Author Archive

Sonia Shiel

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Crawford Art Gallery, Cork

Thursday 19th October at 1pm

Sonia Shiel will take part in a conversation with Dawn Williams at Crawford Arts Gallery, Cork. The conversation will centre on the Artist’s practice, particularly in relation to her exhibition Rectangle, Squared. 


Rectangle, Squared continues until 28th October, 2017.


For more info please visit the Crawford Art Gallery website.

Margaret Corcoran

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Claremorris Gallery, Co. Mayo

30th September – 14th October 2017

A solo show, Emergenceby Margaret Corcoran will open Saturday September 30th at 7.30pm. The show will run until October 14th during gallery hours, 1 – 6pm, Weds – Sat, after which the show can be viewed by appointment until October 14th.

“We see the past in terms of representational strategies used to describe it. This idea has been integral to the rationale of Margaret Corcoran’s work. Her paintings have revisited historical eras with the aim of illuminating the world views implicit in the images and the ways they were constructed, generally with particular regard to the role of women, of looking, of seeing and making. Her engagement has been broadly critical and analytical”

– Aidan Dunne, Irish Times, 2009

For more information visit the Claremorris Gallery website.

Image: Margaret Corcoran, The Disruption, 2017

Obscura | Paul Nugent | 14.09 – 14.10 2017

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The Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital is an institution in Paris that interned and treated patients deemed mentally ill by the state from the 17th century onwards. It was known for its poor living conditions and crude experiments. The Salpetriere in its current manifestation is a university hospital. Gaining notoriety as one of Europe’s largest insane asylums during the Belle Époque, the Salpêtrière became the sight of French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot’s famous Tuesday morning lectures.

These lectures were renowned for their theatrical presentations in which Charcot’s patients performed their conditions to crowds of spectators that included important physicians and neurologists as well as wealthy members of the public. The spectacle of such events was driven by a morbid curiosity that also spurred the circus shows, travelling magicians and hypnotists of the same era. In fact it was noted that Charcot’s lectures were attended by the famous French stage actress, Sarah Bernhardt who purportedly took inspiration form the repertoire of gestures and intensity of performance presented by patients at the Salpêtrière.(Heroes and Legends of Fin-de-Siècle France: Gender, Politics, and National Identity, Venita Datta, 2011 Cambridge University Press, p156).

Charcot initially believed that hysteria was a neurological disorder and throughout his career he searched for the ‘seat’ of hysteria – hoping to find a physical location for the disorder. He later concluded that hysteria was a psychological disease. Using medical apparatus and hypnosis, Charcot and his contemporaries conducted experiments on the – almost exclusively – female patients. During this time he had a number of patients whom he favoured and in the performance of his lectures, Charcot often relied on his more ‘experienced’ patients. Namely those who understood, and were cooperative in, the theatrical nature of the events. Patients such as Louise Augustine Gleizes and Marie ‘Blanche’ Wittmann became complicit in the performance of their condition in a way that transformed them into icons of their hysteria.

In many cases, Charcot’s patients became famous in their own right; Gleizes and Wittmann for example were well known hysterics in the 19th century and became the subject of novels, newspaper articles and works of art. Jane Avril was a dancer and hysteric who became the muse of Toulouse-Lautrec. In her book, Medical Muses: Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century Paris, Asti Hustvedt details rivalries that existed between the young women who hoped to achieve fame by performing in Charcot’s lectures.

Charcot, in his search for the seat of hysteria in the female body, employed what he deemed the most up to date technology to aid his research. He believed that the forensic use of the camera would allow him to locate and distil the essence of hysteria. However as photographic technology developed, the state, hospitals, Gendarmerie and the Académie des Beaux-Arts became complicit in a fiction. Art students, physicians and doctors often worked together with favoured subjects to create the most convincing iteration of the suspected condition. The photographs became increasingly staged and ornate, blurring the already delicate line between documentation and fabrication.

In his most recent series of paintings, Paul Nugent returns to iconography as it pertains to the history and architecture of the asylum chapel. During the 19th century, Charcot relied heavily on photography to decipher and archive cases of hysteria-a disease that no longer exists despite being suspected to affect more than half of all women during the 19th century. (Medical Muses: Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century Paris, Asti Hustvedt, 2012, Bloomsbury Press).

Throughout Obscura, Nugent responds to his photographic source material and the interior of the chapel by closely observing and depicting its interior – the site of the hysteric performances. Séance IV depicts an altar presided over by a statue of the Virgin Mary in her iconic pose, head at a gentle tilt, hands loosely by her side with palms facing upwards. A large painting, of which the subject matter is undecipherable, dominates the wall space of the chapel. In the repetition of these compositions, Nugent simultaneously clarifies and obscures certain details within the chapel to consider various aspects of its architecture. Within the series Nugent also directly references phases in the development of photography as a medium, including the inversion of negatives and the uniform colour of cyanotype.

This alludes to the manner in which the Camera was invested with the belief that it could shed light on the misunderstood phenomenon of hysteria. By creating an extensive archive, Charcot and his associates at the Salpêtrière hoped to find a common physical feature or expression that would help them to identify those that suffered from the condition. George Didi – Huberman in his book Invention of Hysteria, speaks about the ‘True Retina’, an emotionless gaze that presents the patient in the most neutral and objective manner possible through meticulous documentation of the women. The use of this new technology was believed to provide an unprecedented insight into the condition.

In Obscura III, Nugent creates a painted illusion of the photographic image –as though blurred by motion or poor exposure, a trompe l’oeil that denies its medium specificity. However in Obscura I this illusion is shattered. The spatial element of the painting and the objects within it are jarred by the application of thick bars of glossy paint in the uniform Van Dyke brown of the composition. These seemingly impulsive marks contrast with the controlled and nuanced application of paint that form the backdrop. Similarly in Hysteria the measured manner in which the surface has been applied appears to have been compromised by a sudden agitated gesture. The gesture however, is self-reflexive.

The works in Obscura consider the role of the camera in diagnosing and treating patients at the Salpêtrière. By referencing techniques in the development of photography, and in his depiction of various angles of the asylum chapel, Nugent considers the relationship between photography and painting to imply a presence or semblance of place associated with historical and institutional environments.


– Ingrid Lyons.


Paul Nugent lives and works in Dublin. Recent solo exhibitions include NIGHTSHADE, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin (2015), a solo presentation at VOLTANY, New York (2011), Remembrance Part I & II, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin and Remembrance, Kerava Art Museum, Finland (2009). Selected group exhibitions include Many Worlds, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris (upcoming Sept, 2017), Golden Record, Galway International Arts Festival, Galway Arts Centre (2017), Trove, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, curated by Dorothy Cross (2015), In Darkness Let Me Dwell, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan (2015), Prelude Speaker, Group show, Castletown House, OPW in partnership with Crawford Art Gallery (2013), Last, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College Dublin (2011) The Painter, the Draughtsman, the Dealer and their Lovers, Voges Gallery, Frankfurt, Germany (2011) and What Happens Next is a Secret, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, curated by Marguerite O’ Molloy (2010). Nugent was awarded a residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris in 2005 and he has been the recipient of the Visual Arts Bursary, multi-annual award, The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon in 2004-2006 and 2008. His work is held in numerous public and private collections both in Ireland and internationally including the Office of Public Works, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and DCU (Dublin City University).

Michael Boran and Stephan Loughman

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Dunamaise Arts Centre,

Co. Laois

12th October – 11th November, 2017

Dunamaise Arts Centre, Co. Laois and Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin present an exhibition of recent work by Stephan Loughman and Michael Boran.

Michael Boran and Stephan Loughman are two artists of the same generation with family ties to Co. Laois. Within each of their practices they investigate the changing dynamic between our perception of the natural landscape and the ever expanding built environment.

In viewing Boran’s photographs and Loughman’s paintings side by side we are presented with divergent forms of media that approach similar subject matter. Loughman’s paintings feature tunnels, bridges and arches amidst verdant foliage, referencing architectural intervention in the landscape. Boran’s photographs span the undergrowth of the garden to the heights of telegraph poles. As the works relate to one another, we can observe a multitude of connections and affinities. Throughout (Exhibition Title), both artists consider the softening boundaries between rural and urban.

More information available on the Dunamaise Arts Centre website.

Nevan Lahart

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Elfde-Liniestraat 25
3500 Hasselt

28.9 – 30.11.2017

Opening: Thursday 28.9 (6 pm)

The title of Nevan Lahart’s first solo exhibition in Belgium, Liberty Party Shop, was found on the side of a van a few doors down from his studio in The Liberties, Dublin.

Naivety is the new newspeak for courage. But what to expect, if not bunting, helium filled balloons and personalised flags? The following word salad is an appetizer of what’s on the menu.

Green Screams on Tarpaulin Travesties rendered in Payne’s Gray. History is a low rendered CGI poly mesh search engine, to add colour and form to the unconvincing backdrop of our lives. Unfashionably fathomable. Cured in el-blow grease. Distilled in despair. Gastronomically speaking it’s flavoured with some wholesome stables of Flemish liquid colour, dressed in a stodgy drizzle of Gaelic Island belligerence.

For more information please visit the KRIEG gallery website.

Sonia Shiel

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Sonia Shiel at The Crawford Art Gallery, Cork

9th September – 28th October, 2017

Sonia Shiel’s exhibition Rectangle, squared. invites the viewer into a series of performative spaces, where-in the action is painted, built, written, presented, intimated or provoked in chapters titled by shape and interspersed with props, some still, some moving. The exhibition tells the story of a fictional artist’s surreal encounters with the illusory world she finds herself in, and the tremendous challenges it throws her. Shiel’s work contemplates the mundane drama of living, in a series of large scale works that appear to be peripatetic but are connected through their surreal narrative imagery. Bold, yet enigmatic, Shiel’s works conjures theatrical connotations both through their life-size scale, and in their staged scenarios which allow us to interrogate, dream and hold empathy with the characters portrayed by the artist.

More information available here.
Image: Sonia Shiel, Still Life with Bouquet, 2017

Elaine Byrne

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Elaine Byrne at The Hugh Lane Gallery
The Ocean After Nature
7th September, 2017 – 7th January, 2018

Elaine Byrne will take part in a group exhibition titled The Ocean After Nature curated by Alaina Claire Feldman and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI). The Ocean after Nature considers the ocean as a site reflecting the ecological, cultural, political, and economic realities of a globalised world through the work of twenty artists and collectives. In September 2017 The Ocean After Nature continues its international tour at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. At every hosting site, a new work by a locally based artist is added to the exhibition in order to further contextualise the exhibition for diverse global audiences. Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane has invited artists Elaine Byrne and Philip Napier to contribute to the project, Byrne will be showing new sculpture works and a new video, commissioned by the Hugh Lane.

Elaine Byrne at Rosenbach Museum and Library 

Elaine Byrne will give a public lecture at the Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia (September) to discuss her work in relation to the museums purchase of work ‘Everything Edited’ (2017).

More information available here and on the ICI Website
Image: Elaine Byrne, Still from Cold Rush (2017)

Ulrich Vogl

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Villa Köppe

Knausstraße 19, 14193 Berlin, Germany

Exhibition: 08.09.-13.10.2017

Opening: 07.09.2017 | 19-22 hr

Ulrich Vogl will take part in an exhibition in Berlin-Grunewald with Yotta Kippe in the Belle Etage with works by students of the UdK Berlin.  Among other works Vogl will show new work titled Hammershoi-Studies from 2017.

Further information available here.

Alice Maher

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8 – 25 September 2017

Exhibition Opening Thursday 7 September 6 – 8pm

Purdy Hicks Gallery, London is pleased to present Hybrid, a group exhibition including work by Nilbar Gures, Marcia Kure, Alice Maher and Sally Smart. The works exhibited demonstrate visual explorations of hybridization, both through the subject matter and artistic medium.

Further information available here.

Written in Water, Shone in Stone | Richard Proffitt | 10.08 – 09.09 2017

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Written in Water, Shone in Stone, Lost in Light is comprised of work in various media – installation, painting, digital collage and audio, forming a constellation of thoughts and ideas that relate to perception and awareness. Richard Proffitt is interested in the transition between personally significant events and those that express aspects of a collective consciousness. In the written pieces that form part of Proffitt’s practice, he traces a process whereby thoughts and observations become recurring memories, replete with symbols and metaphorical meaning. Within his drawings, the natural world is transformed into a realm of psychedelic journey in which knots in the bark of a tree can take on a peculiar anthropomorphic appearance and mountains from afar can appear as towering deities.

There are numerous references to gateways, portals and paths, inferring a journey – a personal journey perhaps – or one towards expanding consciousness. In his installation particular materials are imbued with a certain power to act as potential talismans, esoteric objects that help to guide the way and to ward off evil. Proffitt’s work seeks out universally relatable symbols, ideas and attitudes which act as unifying forces within society. The audio aspect of the work forms an important part of the exhibition, encompassing elements of psychedelia, folk, drone and ambient music.

Proffitt considers symbols and allegories that cleave to the collective consciousness, he does this by referencing both myth and folk legends as well as their contemporary counterparts such as alien visitation and abduction narratives. This alludes to a phenomenon whereby popular culture is often assimilated and recounted as personal experience and vice-versa. Within Written in Water, Shone in Stone, Lost in Light, Proffitt works across a number of media, drawing on a wide variety of source material to create a body of work that considers the role of esoteric symbols in both personal and universal experience.

Written in Water, Shone in Stone, Lost in Light will be accompanied by a vinyl LP of 7 songsThe vinyl, titled Ending Time, will be available for purchase at the gallery; the limited edition features 180g vinyl, digital download code, poster, 12 page booklet featuring extra artwork alongside texts by Mary O’Halloran and Michael Hill and is limited to 50 copies. The regular edition features 180g vinyl and digital download code.

Richard Proffitt (Born 1985, Liverpool, UK) Lives and works in Dublin. Recent solo exhibitions include Hold The Candle To Your Eye/Light the Criss-Cross On Your Chest, Sirius Arts Centre, Cork (2016), Wild Cries of Ha-Ha, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin (2015), Eternal Spirit Canyon, The Joinery, Dublin (2013) and Saguaro, part of BAM BAM BAM, Wolstenholme Creative Space, Liverpool, UK (2011). Selected group exhibitions include Golden Record, Galway Arts Centre, Galway (2017), Ritual Play, Verkstad Konsthall, Norrkoping, Sweden (2016), Between Seeing and Blindness, Tactic, Cork (2015) and A Modern Panarion, The Hugh Lane, Dublin (2014). Proffitt has also taken part in art fairs and residencies including CAVE Art Fair, Liverpool, UK (2012) and Mobile Research Station, Skulpturen Park, Berlin, Germany (2009). Proffitt’s work has also been featured in numerous publications including To Seek Where Shadows Are, Edited by Padraic E. Moore and designed by Peter Maybury to coincide with A Modern Panarion, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin.

Robert Armstrong, Kathy Tynan, Diana Copperwhite and Mark Swords

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Gorey School of Art | 28 JULY — 5 AUGUST 2017

Robert Armstrong, Kathy Tynan, Diana Copperwhite and Mark Swords will show recent work in a group exhibition titled PERIPHERIES 2017 | SOUL-BEATING alongside work by Susan Connolly, Colin Crotty, Brian O’Doherty, Damien Flood, Paul Hallahan, Mark Joyce, Mark O’Kelly, Ciarán Murphy, Sheila Rennick and Emma Roche. Curated by James Merrigan.

Christina Kennedy, Senior Curator: Head of Collections at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) will officially open the exhibition at 7.30pm on Friday 28th July at Gorey School of Art, Mary Ward Lane, Gorey, Co. Wexford.


Image: Robert Armstrong, Valley Obscured, oil on canvas, 40x50cm (2016)

Mick O’Dea

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Ireland and the Sea

6th – 10th July,2017

Mick O’Dea will exhibit a series of landscape paintings at the annual Friends of Paxos exhibition titled Ireland and the Sea on the Island of Paxos, Greece.

Irish Wings is a multi-dimensional festival of Irish music, poetry, art and cooking organised on the island of Paxos. The festival explores ways in which artists go beyond disciplinary but also national Geographical constraints, presenting the dialogue of Irish culture with Greece. Irish Ambassador to Greece, Ms Orla O’Hanrahan, will be present at Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny’s bouzouki concert to be held at the Irish Art Exhibition Center, the Old School of Loggos, on Saturday, July 8th.

With thanks to the support of Culture Ireland


More information available here.

Atonal Supersound | Kathy Tynan | 06.07 – 05.08 2017

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Kathy Tynan’s eye for idiosyncrasies and her ability to distil an essence from daily encounters lends her paintings a profundity that is interspersed with self-reflexive humour. Each painting captures a moment in which a feeling or mood prevails. In the making of these paintings, Tynan proffers a world in which chance encounters and oddities are elevated through their representation. In recent work, Tynan has referenced her painting practice as part of a routine and within Laughter in the Blood, the artists own studio becomes the focus of analysis. In this painting the artist’s supplies – turpentine, brushes and ink are laid out on a frugal looking table. A bundle of brushes with split hairs peak tentatively over a laptop. On the monitor a talking head, subtitled in French, speaks of introspection in a spell of melancholy shoegazing. To the right of the table, near the skirting board, a scrunched leaf of paper torn from a ring-bound notebook politely beseeches the studio occupants, ‘please don’t unplug’.

In Clarice Lispector’s mystical novel, The passion according to G.H, the protagonist becomes preoccupied with the interior of her own apartment and remains there for the duration of the story. In her rigorous questioning of every aspect of her immediate reality she begins to dissolve its solid materiality into an array of psychical absurdities. While much of Tynan’s paintings follow a similar tact of dissecting the seemingly mundane, she also references the Brazilian writer directly in her painting, Thick and Black Roots of the Stars, in which Lispector’s words appear scrawled across a wall. In the painting, grey skies loom over a church and its grounds but the focal point is the richly embellished wall. Across its cement surface, alongside Lispector’s lines, there are messages to missing family members, initials in bubble font, proclamations of eternal love and witty quips. On this graffitied wall, marks made by many different hands are presented together in the composition.

Such a device harks toward the latent impulse within people to make a mark, to give visual expression to a thought. This concept crops up time and again in Tynan’s paintings, posing questions on the nature of institutionalised art production and on the divide between various forms of artistic expression. In her paintings, which revel in the colour, texture and surface possibilities of paint, Tynan reflects on inconsistency and imbalance. Her paintings are often witty and playful but also inquisitive – imbued with their own revelatory purpose. Together the paintings in Atonal Supersound converse with and often contradict one another. They exist as counter points reaffirming the idea that meaning is both deduced and created. It is somewhere between these two activities that Tynan’s work gathers its momentum.

Kathy Tynan (b.1984) lives and works in Dublin. She graduated from the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) with a BA in Painting in 2008 and an MA also from NCAD (2010). Recent group exhibitions include Hands Laid On with Aileen Murphy, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin (2016), There Are Little Kingdoms (2016), Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, What Is And What Might Be, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda (2015) and The Sky Is All Changed, Hendrons Collider, Dublin (2014). Tynan’s work is held in public collections including the Office of Public Works as well as private collections in Ireland and abroad.

Robert Armstrong and Aileen Murphy

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And Creatures Dream…A New Language

A two-venue show at Wexford County Council and Wexford Arts Centre ​3rd July – 25th August 2017

Exhibition Reception: Saturday 1st July at 1.30pm at Wexford County Council, Carricklawn

Followed by a talk at 3.15pm in Wexford Arts Centre, Cornmarket

Guest Speaker: Ruairí O Cuív, Public Arts Manager – Dublin City Council

Robert Armstrong and Aileen Murphy will take part in a group show alongside, Ciaran Bowen, John Busher, Eamonn Carter, Serena Caulfield, Helen Gaynor, Kate Murphy, Rosie O’Gorman, Emma Roche, Breda Stacey, George Warren and Michael Warren. ​And Creatures Dream…A New Language taken from Susan Stewart’s poem, A Language, explores the relationship of perception to conscious being, to knowing, and to human and aesthetic encounters. Much of the work hints at the instability of perception, which relies on memory – itself an unsafe faculty – and the fragility of the edifice of knowledge.


Kevin Kavanagh – Collecting: Who for What

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Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise

Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise is proud to present the finale of the 30 Years Artists Places exhibition, after an extensive national tour, from Monday 10 June to Saturday 15 July. Following an 18-month national tour to venues in Clare, Mayo, Waterford, Cork, Tipperary, Limerick, Cavan, Louth, Dublin and Donegal – the exhibition, curated by Muireann Ní Chonaill, Laois Arts Officer- is a must see at Dunamaise and features an extraordinary line up of Irish artists.

On 29th June at 3pm at Dunamaise Arts Centre, a panel discussion to mark the exhibition, entitled Collecting: Who for What, will be chaired by Cliodhna Ní Anluain with contributions by Cristín Leach, Jacquie Moore, Kevin Kavanagh and Seán Cotter. A musical response to the exhibition by Andreas Balke will also take place.

Admission is free and all are welcome.

Further information available here.

Crooked Orbit | Diana Copperwhite | 01.06 – 01.07 2017

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‘As is well known, the word ‘orbit’ refers to a set route or path around a given point: we on earth orbit the sun, just as the moon orbits us. Perhaps less known, though, is that the word is etymologically coupled with a distinct sense of the optical: from a fourteenth century French word for ‘eye socket’. Seeing, in this understanding, is always underscored by a sense of movement or voyaging: when we look at someone or something, we simultaneously tread a track around it. Perhaps we come close to this object, but we don’t get to touch it.

I kept this double meaning in mind when thinking about Diana Copperwhite’s recent paintings. In this latest exhibition, Crooked Orbit, these are large and at least initially discordant works. It seems as though no colour has been left aside, from lurid fuchsias and cobalt blues, to neon yellow and swatches of minty green. Recurring throughout the canvases, there is also a gradient effect achieved by loading the brush with different shades of paint; and this has a consequence of suggesting that these paintings have almost outgrown the tools of their creation, those tools then being forced to convey, through colour, as much as they possibly can. Sometimes these gradient interventions are vertical and regular; at others, they are less uniform, cast in a halting semi-circle or upturned ‘u’. Throughout, they act to create the impression of space within the paintings: in one, a narrow swathe of grey, pink and white, has the look of an outstretched arm, a slight sag in the middle where the elbow could be; in another, a flat vertical plane of what looks like four gradient drags cuts a dint of architectural space. But, even when working in unison, each of these is just one gesture, loaded to capacity and worked until it dissipates, the paint run out or stopped short from further decline. Representation is at most, never quite; cast as it is though a series of distinct marks, the whole remains fragmentary, gestured towards but never quite pinned down’.

Extracted from Awkward Angle of Perception, by Rebecca O’Dwyer. The full essay will be available at the gallery from June 1st.

Diana Copperwhite (b. 1969, Ireland) lives and works in Dublin and New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Driven by Distraction, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2016), Depend on the Morning Sun, Thomas Jaeckal Gallery, New York (2016) and A Million and One Things Under the Sun, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin (2015). Selected group exhibitions include Last Picture Show w/Mary Heilmann, Chris Ofili, Danny Rolph, Vanessa Jackson, Elio Rodriguez, Jill Levine, Rebecca Smith, Thomas Jaeckel Gallery, New York (2017) and Virtú, inc. Picasso, Giacometti, Henry Moore, Elizabeth Magill and Sean Scully at the Hunt Museum, Limerick, Ireland (2017). Copperwhite’s work is held in numerous public and private collections including: the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Arts Council of Ireland, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Office of Public Works, Contemporary Irish Art Society, Highlanes Municipal Art Gallery, Mariehamn Stadbiblioteque, Aland (Finland), Dublin Institute of Technology and The President of Ireland.

Rebecca O’ Dwyer is an Irish art writer, critic, and PhD candidate at National College of Art & Design, Dublin. Her writing has been published in Paper Visual Art Journal, Enclave Review, Frieze, Eyeline, Fallow Media, and the Visual Artists’ New Sheet, amongst others, and she has written catalogue texts for artists including Kathy Tynan, Fergus Feehily and Barbara Knezevic. She is a previous winner of the VAI/DCC Critical Writing Award, and the editor of the online art-writing platform, Response to a Request, which was launched in August 2016.

Diana Copperwhite

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Thomas Jaeckel Gallery, New York

Opens May 11th

Diana Copperwhite will take place in a group exhibition with Mary Heilmann, Jill Levine, Chris Ofili, Danny Rolf, Rebecca Smith and Elio Rodriguez.

More information available here.



Alice Maher

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Zephyr, Works on Paper

Claremorris Gallery, Mayo

1 – 6pm, Wednesday to Saturday until May 27th, and then until June 1st by appointment (087) 791 2337.

Maher’s reference points include art history, mythic narrative and, more recently, medical textbooks. Her shape shifting figures call down and mischievously intervene with the oft times problematic representation of the feminine throughout all of these fields. Zephuros was the god of the west wind in Greek mythology, and appears on many archaic world maps, blowing ships off course and keeping civilisation confined to the ‘known world’. In Maher’s watercolour, Zephyr, a giant female figure with covered eyes exhales a storm from her open mouth, like a modern dragon in her yellow swimsuit, while in her hand she holds a mysterious amoeba-like object. This mix of mythic, contemporary and scientific imagery hints at a world of continuous flux, where overlapping elements and intermediate states hold sway.

More information available here.

Rectangle, a written thing | Sonia Sheil | 04.05 – 27.05 2017

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Rectangle, a written thing, 2017, is presented in four ensembles. These painted works conjure theatrical tropes without motion, containing performative moments within the stasis and composition of painting. Such poles of action and inaction, recurring throughout the installation, are echoed in an accompanying script. This written thing provides a space to situate the work in a critical context by exploring its own real and imagined materiality – and it tells the story of an artist who, in being mistaken for a tree, learns what it is to be expressive.

Sonia Shiel’s work examines her protagonists’ attempts to survive the odds of nature and the illusory world around them, through laws of their own making. Many of her works engage with each other symbiotically or con/sequentially within mixed-media installations, creating surreal narrative sequences. Often taking the form of scripted video, audio and live performances, Shiel’s works synthesise object, image and sound in self-reflexive stories of construction, exploring how real things in the world can simultaneously declare themselves fabrications and yet compel a shared make-believe.

Sonia Shiel is currently the Arts and Humanities’ Artist-in-Residence at UCD for 2017 and a recipient of the DLRCoCo and the Arts Council Visual Artist Awards for 2017. In 2014/2015, she completed the Art & Law Fellowship Program at Fordham Law School, the International Studio & Curatorial Program, in New York, and an artist’s residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, with Arts Council Project Award support. Recent readings and performances include Temple Bar Gallery and Studios and ArtBox. She has had recent exhibitions at Rua Red, The Crawford Gallery, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, The Lewis Glucksman Gallery and the ISCP, New York, among others. Shiel has been the recipient of the Tony O’Malley and Hennessy Craig Awards, having had solo exhibitions at the Butler Gallery and the RHA Gallery I and II, which included a major publication and a collection of essays. Her work features in many international public and private collections, including the Arts Council, The City of Frankfurt, and the OPW.

Mick O’Dea

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A Name Unmade: Francis Ledwidge (1887-1917)

Solstice Arts Centre, Level 3 Gallery

28th April – 16th June, 2017, Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 4pm

Mick O’Dea will take part in a group exhibition marking the centenary of the death of Francis Ledwidge. The exhibition, titled A Name Unmade: Francis Ledwidge (1887-1917), will also feature work by Sven Anderson, Patricia Burns, David Farrell, Clare Langan, Niamh O’Malley and Sasha Sykes, Curated by Sabina Mac Mahon (Curator in Residence at Solstice Arts Centre).

More information available here.

Stephan Loughman

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Connolly House – Marino College of Further Education.

30th March to 6th April

Stephan Loughman is currently exhibiting a series of paintings at Connolly House, Dublin.

Further information available here.

Mark Swords

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The Living and the Dead

15 April – 17 June 2017

Temple Bar Gallery + Studios presents a solo exhibition of recent works by Mark Swords. For Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Mark Swords has created theatrically staged paintings that have come into being through a series of gestures that juxtapose the idea of making and unmaking. The paintings, often overwhelming in chromatic saturation and design denote the artist’s instinctive knowledge of colour. Layers of mark-making create a screen through which the buried undertones and colours emerge. He consistently moves between abstraction and figuration looking for discoveries and accidents in his works, appropriating painting conventions to create a stylistic collage.  The hand-made is a significant element in his practice, printed fabrics are stitched to the canvas creating layers of shapes and forms, while the paint application can be both refined or crudely impasto. Within some of the paintings he has used draped curtains to create a framing device. A painted backdrop pinned to the wall becomes the larger framework for the paintings. These framing devices anchor the work in a celestial sphere creating associations between the paintings while playing with ideas of display and exhibition making, Swords creates a complex mosaic of works that can be viewed as a whole or singularly.

Artist Mark Swords will participate in a public conversation with Programme Curator Mary Cremin, on the occasion of his solo exhibition The living and the dead at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios.

Saturday 22 April 2017 | 1pm

Free admission, booking essential. Further information available here.

Diana Copperwhite

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Friday 7th of April – Sunday 21st of May, 2017

Diana Copperwhite will take part in a group exhibition at The Hunt Museum. Virtú is a curated exhibition that explores the ongoing relationship between The Hunt Museum and LSAD. The exhibition includes 18 contemporary artists working in various disciplines and a collection of drawings from several collections including IMMA and The Hunt Museum.

These two strands of the exhibition presented side by side provide a platform for creative dialogue and contemplation of the relevance of the Museum and its collection. These important collections of artists’ work spanning generations and cultures have had an influence on a younger generation of artists. This show aims to reveal that art among other things is a conversation.

Further information available here

Aspasia – An Influential Immigrant | Margaret Corcoran | 23.05 – 22.04 2017

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Aspasia was an influential immigrant to Classical-era Athens. She was the lover of the statesman Pericles and yet famed in her own right as an intellectual. As an outsider to the culture she entered, she thrived despite its restrictive citizenship laws.
Corcoran’s large, highly colourful canvases are bold and assertive, while the works on paper are sensitively rendered and acutely observed. She brings together an unlikely grouping of references celebrating love, creativity, ceremony and independence of thought.

The artist depicts figures such as Aspasia, Eileen Gray and D.H Lawrence alongside Sudanese courting couples and Bhutanese royalty. Their coexistence as subjects in the exhibition traces an idiosyncratic and tangential body of research that incorporates references to colonialism and to a striving for human dignity and equality. Aspasia – An Influential Immigrant celebrates unexpected congruence in the lives of people divided both historically and geographically.
As a complement to the wide-ranging subject matter, Corcoran utilises varying scales, techniques and paints to identify affinities and universal motifs in seemingly disparate lives.

A recent review of the exhibition in Frieze magazine can be read here.

Vanessa Donoso-López

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Vanessa Donoso-López, No Fixed Colour Continuum

CANDYLAND, | Gotlandsgatan 76 | 11638 Stockholm | Sweden

17.3–2.4 2017

No Fixed Colour Continuum represents this constant misconception leading to an often feeling of displacement, forcing oneself to look back at how life use to be or would be like back home.

Cross-cultural interaction begins and ends with difference; new places, new behaviour, new language. It may seem that the inherent variability of cross-cultural interaction and biculturalism prevents any patterns or generalisations from being established. What is established however, is not a universal model or fixed pattern, but a universal motion of balancing between two cultures, being near and far, being different and accepted.

The displacement of the individual to an unknown geografic space, as a deliberated act of placing oneself in an alien context, becomes a journey not only spatial but vital, it transforms the traveler in the fundamental protagonist of a challenge that often gets initiated with the acceptation of loneliness.


More information available here

Many-worlds interpretation…| Geraldine O’Neill | 16.02 – 18.03 2017

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 Many-worlds interpretation agus rudaí eile nach iad

 16.02 – 18.03 2017

The subjectivity of perception provides each individual with a measure of the world; the communication of these various measures defines reality. Each one of us is like an artist, continuously creating our own personal worldview often unaware of just how subjective it is. Heraclitus believed that the world was ‘one and many at the same time’; the tension held in this opposition is the tension inherent to life.

-Don Foresta, The many worlds of Art, Science and New Technologies, MIT Press, 1991.

Many-worlds interpretation agus rudaí eile nach iad is an exhibition of recent paintings by Geraldine O’Neill. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, she includes objects from within her household that have personal significance as well as images gleaned from the history of painting. Her emphatic use of children’s drawings, as well as the appearance of children as subjects within her compositions harks to the manner in which they come to terms with their world. Children often conflate playing, learning and dreaming and this is an important reference within the artist’s oeuvre. The content of O’Neill’s paintings constitute a collage through the history of image making as well as the personal history of the artist. These paintings are detailed and dense, replete with allegory and symbolism. Through her fascination with emblematic devices in northern renaissance painting O’Neill recalls motifs and iconography and considers them afresh.

In larger compositions she includes miniatures in the background – scenes unfolding and adding to the narrative of the painting. This device recalls the works of Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1515). In his paintings, a multitude of symbols contribute to the narrative. In Minion Man, O’Neill draws on the imagery from The Haywain Triptych by Bosch. On the closed exterior of the triptych, a wayfarer repels a dog with his stick. O’Neill pictures Bosch’s ‘wayfarer’ in a palimpsest of her own painted histories. While the wayfarer journeys forth, a young child looks outward; his eyes glazed in reverie. The appearance of the two figures together conjures ideas of exploration and the pursuit of knowledge through adventure and play. However there are also dangers lurking in the background and challenges ahead. The tension between these two worlds is a defining characteristic of the work and as such renders it both solemn and frivolous. As art historian Angela Griffith has noted in a recent article in Irish Arts Review;

Despite knowing the wider cultural, social and political contexts of the objects and artworks (re)presented, O’Neill does not create polemical works. Rather, through the beguiling visual properties of her paintings she seeks to draw the viewer out by drawing them in – compelling them to look, to see and, ultimately, think.

Within these paintings various realities co-exist creating a palimpsest where many worlds merge. By reproducing and combining images, as well as using different marks and gestures within the language of paint, O’Neill’s work adds a personal voice to an ongoing conversation that spans the history of western art to the present day.

Alice Maher

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Hybrid Histories: Alice Maher in conversation with Catherine Morris

Wednesday, March 15 at 6:00 PM7:00 PM

Mhairtin Ui Chadhain Theatre, AB 2041B, Trinity College, Dublin

Visarts will present world-renowned Irish artist Alice Maher, and author/former cultural co-ordinator of Trinity College, Catherine Morris, for a one of a kind event. ‘Hybrid Histories: Alice Maher in conversation with Catherine Morris’ will see two of Ireland’s most prominent names in Irish art and culture discuss Alice’s long and fruitful career in both Ireland and abroad, as well as her involvement with the Artist’s Campaign to Repeal the Eighth and other projects. There will be a Q&A session with the audience at the end of the talk whereby you are invited to ask questions of your own.

Admission is free, more information available here.