MARCH 18 – APRIL 14
Opening Friday,March 18 @ 8 pm by Maria Finucane, Artist / Lecturer
The works presented in this exhibition hem embody in one way or another diverse meanings ascribed to its title:
old Frisian word hemme meaning enclosed land
border of a piece of clothing
encircle and restrict the space or movement of
denoting or meaning blood
The starting point was a strange half told family story related to events 100 years ago. Ghost story as allegory perhaps.
This set in motion a meditation through drawing of edges and movement in both external and internal imagined landscapes. We see this in the series entitled Trace, which are made of layers of paper, compressed earth and pencil. They are shown laid out flat at table height in specially constructed frames of perspex and oak. The drawings become at points in their making like a set of shaken out signs and patterns encoded in and into the work, maybe to be deciphered into meaning or taken as direction.
Fiona O’Dwyer’s work possesses a sensitivity to material, a musicality and experiential poetic nature. In the video work we see the repetitive movement of the hem of a garment, the line that circles us in, the part that touches the ground.
In another piece, set out like wings, are six stone guns collected by the artist between 1992 and 1993 while building her studio in Co. Clare. The pieces are sandblasted with the words or more accurately the sound pill powder.
In this year, in the context of the churning of history O’Dwyer ponders her own history and her experience of continuing to be an artist on this rural edge. Articulated through the work itself, its materiality and relation to place she reflects on the possibility that the epigenetic memory of a migratory early life experience made her not the outsider but the artist.
Red Couch Space
‘Neither Rhyme Nor Reason’
Art work by Patsy Ricks & Aoife Murray
March 18 – April 14
Opening Friday,March 18 @ 8 pm
This collaboration between mother and daughter Patsy Ricks and Aoife Murray is about where our minds take us.
Patsy sees the beauty in the everyday things that would probably go un-noticed, and tries to capture that on paper or canvas. Rough, aged objects that have stood the test of time and are all the more interesting and wonderful for it. Her oils are completely imaginary, using a different medium for expression.
Aoife is a freelance SFX makeup artist, interested in fantasy and the surreal and is currently training in prosthetic and postiche. She is FETAC and ITEC certified since 2014 and has worked on a range of projects in film and television from TG4 “Ros na Run” to History Channel’s “Vikings”. She is part of the Cork Bodypainting Crew since October 2015. A group of artists, models and photographers meet up every 2 months and create something together. It is her new found love and she is thrilled to be a part of such an amazing team.
We all have stories to tell.
‘Traces & Treks’
Artwork by Antonio Lopez and Declan Kelly
February 19th – March 10th
Opening Thursday, Feb. 18th @ 7 pm
The Courthouse Gallery is delighted to present the joint exhibition “Traces & Treks” – ‘Artwork byvisual artists Antonio Lopez and Declan Kelly’. “Traces & Treks” features a selection of works that focuses on the journey made by the artists, the places remembered and changed by their personal experiences through reflection, observation and investigation.
Antonio’s work is the result of a number of different projects on which he has worked over the past number of years, but with a common source of interest: the habitat in which we live. His paintings and drawings develop from a mixture of sources: found objects, observational drawing, photographic material and found imagery. His work depicts a personal perception of our natural surroundings, observing our relationship with and use of the natural environment while reflecting on the contradiction between our basic connection to the natural world and our simultaneous detachment from it.
Declan’s art work is primarily about how journeys transform us, about how we are in a constant state of change during the passage of our lives. He takes inspiration from the everyday mundane as well as the landscapes and urban architecture he comes across during his many travels. He allows his subconscious to play an important role in the processing and the translation of ideas to paper or canvas. He strongly believes that the more you investigate, the more is revealed in what you might consider everyday wanderings. What you can possibly encounter on the way, both literally and figuratively is where Declan tries to provide a deeper insight.
Antonio Julio López Castro was born in Madrid and moved to Ireland in 1996. He currently lives and works in Co. Cork. He studied Fine Art at Sligo IT receiving an Honours Degree in 2003. Antonio exhibits regularly in Ireland and abroad, and his work was acquired by Mayo County Council, the Irish National Teachers Organization, and is held in many private collections. Antonio was an artist in residence at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Ballycastle, Co. Mayo (2014); the Custom House Studios, Westport, Co. Mayo (2014); the Cill Rialaig Project, Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry (2010); and at Belmont Mill Studios, Co. Offaly (2010). He was awarded a Materials & Equipment Bursary by Kerry Co. Co. in 2012.
Declan Kelly currently lives and works in Drogheda. He works as a secondary school teacher, a visual artist and is also a founding member, co-director and curator with NeXus Arts. He has a higher degree in Art (HETAC – Ireland) and a Post Graduate Degree in Education in Art & Design (National College of Art and Design – Ireland). Declan has taken part in several residencies in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Co. Monaghan and the Cill Rialaig Project, Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry. His work is part of private and public collections both in Ireland and in Belgium. Declan received awards by Create Louth, Drogheda Borough Council and the Arts Council of Ireland in recent years.
‘Bogaigh Na hEireann
(Wetlands of Ireland)
New paintings by Paul Rose
February 19th – March 10th
Opening Thursday, Feb. 18th @ 7 pm
During research and production new areas of interest arise and lead to the next body of work. Past projects have been relating to my nightmares during PTSD, portraits of people within a day hospital which is still ongoing. The project I am working on at the moment is in relation to the Wetlands/Bogs of Ireland. I have always been fascinated by the Irish Wetlands/bogs. Ireland’s peat bogs are valued landscapes
and places of unique flora and fauna, they feature throughout Irish history, art, music and folklore, they appear to be ever present and never ending. It’s topography which is transformed by ever changing light, at times crammed or lost in dejection, sometimes standing full of pride with an impression of poignant restraint, calmness, well-being and ruggedness.
JAN 15 – FEB 4
Memory is the starting point of this project. Memories evoked through home movies, photographs, and stories about 1950s Ireland. These recall the poverty of the period alongside the repression and claustrophobia that permeated everyday life in Ireland at that time. A struggle for power existed between church and state and a sense of secrecy and surveillance permeated everyday life. This history continues to resonate in the stories we construct about ourselves and our society today. In my work I aim to use visual spectacle to give a greater cultural understanding of that time, and add to the current debate about the impact of the past on the present.
Found or family photographs, from an archive of photographs I have built up over many years, are the source material for many of my paintings which address the restrictions on women’s lives in 1950s Ireland. The figures in my paintings, mainly women, often appear in ‘a situation’, sometimes smothered by heavy skies. I find the friction that exists between what is visible and what lies just under the surface fascinating.
In using old photographs to investigate these themes, I intervene to bring colour, new scale, and new meaning to the images prioritising women and giving these photographic images an afterlife. The paintings use many thin layers of paint. This allows some of the light from the canvas to remain reminiscent of holding a negative to the light. The aesthetic and culture of the 1950s has a strong visual resonance for me.
My photographic work addresses restrictions on women. Woven fabrics acts as a net over them. Found quilts from the 1950s, associated with maternal care and crafts, are symbolic of the smothering quality of the past.
My artwork offers my personal perspective on that time.
Nuala O’Sullivan is a Limerick based artist. She graduated with a BA in Fine Art (Painting) from Limerick School of Art and Design in 2006 before completing a Fine Art Masters Degree in 2013.
RED COUCH SPACE
JAN 15 – FEB 4
Down through my window and over the hill – New paintings by Brid Harhen
Brid Harhen is a young woman native to Liscannor where she still lives in the family home.
Brid’s love of art has developed over the years. She takes inspiration from the surrounding area of Liscannor.
Brid is an artist well known in her local community where she has exhibited in the Cliffs of Moher and the local Courthouse Gallery amongst other places.
Brid also works with children in the local preschool in the area of arts and crafts.
‘Silent Land’ New paintings by Cassandra Dorer and Loy Lee
From 11 September – 1 October.
Official opening Friday 11 September at 8 pm.
On the surface the landscape can seem to be one of quiet and solitude evoking different responses and memories for us all. Sometimes a place to escape to and a place of harmony and balance where we can connect to our inner emotions.
Yet, the landscape is not a backdrop to human presence but is formed and re-formed by nature, people and conflict. Underneath the surface the land is constantly evolving, renewing and in a state of flux. The West of Ireland is a place steeped in history, conflict and spirituality and Silent Land is an expression of this by two local painters
My work is an emotional response to the landscape, which, although it is not a particular place, it is a synthesis of many thus creating a sense of place. My inspiration is drawn from the West of Ireland.
Initially, I either make sketches in the landscape or I take photographs, but a lot of time is spent walking through a particular landscape absorbing the feeling of a place. I then work in my studio, painting intuitively recalling the memories and feelings thus creating an emotional response to the landscape.
I work with oil on canvas which places my work within historical context but my main interest is in the seductive nature of oil paint, the depth of colour and the sensuality of the paint. Sometimes I work with layers of paint evoking the elements of sky, sea and land and other times I work with gestures on the canvas asserting the materiality of oil paint. It is through the language of paint that places and emotions merge, allowing the painting to be an entity in its own right and creating a personal interpretation for the viewer.
Cassandra Dorer has a Master of Fine Art degree specializing in paint.
Loy Lee makes gestural paintings often linked to his research in architecture and landscape. His paintings are built up through layers of paint on canvas, overlaid with mark making by using unconventional tools such as plaster trowel, scraper and hard edge. Lee’s painting technique is to emulate scares marked or ‘open wound’ in Irish landscape either created by social, political events, agricultural crop marks, field pattern, peat and turf cutting, human or animal activities.
Lee’s bogland painting comprises of layers of visual incident in topography through different events where the landscape become fluid, flatten and compressed in time. Many layers of ‘landscape graffiti’ were transcribed and inscribed into his rich canvases to capture the spirit of the place yet allow the palimpsest to exist quietly through time to reveal a ‘window on a past landscape’. In his artistic idiom, inscribing is to write, erasing is to conceal, scratching is to dematerialize, coercive silencing is for sake of quietude, stitching together is to collocate and fuse the fragile hidden features of Irish landscape. Through his technique of mutual erasures of different events, bridging the gap between spaces of palimpsest is to preserve and to interrupt one flow for sake of listening to other.
Loy Lee work also used historical references from history, art, literature, poem and images of bogland to create new imaginative ground as narrative of no location to signifying cultural, social and political agency as well as suggesting the underlying event structure of bog formation. His corrugated ground almost seems like ‘pleated landscape that cannot be smoothed out’ is to unfold the invisible to become visible, to evoke the fragile hidden features to reappear which was once disappeared. Through this cacophony of marks, seeing them as picture in between imagination and actual reality, his work seems to represent the poetic and lyrical gesture of bogland.
Loy Lee was born in Malaysia, now naturalized Irish citizen. He was educated, lived and worked in United States. Lee earned his Diploma of civil engineering from Federal Institute of Technology in Malaysia, Bachelor Science of Architecture from UTA, Texas. He further completed his Master degree in Architecture from Columbia University in New York. He is a licensed architect in the States of New York and works as a lecturer in the school of architecture in Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland. He had exhibited architectural drawings and models in Texas and in New York. This is his first painting exhibition in Ireland.
IN THE RED COUCH SPACE
An exhibition of experimental landscape paintings
in mixed media by Christine Porter
Opening reception on Friday 11th September 2015 at 8.00pm
The exhibition will run until Thursday 1st. October 2015
Harbours hold happy childhood memories for North Clare based artist, Christine Porter. A harbour symbolises a place of safety within the vast outside world; a place of departure and arrival; a place to be grounded and held fast; a place where earth, sky and water meet. And the paraphernalia of ropes, ladders, lobster pots and floats conjure up ambiguous feelings of freedom and restraint.
In this exhibition, the forms and moods of the harbour environment are interpreted through a visual language of marks, colours and textures to create compositions that stand for the place, and which are expressions of the feelings that harbours evoke.
These abstract landscape paintings have a luminous quality in their expression of the vast space, and the watery depths, that can be experienced at harbours. Created using thin layers of watercolour, gouache and acrylic paints, on paper or mdf panel, the artist has exploited the full gamut of colour from succulent rich saturated pigment to the most subtle tints tones and shades. This translucent quality is balanced by opaque layering with the added excitement of textural effects.
The small scale of these paintings invites close-up viewing where intimacy can develop between the world of the painting and the world of the viewer.
A photographic exhibition presented by the Old Ennistymon Society Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon
Opening August 14th @ 8 pm
August 14th – September 3rd
This photographic exhibition takes a nostalgic look at times past, recording the streetscapes and daily comings and goings of three North Clare areas – the market town of Ennistymon and the coastal villages of Lahinch and Liscannor – recalling many long forgotten businesses and crafts. The photographs date from the early to mid-years of the 20th century and capture a bygone age.
An interesting aspect of this exhibition is the manner by which the photos were sourced. Following the society’s very successful Vanishing Heritage exhibition in 2013 many unusual photos were donated by people both from the locality and from the UK. For example, a photo album of Lahinch was bought at auction by a Connemara man and donated to the society, while a box of photos found during a house clearance in Ennistymon was also donated. To round out the exhibition some fascinating photos of Ennistymon, Lahinch and Liscannor were selected from Clare County Library’s online collection of photos at www.clarelibrary.ie.
This is a must see exhibition for anyone with an interest in how life was lived in the area at that time.
The exhibition will be launched on Friday August 14th at 8pm in The Courthouse Gallery by Ennistymon native Johann O’Dwyer to which all are cordially invited. The exhibition will run until 3rd September.
Opening times are Tuesday to Saturday 12 – 5pm.
Entering the second decade of the collective’s existence there is an acceptance of natural rhythms and the knowledge of the true time of reproduction. With that in mind GUAC made the conscious decision to uphold a slow, durational processes, this has been the experience of many of the Ground Up Artist’s practice.
During the residency at Aras Éanna art centre on Inis Oirr, the collective’s presence on the island was strengthened through Ground Up Artist’s involvement with various groups and individuals. Meeting the layers and significance of language from the social, historical, political and economic perspectives of this Gaeltacht rural area was supported by an interest in building relationships and connections with the local people and community groups. Dwelling in Time has allowed both artists and the island community a chance to open up spaces for reflection, conversation, serious and playful considerations of issues which affect all, on and off the island.
Artists participated in and supported some island community groups while entering into the vernacular of the island through speaking Irish and meeting some of the realities of island life which could be considered in the light of contemporary environments, on the larger island, or “mainland” of Ireland. The considerations of time, and the opportunity of a durational experience offered the participating artists the possibility of encounter.
The collective was joined by groups with specific interests from outside of the island, MA candidates from Social Practice and Creative Environment programme in Limerick’s LSAD, collaborative team Kanelli & Smit from Freysland, and their project, EBB & FLO, was ongoing over ten days.
The Ground Up Artists wish to continue to develop a collective practice into the future. Possibilities for visits to Freysland and further invitations to engage in critical solidarities with communities, who are open to sustained engagement with their rural and agri-cultural concerns, bringing into visibility works which are part of a continuing development of a new rural aesthetic and practices which reflect the radical changes that are as much part of the rural as they are of the urban.
Dwelling In Time
Curated by Barry Foley
Barry is a native of Tipperary but has now based himself in the unique landscape of the Burren in Co Clare. He has taken part in numerous exhibitions and has works in Private Collections both in Ireland and Europe, has worked as Exhibitions Curator Assistant at the Limerick City Gallery of Art, under the guidance of Curator Helen Carey and has curated a number of shows in recent years relating to rural community, land and nature.
‘Heritage’ is perceived as this mythical creature, an entity, in a time and a place that exists just beyond our reach. On the face of it, it appears that rural Ireland and her traditions have been lost, irrevocably changed, hastened by time and the recent economic crisis. If you were to look, to engage, you might just find something wonderful but you won’t just stumble upon your heritage. It’s there, just waiting to be engaged, to be explored, rediscovered anew and to be shared.’
In conversation with Pat O’Mara, Orchard Manager at Irish Seed Savers.
Our connection with the landscape and all she holds has been a long established historical theme. More recently the various cycles of boom, bust, geopolitics and labour have further highlighted this symbiotic relationship and our growing dependence on the land in a world of ever decreasing resources. GUAC’s recent residency has been the embodiment of such research within a rural community.
A multi-disciplinary exhibition by Audrey O’Brien and Willie Redmond
From July 17 – August 6
Audrey O’Brien presents a new installation and a participatory artwork. The installation comprises sculptures from a previous participatory event ‘Timber Mirror Walk’ 2013 and new work inspired by ‘B Modes’ – twisted patterns of light – believed by many scientists to be evidence of activity at the very beginnings of our Universe.
O’Brien’s work is process-based, and often reflects her interest in primordial structures – in her own words ‘I am driven when spontaneous actions form, beauty in chaos, order in chaos’. Audrey’s recent research has led her to fall in love with an idea, expressed by Jan Tauber, ESA project scientist: “Searching for this unique record of the very early Universe [B Modes] is as difficult as it is exciting…” The work draws on the tools used for capturing such as the telescope and camera as well as the analogue quality of postcards. In an attempt to understand the art, philosophy, psychology and science of capturing, Audrey is issuing an open invite to a collective capturing using her sculptural objects.
Willie Redmond presents paintings on round format canvasses.The paintings are based on waterway details and the memories associated with such areas. In these water pieces, the universal of time, memory, light, life, surface, water, the abstract and texture are combined with weather and time changes.
Years of observations by fishing, walking and watching such areas are transferred into contemplative pieces strengthened by the round presentations.The canvasses convey the textures, colours and moods of the habitats and the diptych adds to the balance of experience. All kind of weather moods on the water surface can be experienced in his paintings. The waterscapes are compact in size, however reveal themselves in many layers and seasons. Local in subject, universal in outlook.
Participatory Art Work / Walk – with Audrey O’Brien
This event will run twice, both starting at Courthouse Gallery:
Saturday 18th July @ 11:00am, Adult session – venue: Cliffs of Moher
Note that it is essential that participants have access to a vehicle and are prepared for an outdoor walk along unpaved tracks. The sessions are expected to last up to two hours.
Wednesday 22nd July @ 11:00am – venue: Ennistymon
This session will take place in a child friendly location and is open for everyone.
To book a place on either session please email or phone the Courthouse Gallery.
Limited numbers so please book early to avoid disappointment. Tel: 065 707 1630 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This participatory event will be recorded and photographed. By booking a place you will be agreeing to be recorded and photographed.
RED COUCH SPACE
‘Segullah – Treasured Possession’ –
New mixed media work, pondering notions of belonging by Ann Vaughan
From July 17 – August 6
Ann Vaughan is a native of Liscannor, County Clare, and a graduate of CCAM Galway. She works from her Open Studio by the shore in Clahane, Liscannor.
The Mixed Media work in this exhibition is concerned with thoughts of where we belong and who we belong to. “I collect treasure. I seek it out, I dig, I excavate. Of course what I consider treasure might not be of any value to you. Mine comes from the shores around Liscannor Bay, the gems that the tides throw up all smooth and shaped by the battering of the waves, all unique.
“As a Christian I was surprised to find the word Segullah in the Scriptures, meaning Treasured Possession, says Ann. It’s the word God uses to describe His people. What a beautiful image!” – “Out of all nations you will be my ‘Treasured Possession’ is what He said of the Jewish Nation (Exodus 19:5). And now as Christians today this privilege is extended to us. We are His ‘Chosen People..(1Peter 2:9). I think that’s so great, He values me, not because I’m great or do loads of good stuff, but because I gave my heart to Jesus 25 years ago. He has made me His own”.
Where is your treasure? “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Said by the wisest man who ever lived.