physical impressions of use that we left behind.

In celebration of The UN International Day of Happiness, the Courthouse Gallery, in association with the North Clare Happiness Project, is screening “Happy –The Movie”.

HAPPY –The Movie

Does money make you HAPPY?  Kids and family?  Your work?  Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and well-being?  HAPPY is a 2011 feature documentary film directed, written, and co-produced by Academy Award nominated film-maker Roko Belic. It explores human happiness through interviews with people from all walks of life in 14 different countries, weaving in the newest findings of positive psychology. HAPPY takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy, exploring human happiness thorough interviews with people from all walks of life in 14 different countries, weaving in the newest findings from leading scientists of positive psychology. HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion. Showing on:  Wednesday 19th March 2014 from 6.00-7.45pm, and Thursday 20th March from 10.00-12.30pm

 Admission free


New works by Ailbhe Barrett, Joan Sugrue and Peter Dunne

OVERWORLDS – New Work by Ailbhe Barrett and Joan Sugrue

March 14 – April 10  Opening Friday, March 14 @ 7pm


Ailbhe Barrett  

For the past number of years I have been gathering an on-going collection of studies of skyscapes in the surrounding area – sketches, photographs, video and written descriptions – and as a result of these, have been working on a series of oil paintings, drawings and etchings where this “cape” is strongly present.  It often seems that perhaps this protective and life-nurturing shield has a more pronounced presence on us during the dormant season; the stillness of the winter period has a thought provoking, centring effect, while nature takes its rest and gathers energy for the coming seasons.

Colour, mood and composition are central to this series of works, as is the interconnection between them. Many of these images feature, on the low horizon, silhouettes and shapes of human activity and built structures: juxtaposed against the fluid colours above, they are both comforting and threatening.


Joan Sugrue

My work looks at our perception of space, place and time. I am interested in what happens when one or more of these elements are not completely in sync, or exist as different forms which may overlap or interfere with each other. What could happen if two or more places exist in the same space, or if time could be stretched one way or another?  The philosopher Michel Foucault describes heterotopias as places and spaces that function in non-hegemonic conditions. These are spaces of otherness, which are neither here nor there, that are simultaneously physical and mental, such as the space of phone call or the moment when you see yourself in the mirror.

I am particularly interested in the heterotopias of time and space. Heterotopias of time (such as museums which enclose in one place objects from all times and styles) exist in time but also exist outside of time because they are built and preserved to physically insusceptible to time’s ravages. Heterotopias of space function in that they can allow two spaces to exist in the same place (such as a garden with plants from different areas of the world) and they function in relation to the creation of a space of illusion that exposes every real space, and of compensation, which is to create a real space – a space that is other.

I tend to use real spaces as a basis from which my work can evolve. By using material gathered from historical records for example I seek to construct an alternative or imagined reality. One of the current strands that I am examining is using early original glass plate negative images as source material. I primarily use drawing and paint as a medium for my work but also include other visual media including video and installation.


CRANK – Paintings by Peter Dunne     Opening Friday March 14 @ 7 pm 

Peter Dunne 

Peter Dunne is a Dublin born artist living in London who has made a reputation for himself on the urban contemporary art scene. His work contains a strong social comment combined with wit and humour painted in a social realistic style. In 2011 he launched a direct action against corporate greed with his Anti-Greed-Giveaway in the financial heart of the City of London. He gave away 300 original paintings highlighting the banking crisis. All the work went in an hour and a half but not one single banker would avail of a free painting. The video can be seen on ‘YouTube’.