Two New Exhibitions at the Courthouse

Layered Stories / New Textile art by Tracy Watson and Joke Buursma

Official opening 3-5pm Saturday 20th May

Mooghaun quilt Tracy Watson
Both textile artists working in the medium of quilt making, Tracy Watson and Joke Buursma live and work in Clare and Waterford respectively. Between them their work represents the finest of its kind, with each artist using their medium to stretch the limits and boundaries of textiles through the use of myriad techniques and processes, from Japanese Shibori to painting on fabric with oil sticks.
Though often historically denigrated as a ‘female craft’, in recent decades the art form has been reclaimed by women artists, whether as a form of Arte Util (‘useful art’) or a means of elevating craft to high art. The embracing of such skills has seen quilting used by feminist artists such as Judy Chicago (‘The Dinner Party’, 1974-79) and Tracey Emin. While Watson and Buursma’s work bridges the personal and political, it is unequivocally beautiful.
Events and workshops on Opening Day:

12 -1pm ‘Painting with Paintstiks’ – workshop with Joke Buursma
Learn how to use a new medium for making marks on textiles. Paintstiks are unique as they are made from an oil and wax mixture which gives a smooth slightly greasy medium to work with. They can be applied to fabric and paper. Joke will demonstrate some methods of applying paintstiks to fabric, for example by stencilling, using masking tape, rubbing, etc.  Depending on the effect you are after you can apply paintstik before and/or after quilting.

1.15-2pm ‘The Art of Hand-Stitch Quilting’ – demonstration with Tracy Watson
Tracy Watson illustrates just one of the many techniques employed by the quilter in this short demonstration. Those attending are welcome to bring along any works-in-progress to work alongside Tracy.

2-3pm Talk and tour with Joke Buursma and Tracy Watson
Learn about the design, technique and inspiration of each artists in this informal talk and tour.


I’ll Meet You There / Sinead O’Connell

Sinead O'Connell image

Sinead O’Connell brings new ceramic works to The Courthouse, where she exhibited frequently in the past. The title her new ‘mini’ exhibition comes from a Sufi quote she came across many years ago:
‘Between right and wrong there is a field, I’ll meet you there’

She explains, “Sometimes it says garden but I settled on field because it relates perfectly to growing up and living in Ireland.  In using the house as a strong image I also explore the age of the building itself. This house, our house, held people, stories happening many times over before my family moved in. The house itself is a being. It’s bright, it’s dark, it’s cold and damp, it’s warm and cosy. It was too small and then when the children left, too big. This house and its constant need for care came to me to represent my family, my parents and their need for care.
To watch a family member see their mortality is a hard thing. The relationship changes dramatically for one and subtly for the other. Restraint, regrets, remorse, frustration and pity are kept hidden to co-exist. This series of works are a way of viewing my family story. Also the history there that predates my part in this family. There’s no real need to know or understand the actions taken. Going back through the family history I have had to realise there is no proper ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ but there is this field and that is where we are.”

The Ecology of a Multidimensional Landscape by Tanya Harris

 Red Couch Space

Opening 8pm Friday 4th November
Exhibition runs until Saturday 3rd December



Since returning to Ireland from living in London, Tanya Harris has been exploring the rural landscape of Clare through the lens of the mystic, examining sites of myth and folklore through phenomenology and geomancy. This exhibition offers a snapshot of her current research interests, from the potency of myth to the reality of its unique landscape.

“Humanity co-exists with Earth and its consciousness, Gaia. Thousands of years ago, people believed in the power of the elementals and understood that nature is multidimensional. This body of work consists of digital and mixed media collages, drawing, video and audio works inspired by a workshop in May 2016 given by Marko Pogacnik, where we explored energetic places in Clare along Gaia’s ley lines and acupuncture points. During this workshop we intentionally aligned with the elemental energies by means of an ancient science, geomancy; the ability relate to the consciousness of Earth. When you start to recognize the trees and plants and mountains and landscapes as consciousness you are becoming aware that the intelligence of nature is one and the same.”

Tanya Harris
Ennistymon 2016


Artist Biography

Tanya Harris is a multidisciplinary artist from Tipperary, Ireland. She completed her BA at Chelsea College of Arts, London and MA at Central Saint Martins (2013). During her Master’s thesis she explored the relationship between sound and geometry in her project The Architecture of Sound. She has exhibited this work at London Design Festival (2013), at Resonance and Recapitulation at Ormston House Gallery, Limerick (2015), at the Sounding Space symposium in London (2013), Oxford Brookes University (2015) and CARU Arts re Search Conference in Oxford (2015).


For the ambisonic structure the BE OPEN: Sound Portal (London, 2013) she created a 10 channel audio piece, while in 2014 Everything is a Result of Frequency was an installation that facilitated a live interactive experience of resonance at Fringe Arts Bath (2014) and Townsland Carnival (2015). In 2014, Tanya travelled to Peru to meet the Shipibo tribe who originally inspired her to explore the relationship between sound and geometry. She lived with the Shipibo tribe for a month in the Amazonian jungle where she recorded Sulmira a Shipibo shaman. (Marosa, 2014) Harris’ work has been included in many publications including The State of Art: Sculpture & 3D (Bare Hill Publishing, UK, 2013) & Site Specific (UK, 2015), Pioneer Works in Print, (New York, 2015), E-Squared Magazine in Rhode Island,(2016), Symatic Stimuli in Hawaii, (USA, 2015) and Creators Project (New York, 2016)