Gerry O’Mahony is a graduate of LSAD Limerick. He has lived in Ireland, Israel and Malawi. On returning from Africa he became a member of one of Limerick’s first artist collectives (All + 10 sorts), and exhibited at length with the group. His first solo exhibition was in the Belltable Arts Centre, Limerick, and subsequently he has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. His work is in private and public collections in Ireland and abroad, including Limerick County and City Councils, Government buildings, Dublin, and Berlemonte Buildings, Brussels. His most recent show was at Draiocht, Blanchardstown Art Centre, Dublin in 2015. O’Mahony lives in County Clare and has been a member of Contact Studios, Limerick, since 2005.
Originally trained as a sculptor, his output for many years has been in painting. Working in mixed media, his pieces combine watercolour, gold leaf, and acrylic, using a layering process to give an impression of marks floating on and within the surface. He employs a vocabulary of symbols and characters in work which distorts the line between painting and drawing. The work though not allegorical, flows between the visible and the concealed, the effervescent and the obscure.
His upcoming solo show “Changing Shadows” is a combination of sculptural work and paintings, and will be on show in the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, from May 6th to June 2nd 2016. This exhibition shows parallel strands of O’Mahony’s practice. He works in series, often on a number of paintings at a time, shifting back and forth between the various pieces to create a body of work. Some pieces explore the power of words to produce a positive or negative response in the listener. Other paintings examine the nature of change as discussed in the allegory of Plato’s Cave, which explores the idea that it is easier to live in the shadows than to move out beyond a self-imposed comfort zone.
The exhibition will be opened at 8pm on the 6th of May by Helena Close, a writer from Limerick. A novelist, playwright and teacher, she recently completed the inaugural M.A. in Creative Writing in University of Limerick. “Changing shadows” will run at the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, from May 6th to June 2nd 2016.
Gerald Dunne is a photographer, digital artist and fine art printer based in Quin, Co. Clare.
His current exhibition "Beyond the Lines" aims to stir the subconscious in the same way as a flame or lapping water. A visual distraction allowing mental contemplation.
Nature is at the core of the work, often the neglected details around us, brought to life by exploring the colours and forms just beyond our normal perception.
Gerald has moved from a pared down black and white photographic style with a leap into colour and imagination. Although each piece originates with a photograph, they owe more to modern art than to any photographic genre. Some images have an obvious source, others are totally abstract, but the idea is not "what is it a picture of", more "what is it about". The answer is to give the conscious mind a distraction and let the imagination out Beyond the Lines, to see what else is in the wave.
The exhibition is in the Red Couch Space upstairs in The Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon from Friday 6th May 2016, and runs until June 2nd
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.
'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.
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
[caption id="attachment_2363" align="aligncenter" width="182"] Noreen Blake & Tessie McDonagh. Noreen Blake, later O'Fegan and her first cousin Tessie McDonagh, later Hill. *** Local Caption *** Old Ennistymon Society Collection[/caption]
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.
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.
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.
Official opening on 12th June at 8 pm by John Egan with music by Johnny Moynihan
Mike O’Connor has been making prints in North Clare for over thirty years, mostly landscape images. This show is called ‘The Middle of Nowhere / The Centre of the Universe’. “It seemed to me that they are one and the same. The notion celebrates the growing excitement to be met in the everyday, in farmland, weather, roads – everything”
“I grew up with printing, my father being an engraver and Art-School principal. Although I have a particular fondness for the simple print in black on white paper, I work with colours printed with multiple blocks. This opens out the process to a huge variation of options, images large and small, bright and sombre. More variation comes from the techniques used, some blocks being cut boldly and printed roughly, others cut slowly with detail in fine lines or a scratching method
.My images come from the things and places I see every day. To transmit the excitement from the eye, through the head onto paper is the task. With printmaking, this process is less direct, as a block has to be cut [and maybe one or two more for a richer image], then inked and printed in successive layers onto paper. The process of getting this as one wants is called proofing. The work is printed on an iron Albion press made in 1831, though an extra large print has to be pressed by hand with rollers”.
[caption id="attachment_2265" align="alignright" width="188"] studying how[/caption]
There is no original that is copied. The print, once cut, proofed and printed, is the original. Made by the artist from the first idea to the finished work. This is the essential difference between a printmaker’s print and a reproduction, which is merely a photograph of an artwork [made in any medium or size] industrially printed - as for a magazine or poster.
Because a print is a multiple, unlike a drawing or a painting, there are more than one. The printmaker limits the number produced in an edition [this might be between 5 and 100]. This means that they are less expensive to buy, and can go home with more than one person, while remaining an original artwork.
As a seminal printmaker, Eric Gill, declared some 80 years ago, these are things, not pictures of things.
RED COUCH SPACE
‘See’ an exhibition of new works by Mary Fahy.
Official opening 12th June at 8 pm by John Egan
Mary Fahy's upcoming art exhibition 'See', comprises local scenes of Ennistymon.
'I love that I see something new every day around Ennistymon, and familiar scenes evolve in ever-changing light. My attention is drawn to long shadows creeping through these everyday scenes, and the sense of surprise as one turns a corner. The layers of tarmac, footpaths, renovated and derelict buildings all tell tales of those who live here and all who pass through. A truck rounding a corner, or the cast shadow of a passerby stretches into the painting. I love the stories that are woven into these places, each of us with our own personal histories and memories.
These paintings of local scenes in Ennistymon are a way of grounding me in this area. The walls, hedges, gates and winding roads all control our view of the local landscape, keeping us to the edges, and framing our view. I love how the shadows reach across these boundaries, connecting places. The slanting electricity poles and sagging power lines seem to knit the landscape together. Continuing the painting around the edges of the canvas gives a sense of depth and movement for the viewer. I love the conversations that a painting can inspire, and the new references that seem to soak into the image. Come to the show, have a look and tell your story!'
Opening Reception Friday 8th May at 8pm
Arc of Visibility, a joint exhibition of recent paintings by artists Sara Foust and Cormac O’Leary, opens at Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon on Friday 8th May. The artists present complementary perspectives on the texture and atmosphere of the rugged Irish coast, the maritime landscape distilled through memory and the lens of narrative.
In a new series of paintings of Liscannor Bay, Sara Foust reflects on the human journey through a chaotic world, struggle and transcendence, surfaces and depths. The artworks are meditations on light and reflection, the broken mirror of the bay, the rough texture of choppy water and rocky coast, and the fragile craft alone and suspended between a world of depths and a hemisphere of sky.
Sara Foust is an artist based in County Clare. She studied art at Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design in the United States. She trained with acclaimed muralist Susan Cervantes in San Francisco, California, where she became an established muralist. Sara has exhibited her artwork in Ireland, France and America, and her paintings are in public and private collections. A suite of her paintings from the Surfaces/Depths series has been commissioned and installed in University Hospital Limerick this month.
'My work explores the immediate environment in the Irish northwest,
memory, light and the atmosphere of place all merge in the
final image, built up in tactile layers of paint. I strive to
capture fleeting moments, glimpsed in passing time. Each image
lingers like the visual afterglow of a dream.'
Cormac O'Leary is an artist based in County Leitrim. He studied fine Art at Sligo IT from 1987 to 1991. An award-winning artist, he has exhibited his work widely in Ireland, the UK and America.
Red Couch Space
May 8th – June 4th 2015
Opening reception May 8th at 8pm
Postcards from Home is a collaboration between artists and half sisters Sarah Fuller working in Co.Clare and Jessica Fuller, living and working in London. The project is motivated by a shared desire to make work through gift exchange and to communicate with each other in a more intimate and tactile way.
“We never knew each other when I was growing up, but after leaving home we started to write and built a long and lasting correspondence. These postcards are a continuation of our exchanges in a more visual way.”
Approximately 100 postcards are shown here, made using drawing, water colour, mixed media and collage. The images presented are drawn from the artists immediate environments and show routes to work or walks in the country, found objects from these locations and the stories associated with them.
Sarah Fuller graduated with a BA Hons in Textile Design at Central St Martins College of Art and Design, London and holds an MA in Visual Arts Practice from IADT, Dublin.
Her work has been exhibited at The Galway Arts Centre, Waterford Arts Centre, The Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, The Riverbank Arts Centre and The Glor, Ennis.
Much of her artistic career has been devoted to Dog and String Theatre, creating and performing visual theatre for children’s audiences that has toured nationally and internationally.
Jessica Fuller graduated with a first degree Honors BA in Sculpture at Wimbledon School of Art and has collaborated with Helen Sturgess ‘Lost’ Artstride, Southend on Sea. KRF: 2 Artists Notebook Project, Riverbank Arts Centre, 2012. ‘La Tenerezza’, British School of Rome, 2012. She lives and works in Surrey, London.
The PLC FETAC Art End of Year Exhibition ‘ELEMENT” is to be held at the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon. The exhibition will be officially opened on Thursday April 23 at 7pm by Siobhan Mulcahy, Clare Arts Officer. The exhibition will continue for the week running until Thursday April 30.
This event is held annually to celebrate the emerging artistic talent within the art course.
The Post Leaving Cert courses in Ennistymon Vocational School comprise of a one year multi-disciplinary art programme leading to a FETAC Level 5 Award and a more advanced one year art programme culminating in a FETAC Level 6 Art Award. Students range from school leavers to mature applicants and come from many backgrounds and nationalities.
The course is suitable for those who wish to explore their creativity or pursue an independent art career. Equally the course is designed for people who wish to pursue art at a third level institution and intend to create a portfolio of work.
The exhibition will display a selection of work from the students in a variety of media including painting, sculpture and ceramics.
All are welcome.
For any queries please contact:
The Courthouse Gallery is open from 12 – 4 pm each day.
Also on Monday 27th April, during this exhibition.
Closed on Sunday.
Official opening Saturday 21 March at 4 pm
March 20 - April 16
Between Here and You a joint exhibition by visual artists Els Borghart and Alison Cronin features a selection of works that focus on the fluctuating nature of reality and memory unveiling fleeting glimpses of an in-between space.
Since having moved to Ireland six years ago, Els Borghart’s works involve the questioning of the self while coexisting in two countries, simultaneously activating a sense and a lack of belonging in both. This opens up a void where different realities interact and so creates a potential in-between space. Within this context, her current drawings and paintings focus on the shift in human relationships when moving away from home. They explore an in-between space where all certainties are jeopardized, where human pillars lose solidity and those once unknown or in the periphery gain influence.
Alison Cronin's work looks into the gap between past and present, between immediate experience and the post-experience narratives we create around our lives. The artist’s fascination with memory stems from her own damaged long term memory from a childhood accident. Her current mixed media works and paintings re-interpret old family photographs, removing the captured moment from its original context. They refer to a movement or crossing of a space such as a bridge, a dive or a journey, depicted on a surface that erodes or fades, and reveals itself to be as unstable as the story it is telling.
Originally from Belgium, Els Borghart has been based in Drogheda, Ireland since 2008. She works as a visual artist and is a founding member, co-director and co-curator with NeXus Arts. She has an MA In Fine Art (LUCA School of Arts –Belgium) and an MA in Cultural Policy & Art Management (University Antwerp Management School – Belgium). She has exhibited both in Belgium and in Ireland.
Alison Cronin is based in West Cork, and is a founding member of Shape artist’s studio, Skibbereen. Alongside her own art practice she works as Schools and Youth Coordinator at Uillinn, West Cork Arts Centre, where she develops art projects with children and young people based on the gallery programme. She has a BA (Hons) in Visual Art (Dublin Institute of Technology Sherkin Island).
RED COUCH SPACE
‘Life ↔consuming↔Time’, etchings by Corinna Schroeder-vFrihling
Official opening Saturday 21 March at 4 pm
March 20 - April 16
In this exhibition Corinna offers her views of the mutually consuming relationship between life and time from a variety of perspectives. The prints are made on copper or zinc plates using the techniques of dry-point, aquatint, verni mou, soap-ground and several different engraving tools and acid. No photographic or digital processes were involved.
Each piece is unique and is hand printed in her Doolin studio.
‘The works focus on small things like a leaf on the wind or a spider in its web or bigger events happening in life and time not necessarily to me or today’, Corinna says. ‘That is why some of the works included will be from some years back fitting the theme by title or documenting times gone by’.
Corinna chose to hold this exhibition in the Courthouse Gallery’s first-floor Red Couch area because it is an intimate space where people will be able to sit down and perhaps find a quiet moment for themselves to reflect on the thoughts her work creates.
‘Etching, painting, drawing are my ways to let other people take part in my feelings and visions of the world,’ Corinna says. ‘I think myself a kind of visual story teller. I hope to give people a reason to focus on simple things and deeper thoughts.’
Corinna is of German origin but has lived for nearly 20 years in Doolin, where she works from her own printing studio. Her work has been shown in many solo and group exhibitions in Germany, France, Belgium, Norway, Ireland, Canada and Bulgaria, and her prints can be found in The Americas Biennial Exhibition research archives in the United States. In 2011 she published a book combining wood engravings and poetry titled ‘APHORISMS–aphorisms & wood engravings’.
Corinna Schroeder-vFrihling is available for interview.
‘Compostela-Field of Stars’
Mixed media works by Marianne Slevin
The Courthouse Gallery Red Couch Space from February 13 to March 12
Opening: Friday February 13 at 8pm.
Marianne's work features improvisations and explorations of chance in ink and oil paint on various surfaces. They are mainly 2 dimensional drawings, but some found and everyday objects are turned into art objects with her use of ink. The drawings are experimental and made using a combination of chance, intuition and feeling. In some cases Marianne uses the elements such as the wind or a leak in the kitchen window to create the drawings. Other times, she devises games of chance, rolling object that hold meaning for her, like a fortune teller, and drawing around them to reveal a visual map. She often works in ways where she has physically very little control, and the environment she is in, her own body and intuition have a chance to play, rather than the decisions being made only using her head. As the philosopher Alan Watts said, "getting out of one's own way".
Imirt Le Do Thoil! (Play Please!)
A multi-disciplinary exhibition by Amanda Jane Graham,Myra Jago and Nicole Tilley.
Exhibition runs from FEB 13 – MARCH 12
Opening: Friday February 13 at 8pm
Imirt Le Do Thoil (Play Please) is a group exhibition by artists Amanda Jane Graham, Myra Jago and Nicole Tilley, exploring through print, drawing, painting and sculpture recent dramatic shifts within contemporary society and the resultant extreme impact upon childhood experience. The exhibition draws focus on how we, as a society, are witness to the changing physical, emotional, psychological and social development of children and home. Ostensibly an Irish consequence of the Celtic Tiger and its many dreadful planning decisions, we now endure treacherous environments and neighbourhoods to the detriment of much-loved childhood hangouts. Furthermore, challenging the unending upside of new technology, one can’t help but note that it comes at the cost of carefree childhood play. Imirt Le Do Thoil, through the work of these three artists, is purposely low-tech and playful as it examines and highlights the traditions and freedoms of childhood and childhood environments. This exhibition is mischievous, engaging and thought provoking, with the capacity to instigate collective experience and communal concern.
‘VARIANT’ an exhibition of recent work by John Hanrahan
Official opening Friday 16th January at 8 pm
The exhibition runs from January 16th - February 5th
Artists living and working in the West of Ireland face many challenges. To sustain an art practice in a rural environment, it is essential to seek out and engage with fellow artists. I was a founding member of the Ennis Arts Initiative, a former member of the Tulla Stables Studios and I am currently a member of the Ground Up Artists Collective. I have studied and exhibited in Ireland and Australia and my work features in private and public collections.
I am delighted to be exhibiting in the Courthouse Gallery and for this show I wanted to look specifically at data taken from medical/scientific imagery. I have had a fascination with medical/ scientific imagery since I started to paint, studying Painting in the RTC Galway, now GMIT I would often search out the specimen collection and textbooks from the Zoology Dept. of UCG.
As an artist I was attracted to the objective formal characteristics of medical imagery. The placement and arrangements of grids and text, form a counterpoint to the more anatomical /physiological data.
A primary focus in this body of work was the development of a repetitive process that allowed me to work on several pieces simultaneously. This meant that I engaged with the work on a more intuitive level with each piece triggering a different response. The art of making therefore became part of the thinking process.
Red Couch Space
‘The Wonders of Clare’ an exhibition of paintings by Michel Riand
Official opening Friday 16th January at 8 pm.
Exhibition runs from 16th January – 5th February 2015
MICHEL RIAND is a self-taught native French artist. Since 2005 he has taken up residence in Ennistymon. While he painted regularly in France, moving to Ireland influenced him to create a range of paintings inspired by the beauty of North Clare sceneries, its people and its wildlife. He thrives in colourful environments which is reflected in his candid representations of simple moments of daily life in the West of Ireland.
You can follow Michel’s work on:
The Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, is proud to have the honour of hosting ‘UNFOLD’ an exhibition of contemporary art from the Office of Public Works and the Department of Finance and Personnel, Northern Ireland, opening November 28th at 8 pm by Minister of State Simon Harris, TD
The 2014 exhibition is a selection of 30 artworks from the public collections, north and south, chosen by nine young curators from the Institute of Technology in Tallaght. This is the first time since 1997, that the OPW has invited curatorial input from the public.
[caption id="attachment_1941" align="aligncenter" width="300"] 'Following the Blue Fox' by Jane Locke[/caption]
The OPW has been working in conjunction with the DFP in relation to art exhibitions since 1997 and the joint exhibitions have toured extensively throughout Ireland – to arts centres, libraries, civic offices, colleges and Heritage properties – and to several venues abroad. The artworks included in these exhibitions have mainly been purchased for public buildings located throughout the island. The OPW endeavours to increase public awareness and access to State art through its annual touring exhibitions and catalogues.
The ‘UNFOLD’ exhibition was in RUA RED in August. It then toured to the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre in Newry in September; Stormont Parliament Buildings, Belfast in October; and finishes in The Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon in December. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Courthouse will be giving guided tours to secondary students in Clare
[caption id="attachment_1951" align="aligncenter" width="300" class=" "] 'Luxembourg Rose' by Jason Ellis[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1952" align="aligncenter" width="300" class=" "] 'Nature Morte - Road Kills' by Veronica Nicholson[/caption]
Link to the catalogue of 'UNFOLD' the current exhibition of contemporary art of the Office of Public Works and the Department of Finance and Personnel, Northern Ireland in the Courthouse Gallery.
.A film by Fergus Tighe
The exhibition continues until 8th January 2015.
‘Aperture – Where The Light Gets In’
An exhibition of large and small-scale video installations by Shelagh Honan.
Official opening by Maria Finucane of Limerick School of Art and Design
on Friday 17th October at 8 pm
Exhibition runs from 17 October to 12 November
A body of work that’s rooted in time, history and place and brought to life through the media of video installation forms the basis for an exciting new exhibition that opens in the Courthouse Gallery in Ennistymon, Co Clare on Friday, October 17.
The exhibition is the work of Ennis-based artist Shelagh Honan in a show that has been conceived especially for the Courthouse Gallery and features a series of large and small-scale video installations and visual imagery.
The inspiration for the exhibition is drawn from a range of contrasting sites, stories, histories and objects that have found their way in to the artist’s studio. Places like Ennistymon and Coole Park and their associated narratives are intertwined and woven to create a series of short video pieces that hover between the realms of fact and fiction.
In ‘Wood From The Trees’ a video from the woodlands in Coole Park is projected onto a bowler hat which rests inside a display cabinet reminding us of the unfathomable histories of the woods, the house and those that inhabited these places.
Two video projections occupy the main gallery space, suspended on to large canvas backdrops. These feature a young woman who appears to float timelessly through the rooms of a large Georgian house, while on a separate canvass we see her plunge deep into uncertain waters before drifting out to sea.
This story is continued through another prism, within two copper domes, fixed to the wall. Here we see yet another aspect to the story - as she now appears to drift across old lace christening gowns.
‘Aperture – Where The Light Gets In’ is an exhibition unique to the Courthouse Gallery, as it presents a series of installations that have been tailored and designed specifically with the space in mind.
Shelagh Honan MA, is a graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design where she completed her undergraduate degree in sculpture, while she completed a master’s degree in interactive media at the University of Limerick.
Ms Honan has been a full-time practicing artist for 20 years and is also a part-time lecturer at Limerick School of Art and Design. She has recently curated a series of multimedia exhibitions and has also recently shown in The Fullbright Centre in Philadelphia. Her practice is based at the Tulla Stables Studios.
Ms Honan is available for interview.
Judy O’Sullivan at the Red Couch Space
‘Return’ is an installation of drawings, prints and mixed media work on paper, canvas and wood by Clare based artist Judy O’Sullivan , Friday, 17h October at 8 pm.
Exhibition runs from 17 October to 12 November
Focusing on the interior of what used to be her family home, a small street house now standing empty, Judy O’Sullivan explores the Japanese idea, ‘mono no aware’, literally ‘the pathos of things’, the awareness of their impermanence and transience and the wistfulness of their passing.
Through a process of photographic documentation followed by a combination of drawing, painting and print she explores familiar often overlooked spaces of everyday life. Emptied of everyday life they acquire a different character. What is left? The unseen imprint of lives lived.
‘And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time’
T.S Eliot The Four Quartets
'New Paintings and Some Drawings'
by Samuel Walsh
Opening Saturday, August 9th, 2014 @ 4 pm
August 9 - September 4 The word ‘new’ in the title of this exhibition might happily be replaced with the word ‘newish’ except that the latter has an awkwardness that doesn’t fit with my way of thinking. The fact is that not all the paintings in this show are ‘new’ and the ‘new’ refers to what has become an established, stylistic consistency in the making of my art since about 2006. I have, for the first time in many years found a formula in which to lay down structure, line and colour in arrangements that reflect my observation of the world as I move through it and note its many variations and permutations.
These observations are not long studied examinations of situations. They are glances, glimpses, the edges and the ends of things, quick sightings of the world in very much the same way as most of us move through the places and spaces that make up our everyday experience. The difference is that I make a note of these experiences and consider turning them into something other than a memory. I make them into a story, a personal story that is unique to me and presents itself as a work of art. This is both the joy and the burden of being an artist; the ethical responsibility to see the world in a particular way and to document it in such a fashion that it can be universally experienced. The universality of art is not that it is the same to everyone but that each person sees it differently and therefore can experience that work of art exclusively to themselves sometimes shared using what is called language. Sometimes we see things the same; this is to be welcomed, but there are often subtle differences within that sameness. This way of looking at art and recognising it has been with us for many thousands of years but we live in an age of immediacy so we often confuse identification with understanding and ask the meaning of art where there is none or in some cases too much. These paintings (drawings, studies) do not mean anything other than what you see in them. They are square (there are two exceptions here), coloured and have linear elements. The colours come from observations but may change in the making of an individual work and the linear elements come from drawings made in situ of any number of things. Sometimes the paintings come from a passage in a book, an idea I might have about the world, a note made from an old master painting or a simple observation on my part, but mostly they come from just looking around me at what is going on or in some cases what is not going on. My work is often called abstract but I don’t see it like that. To me it is more like a new reality, a different reality and that turning a blank canvas into the illusion of a vase of flowers with the use of earth and mineral pigments and the hairs of a Chinese pig is real abstraction! We all see the world differently which makes our individual worlds unique to ourselves. I just happen to have a process by which I can share that individuality with a larger audience. Samuel Walsh, Cloonlara, Co Clare, June-July 2014 https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif
Piecing and Sorting by Mollie Douthit
Courthouse Gallery Red Couch Space
9th of August-4th of September
Opening reception 9th August @ 4pm
The Ennistymon Courthouse Gallery and Mollie Douthit invite you to attend Piecing and Sorting, an exhibition in the red couch space opening on 9th of August at 4pm. The exhibition runs 9th August- 4th of September and features oil paintings and gouache on paper. Douthit’s practice entails sitting with and looking at objects, relaying what is viewed with paint or drawing materials. Featured in this exhibition are paintings of small food items that are personal reminders of people and places. Douthit values how the description of an object can be achieved through direct fresh mark making. The opacity of gouache encourages immediacy with material once it touches paper, marks left emulate what is being viewed immediately. The oil paintings are equally as demanding in their presence but begin to consider the space where the objects exist. The items are trapped within a new dimension of paint and no longer absent of that space, as in the works on paper. These works are meant to be an investigation of the colour and form of these objects, while enjoying the physical traits of something nostalgic, considering how it exists when it becomes something that is only to be viewed.
. For further information on Douthit visit www.molliedouthit.com