Author Archive

Mick O’Dea

Written by Harry on . Posted in News

Imperial CityMick O’Dea’s The Foggy Dew, first shown in the Royal Hibernian Academy in early 2016, is touring to the Ballinglen Arts Foundation and the Ballina Arts Centre, Mayo until August 21st, 2016. More information on the exhibition can be found on Ballina Arts Centre’s website.

Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh

Written by Harry on . Posted in News


Dúil, a solo exhibition of new work by Sinéad Ní Mhaoaigh runs at Limerick City Gallery of Art from 29th July – 4th September 2016. More information can be found here.

Ozymandias | Vogl, Scullion & McSweeney | 04.08 – 27.08 2016

Written by Harry on . Posted in Exhibitions


Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present Ozymandias, a group exhibition of new work by Ulrich Vogl, Joe Scullion and Tadhg McSweeney.

This exhibition comprises a series of works that approach the idea of fictional architecture; worlds within worlds. Each of the artists have cultivated a practice that incorporates the act of rendering. Constructed spaces, aspects of architecture and illusion are explored in various mediums.

Abstraction and fragmentation are used to describe and deconstruct space and the forms that occupy that space. McSweeney’s work often contains elements of older works, painted surfaces and parts of preexisting sculptures. They represent a history of the artist’s own practice contained within each new piece. Scullion creates maquettes and models, which recur in his paintings as fictional monuments. For both artists, each work gives rise to another work in a practice that is generative and reciprocal. In many of Vogl’s installations there is a similar preoccupation with fabrication and invention in which fragments are reorganised to create fictional narratives through light and shadow.

The work of the three artists appears to collide and merge. Figuratively, the works support each other and pose questions on the nature of building, invention, structure and composition. Surface, reflection and shadow each play a role in suggesting various realities and illusions. The exhibition explores a sense of the Utopian in its etymological meaning, ‘eu topos’ or ‘no place’ and evokes the Utopian as a fictional realm, questioning our assumptions around fragmentation and construction in the built environment and subsequently how we interact with that environment.

Ulrich Vogl

Written by Harry on . Posted in News

Das Rheinrad, a gigantic “medieval film machine” by Ulrich Vogl will hang over the Rhine river in Constance, Germany until June 2017. The project is part of the official 600 year anniversary of the Council of Constance.


Ulrich Vogl and Elaine Byrne

Written by Harry on . Posted in News



PERIPHERIES Centre for Creative Development, Gory School of Art.

The PERIPHERIES 2016 exhibition is a group show including the work of Elaine Byrne and Ulrich Vogl as well as a collaborative work from Oisin Byrne and Patrick Hough.

Opening Reception Friday 29th July 7.30pm. Gallery opening times 11am-6pm. Sat 30th July-Mon 1st of August

More information available in the PERIPHERIES programme.


Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh

Written by Harry on . Posted in News

unnamed (4)resize




8 Jul 2016 – 10 Sep 2016

Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh will take part in a group exhibition at Highlanes Galley as part of The Marmite Prize for Painting V. Thirty nine works from artists from Ireland, UK, the US and mainland Europe feature in this year’s exhibition, and were selected from over 1,200 entries from painters at all stages in their practice.

The Marmite V exhibition features works by Albane Lamoril, Richard Baker, Sarah Ball, Anthony Banks, Juan Bolivar, Philip Booth, Eleanor Breeze, Hannah Brown, Jo Bruton, Michael Calver, Diane Chappalley, Emma Cousin, Billy Crosby, Chris Daniels, Amanda Doran, Tamara Dubnyckyj, Steven Gee, Max Gomes, John Greenwood, Mandy Hudson, Clare Jarrett, Sooim Jeong, Michael Johnson, Jessie Makinson, Lindsay Mapes, Kathryn Maple, José Batista Marques, Jo McGonigal, Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Oliver Mulvihill, Helen O’Leary, Bernadette O’Toole, Selma Parlour, Alison Pilkington, Christiane Pooley, Sheila Rennick, Joan Sugrue, Suzy Willey, and Daniel Woolhouse.

The exhibition launches at Highlanes Gallery on Friday 8 July at 7.30pm, with opening remarks given by artist Mark O’Kelly. A talk, led by artist and Marmite co-founder Marcus Cope and featuring a number of exhibiting artists, including Emma Cousin, Alison Pilkington, Joan Sugrue and Steven Gee, Clare Jarrett will take place the following day on Saturday 9 July at 11am. The exhibition continues until 10 September.

More information available here.

Sean Lynch

Written by Harry on . Posted in News

Sean Lynch Adventure: Capital, Ireland at Venice.
The Irish Tour at the Royal Hibernian Academy
July 08, 2016 – August 21, 2016
RHA Gallery II

Combining sculpture, video and graphic elements, Adventure: Capital explores the allegories and underlying narratives of the contemporary architectural and social environment through encounters with the sculptures of John Burke, the quarries of Cornwall, megalithic ‘cursing’ stones, urban vandalism, and Irish Free State banknotes.

Alongside Adventure: Capital, Lynch presents a new video installation, Campaign to Change the National Monuments Acts, 2016 that investigates the legal status of metal detectors in Ireland. Following national controversy around the finding of the Derrynaflan Hoard, a medieval treasure trove uncovered in the 1980s, the state hastily placed a blanket ban on the public use of all devices used to search for archaeological objects. This legislation effectively destroyed the fledgling Irish metal detectorist community of Ireland. Using the tropes of a promotional video, Campaign to Change the National Monuments Acts advocates for a change in these authoritarian laws, where ideas of nationhood, individual freedom, and the need for new forms of community-led heritage are all explored on a journey narrated by Lynch’s long-time collaborator Gina Moxley.

Diana Copperwhite

Written by Harry on . Posted in News


Diana Copperwhite – Driven by Distraction at the Royal Hibernian Academy

July 08, 2016 – December 21, 2016
RHA Atrium, RHA Foyer

As part of her presentation for the RHA, Diana Copperwhite ARHA will show recent large-scale paintings and a site-specific wall drawing.

“Diana Copperwhite’s work focuses on how the human psyche processes information, and looks at the mechanisms of how we formulate what is real. With her work, she is fully aware that such realities may only hold validity for an instant, and that we are constantly processing and changing what we logically hold as experience and memory. Layering fragmented sources that range from personal memory to science, from media and internet to personal memory.”

Noel Kelly , Director of Visual Artist Ireland

Scrapyard Carnival | Sean Lynch | 07.07-30.07 2016

Written by Harry on . Posted in Exhibitions

mailchimp sean

Kevin Kavanagh presents Scrapyard Carnival, a new installation by Sean Lynch.

As ever, Lynch’s new work evokes the role of narrative and allegory, this time spiraling out of an event in a scrapyard in Clondalkin, on the edge of Dublin City in 2011. There, a repossession company seized a BMW 3 series motor car from notorious Celtic Tiger banker Sean Fitzpatrick, and soon organised an eBay auction where the highest bidder would get the opportunity to crush the vehicle, as a form of revenge for the wrongdoings by the banking sector upon the good people of Ireland. The resulting scene, played out as a carnivalesque drama emphasising a form of folk ritual around the economic recession, is reimagined at Kevin Kavanagh, where a fragment of the actual car, video footage and slide projections all intermingle in the gallery space, alongside a new suite of graphic works released in a special collaboration between Lynch and London-based designer Wayne Daly. The exhibition will be accompanied with a contextual essay by Ingrid Lyons.

Sean Lynch represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2015, along with solo presentations at Modern Art Oxford in 2014 and at Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane in 2013, amongst many other exhibitions, publications and projects throughout Europe in recent years. In the last year he has curated exhibitions at Lismore Castle Arts and Flat Time House in London, and will present his first solo museum exhibition in the United States at the Rose Art Museum in Boston this September.

Alice Maher

Written by Harry on . Posted in News


Alice Maher will take part in a group exhibition at Farmleigh Gallery, Phoenix Park, Castleknock, Dublin 15.

June 10th-August 7th

The exhibition, in Farmleigh Gallery, Phoenix Park comprises mainly sculptural work selected by artist Janet Mullarney, focusing on how the choice of specific materials makes certain sculptures work. The title refers to how the unity of both concept and the visual tangibility of the chosen material is imperative to the reading of the work, a quality that may often be overlooked. The artists are many and varied, the work is sculpture or certainly sculptural. Some of the work of the older artists, which was made in the 1990s juxtaposes well with work being made by younger artists now.

The artists are Cecily Brennan, Dorothy Cross, Maud Cotter, Aleana Egan, John Gibbons, Tony Hill, Mary Kelly, Alice Maher, Eileen McDonagh, Locky Morris, Paul Mosse, Helen O’Leary, Niamh O’Malley, Adrian Paci, Rachel Parry, Alan Phelan, Kathy Prendergast, Linda Quinlan, David Quinn, Eddie Rafferty, Charles Tyrrell, Michael Warren and Daphne Wright.

Robert Armstrong

Written by Harry on . Posted in News


Robert Armstrong will show new work at Fenderesky Gallery as part of a group show titled Island. 

June 17th-July 32rd 2016.

Opening 16th June from 6 to 8 pm, 31 North Street, Belfast.

More information available here.

Ulrich Vogl

Written by Harry on . Posted in News

Invite_Rheinrad_Ulrich Vogl


Ulrich Vogl at Konzilstadt Konstanz with a new installation titled Das Rheinrad.
Opening June 2oth, 2016 at Marktstätte 1, 78462 Konstanz, Germany. 
Ulrich Vogl presents a film machine connected with a medieval tower at the Rhine River in Constance which will be “illuminated” on June 20th. For 365 days a wheel will spin and for 365 nights wheel, tower, light and shadow will form a gigantic film machine. Das Rheinrad is part of official celebration of the 600-year anniversary of the Council of Constance.
More information available here.
Watch a short film relating to Das Rheinrad.

VOLTA | Basel | 2012

Written by Harry on . Posted in Art Fairs

Tadhg McSweeney, Ulrich Vogl and Michael Boran at VOLTA 12.

June 13th – 18th 2016.

Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present new work from Michael Boran, Tadhg McSweeney and Ulrich Vogl at VOLTA 12.

All three artists, though working in a variety of media and with differing methodologies, are all concerned with the mutable qualities of light and space, and with the meeting of the natural and artificial world. Both Tadhg McSweeney and Ulrich Vogl employ a wide variety of materials into their work, with a particular emphasis on the everyday and repurposed, turning often-overlooked elements into quietly beautiful forms that echo phenomena from the natural world, though ones that possess a very man-made delicacy and elegance. Michael Boran is a lens-based artist whose most recent body of work examines the overlap and interplay between flora and fauna, and the manmade interventions that populate contemporary landscapes. These landmarks and objects are presented in manipulated contexts, highlighting their inherent strangeness. All the artists have made new work especially for presentation at VOLTA 12.





Sonia Shiel

Written by Harry on . Posted in News


Sonia Shiel 'Birds Flee'


Sonia Shiel has been awarded a studio as part of the 2016 UCD artist in residence programme. The residency will culminate in an exhibition on the cmpus next year when Shiel will present new work.

More information available here.


The Glorious Maids of the Charnel House | Alice Maher | 02.06-02.07 2016

Written by Harry on . Posted in Exhibitions


Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present The Glorious Maids of the Charnel House, an exhibition by Alice Maher.

Alice Maher’s recent work represents a return to figuration with renewed passion in a series of nine large drawings. In The Glorious Maids of the Charnel House, she continues her exploration of metamorphosis in the most mutable of all territories, the human body. Her ‘Maids’ stand guard in a visceral universe, where human, animal and vegetal intermingle, co-evolve and overlap in intense, hybrid forms. They glory in their steamy charnel house of corruption and regeneration. They spill, seep, multiply, explore, extrude, propagate and gratify themselves. These enigmatic figures, while plunged in a seemingly malevolent world of perpetual transformation, retain an ethereal calm; serene inhabitants of the artist’s ever generative imagination. Maher’s reference points include classical art history, as well as medical textbooks and her own thirty-year back catalogue of mythopoetic motifs. This new series can be seen as the bracketing of her ‘Thicket’ drawings from 1990, as well as a further development of themes explored in her photographic ‘Portraits’ of 2003, where the natural and the non natural merge, making the female the principal site of language and creativity, and a powerful subjective force in her own world.

The drawings in The Glorious Maids of the Charnel House comprise a spectrum of experience. Extreme ecstasy is evoked alongside curiosity, nonchalance, pain and defiance through the absurd paradoxes of their bodily incarnations. A hybrid creature appears happy to be eviscerated by a priestess, naked but for her tall mitre. Great horns of coral sprout from either side of a tranquil face whose eyes fix the viewer in a classical stare. A figure squats under the burden of a monstrous heart. A body covered entirely with eyes may embody the manifestation of a highly sensitised faculty of awareness.

Human and object are fused, as a musical instrument grows from the back of a maid in her boxer shorts. Within these drawings internal and external worlds overlap and interface, co-exist and self generate. The inner and the outer body unfolds and enfolds simultaneously, like the spiral helix of a snail, and with the same abject corporeality. The synchronisation of internal and external experience is referred to in the writing of Bracha L. Ettinger, as an ‘extimacy’, a word that might be employed to describe these glorious maids, whose body casings cannot contain their burden of excess, but grow and swell, subdivide and mutate, in order to accommodate their physical and metaphysical realities.

A publication with a text by Tina Kinsella accompanies the exhibition. Her essay can be read here.

Alice Maher is one of Irelands foremost contemporary artists. Her first major solo show was at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in 1994. That same year she represented Ireland at the Sao Paolo Biennale. Maher continued to exhibit consistently in group and solo exhibitions and in 2012 the Irish Museum of Modern Art presented a retrospective of her work, Becoming, which included many iconic works as well as a newly commissioned film and a monograph. Maher is currently showing at EVA International (2016) with a two-screen film, Cassandra’s Necklace (2). Her work is held in many Irish and international collections including the Neuberger Museum, New York, the Hammond Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MoMA, New York, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, the British Museum, London and the Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris.

To read a text written by Suzanne Walsh in response to the exhibition please visit Fallow Media. Suzanne Walsh is an artist, writer and musician currently living and working in Dublin.

You can read a review of The Glorious Maids of the Charnel House here.




Mick O’ Dea

Written by Harry on . Posted in News



Mick O’ Dea will exhibit a painting as part of a group show at Crawford Art Gallery. O’ Dea will also open the exhibition which will take place on Friday the 3rd of June. The exhibition will continue until the 20th of August 2016.

Crawford Art Gallery, Cork is delighted to present the exhibition, Conflicting Visions in a Turbulent Age 1900-1916. Curated by Dr Éimear O’Connor the exhibition will focus on several themes, both social and political, that effected Ireland between 1900 and 1916 including the First World War as seen through the eyes of Irish war artists Sir William Orpen and Sir John Lavery; the Cork International Exhibition (1902); artistic responses to the Easter Rising 1916; the cultural lives of Cork-born Terence McSwiney and Sir Hugh Lane; the consecration of the Honan Chapel (1915), the Cork International Exhibition (1902-03); and the rise of the Irish Agricultural Co-Operative Movement as espoused by Sir Horace Plunkett, Cork-born R.A. Anderson, and artist and cultural commentator, George Russell (AE).

More information available here.

Sean Lynch – Solo Exhibition – Exeter Phoenix and Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery

Written by Harry on . Posted in News

Sean Lynch Adventure Capital 1 ratio 3_2


14 May-2 July 2016

Exeter Phoenix and Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery,

Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-5pm

Spacex, in partnership with Exeter Phoenix and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter, presents The Weight of the World, a solo exhibition by Irish artist Sean Lynch featuring three new video commissions and the UK premiere of the projected video element of Adventure: Capital, that represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale 2015. Split across the two adjacent sites of Exeter Phoenix and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM), Lynch’s new works are directly informed by artefacts from the Museum’s collection of over one million objects, in particular its recent acquisition of the Seaton Down Hoard, one of the largest hoards of Roman coins ever found in Britain, discovered by a metal detectorist in nearby East Devon.
More information available here.

Portraits of a Nation

Written by Harry on . Posted in News

return to cythera (2)

Works by Margaret Corcoran, Mick O’ Dea and Dermot Seymour are included in Portraits of a Nation at the Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin from May 11th – 29th. More info on the exhibition can be found here.

Mick O’Dea

Written by Harry on . Posted in News

3. Mick O'Dea _Barricade' 120x150CM

A selection of recent work by Mick O’Dea is at the Claremorris Gallery from May 7th – 29th, 2016. More information on the show can be found here.

Elaine Byrne, solo exhibiton at Rome

Written by Harry on . Posted in News


Elaine Byrne’s Diritta Vita at Montoro12 Gallery in Rome, 31st March- 7th May 2016

Montoro12 is pleased to present Diritta Via, a solo exhibition by Elaine Byrne. In this new body of work, Byrne has created sculptures, photography and video that serve as critiques of power structures, posing specific questions around corruption and the apathy manifested by its victims.

The exhibition title comes from Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy where his journey begins in a dark wood (selva oscura). Unable to find the ‘straight way’ (diritta via) to salvation, Dante is conscious that he is ruining himself. Passing though Purgatory he comes to the 8th circle of hell, and encounters corrupt politicians being punished for the crime for which Dante himself was falsely charged when he was forced into exile.

It is believed that Dante used medieval accounts from pilgrimages to Saint’s Island on Lough Derg, in Ireland as inspiration for the Inferno. Know as St Patrick’s Purgatory, from the 12th-15th century the island and Ireland were synonymous; it was one of the key reasons any foreigner would travel to Ireland. Saint’s Island was a gateway to the otherworld, pilgrims who spent a night in the Purgatory cave would converse with the dead and battle with demons. If they survived the ordeal their sins were forgiven and they got a free pass to Heaven.

Travelling to Saints Island in search of the medieval gate to Purgatory, Byrne examines contemporary notions of corruption and punishment through 14th century pilgrims’ text of the ordeals in Purgatory, contemporary corruption charges and appropriated films, highlighting the punishments for corruption as recounted by the pilgrim. Central to the installation is a 14ft steel sculpture, referencing both the bridge of razors encountered by pilgrims in Purgatory, and a range of important philosophical constructs: the bridge as a test and testimony originating in Persian eschatological symbolism, to be crossed only by the worthy.

Whenceness | Elaine Byrne | 05.05-28.05 2016

Written by Harry on . Posted in Exhibitions

Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present Whenceness, an exhibition by Elaine Byrne.

Whenceness is comprised of two videos, Pure Codology and Rakoczy March developed during Byrne’s fellowship at the Whitney Independent Study programme in New York, alongside twenty-four new works on paper. Collectively the work deals with the intersection between fiction and reality derived from Joyce’s Ulysses, episode 12,Cyclops. The episode deals with race, racism, anti-Semitism and what it means to be Irish, where Bloom’s Judaism is raised as a central point of conflict with the Irish-nationalist character, the Citizen. Bloom counters the racial identification of nationality with the more modern interpretation of a group of disparate people working together for a common goal. “A nation?’ Says Bloom ‘A nation is the same people living in the same place”.

Using original newspaper from 16th June 1904, the day Ulysses is set, Byrne highlights the news of the real day, a day which is mostly known through the fiction, considering what changes over time and what stays the same.

In Rakoczy March, a 41-minute video piece, two uilleann pipers attempt a classical composition referenced in Ulysses as being played by Irish pipers. During the course of the video both musicians become increasingly exasperated as they try to navigate  the notes of the musical composition. Pure Codology focuses on a joke which has laid hidden in the book, which Byrne then overlays with a fictitious narrative, set within the context of the rise in left wing politics in Hungry. The premise of an ‘in joke’ in both videos assumes that there is a group of people with enough common ground  to share the joke, and furthermore that there is another group outside the joke. Both works point to the tragedy of the impossibility of communication, establishing that music doesn’t cross all cultures and jokes frequently get lost in translation.

Throughout Whenceness, Byrne considers words such as  race, people and culture, where many crucial meanings have been shaped by a dominant class and by professions operating within its terms.

Whenceness will be accompanied with a text by Ingrid Lyons that further contextualises the work in terms of its historical and literary references.

Elaine Byrne received an MA in Visual Arts Practices (MAVis) from IADT, Dun Laoghaire in 2010. She has exhibited widely in Ireland and abroad- recent solo exhibitions include La Diritta Via, Montoro12 gallery, Rome, 2016, RAUMPLAN, Limerick City Gallery of Art, 2014, RAUM, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin, 2013. Selected group shows include the Whitney Independent Study Program, Elizabeth Foundation of the Arts, New York, 2015, Maximum Entropy, CPS Project Space, New York, 2015, Transferiencias, UAM, Mexico City, 2014, Centre of Fine Art Photography, Colorado and TULCA Festival of Arts, Galway, 2011 and 2009. Byrne received the Curtin O’Donoghue Emerging Photography Prize in 2012, other recent awards include the Arte Laguna sculpture prize, Venice, 2014, the Celeste Residency prize, 2015, the Irish Arts Council Bursary, 2015 and Project award in 2014.

With thanks to Nora Alter, Alicia Ibanez Flores, Cassandra Guan, Vivien Igoe, David O’Rourke, Santiago Solórzano and Soyoung Yoon.

And special thanks to uilleann pipers Leonard Barry and Padraig Carberry McGovern, and to Martha Goldmann and Ferenc Takacs of the Hungarian Joycean society.

Through the Undergrowth | Michael Boran | 07.04-30.04 2016

Written by Harry on . Posted in Exhibitions

Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present Through the Undergrowth, an exhibition of recent photographs by Michael Boran.

Through the Undergrowth is comprised of photographs that relate to each other tangentially, their intention is ambiguous. Boran pictures towers, pylons, masts, plant stalks and monuments from a Piranesian vantage point that places the viewer far below the pictorial object. The desire to ascend is a prevalent motif in this recent body of work in which Boran represents the urge or instinct to reach upward, to peak, to seek out the most prominent positions. Often blurring the line between natural and manmade, Boran poses visual similarities in patterns formed by vines and power lines as they tangle and drape. We are also presented with the idea of pairing and of duality. Through the imagery, which often simulates the visual codes and studio finesse of stock photography, we are invited to consider the idea of doubles and dichotomies, of objects growing into one another.

The photographs in Through the Undergrowth convey their messages obliquely with subtle tones and miniscule detail, free from pixilation and visual noise. In these images background detail has been removed and replaced with a backdrop of serene blue sky, enhancing the clarity of the subject. Boran is interested in abstraction through photography, he creates versions of each photograph and then collates them into a high-resolution, hyper-focused picture plane. By condensing each image he causes a visual time lapse that synthesises a multitude of perceptions concurrently. In this way he reflects on the temporal limitations of still photography and the perception of depth. In the pursuit of specific images and the production of a vast personal archive, Boran examines the manner in which photographs are created and understood, through the undergrowth of the garden to the heights of telegraph poles we can observe a multitude of connections and affinities.

Sean Lynch in Conversation with Kevin Barry

Written by Harry on . Posted in News


Ireland at Venice

Adventure:Capital The Irish Tour

9 April – 5 June 2016, The Model, Sligo.

Sean Lynch in conversation with Kevin Barry 6pm Opening Reception, 9th April.

The Pavilion of Ireland at the 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia – presented work by Irish artist Sean Lynch from May until November of 2015. The exhibition Adventure: Capital traces a journey from myth to minimalism around Ireland and Britain. Alongside Adventure: Capital at The Model, Sean Lynch will present A Blow by Blow Account of Stonecarving in Oxford (2013–14), an installation that traces the work of nineteenth century artisans John and James O’Shea.

For more information please visit The Model, Sligo website.

Who Fears to Speak of the Republic? | Robert Ballagh | 10.03-02.04 2016

Written by Harry on . Posted in Exhibitions

Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present an exhibition by Robert Ballagh in response to the year-long commemorative celebration of 1916. Who Fears to Speak of the Republic? comprises an exhibition of prints as well as a mural,  painted on site at the gallery.

The longevity of Robert Ballagh’s career and the depth and breadth of his influence correspond to his consistent yet versatile creative output. This year of commemorations creates a unique opportunity to consider Ballagh’s career as an artist and activist as well as his contributions to visual language associated with Irish design. Ballagh began working as an artist in the late 1960s and has worked in the visual arts since then. He was greatly influenced by and worked within the Pop Art movement of the 1960s and 70s and this influence has remained a prominent element of his oeuvre.

Murals are synonymous with political activism and they reach a large number of people due to their accessibility both literally and figuratively. Bill Rolston has extensively researched the subject of public murals in the North of Ireland. In his writings he notes that loyalists and republicans have been painting murals in public places since 1908 and 1981 respectively, evidencing a long-standing tradition of such visual expression in Ireland. Who Fears to Speak of the Republic?references the socially empowering value of the mural. Ballagh comments on the medium’s historical relevance by appropriating it as an outlet of popular expression, reminding us of the effectiveness of such visual language in its ability to exact change both socially and politically.

Robert Ballagh’s aesthetic is recognised by people both within the art community and outside of it and he often uses this position as a respected and well-known artist to pose political questions and to examine the role of the artist within the state apparatus. Who Fears to Speak of the Republic? both celebrates the actions of those who led the Easter Rising and generates a discourse on the iconography that surrounds their legacy.

Amanda Coogan, Sonia Shiel and Nevan Lahart

Written by Harry on . Posted in News



Amanda Coogan, Sonia Shiel and Nevan Lahart will show work as part of a group exhibition at Rua Red. Carnage Visors – a metaphor for rose-tinted glasses – explores the idea of making work today and the autonomy of an artwork versus being socially or politically aware. The exhibition will open on the 7th of March and will continue until the 9th of April in Galleries 1&2. There will be a preview at 3.30 pm on the 5th of March.

More information available here.