Go to ...

RSS Feed

May/June Issue – Out Now!

The May – June 2019 issue of the Visual Artists’ News Sheet is out now. This issue includes a brief focus on prominent national art collections. Discussing the 60-year evolution of the Niland Collection, Emer McGarry, Director of The Model, highlights collecting and ‘keeping’ as active investments in building ‘living repositories’ of thoughts and ideas. As the Arts Council of Northern Ireland launches its new Art Lending Scheme, Suzanne Lyle, Head of Visual Arts, discusses their contemporary collection. Similarly, Eamon Maxwell offers insights into the evolution of the Arts Council of Ireland Collection, which was established in 1962. VAI NI Manager, Rob Hilken provides an overview of art collections in

2019 03 May/June

The Shrinking Universe

JONATHAN CARROLL INTERVIEWS EVA ROTHSCHILD ABOUT REPRESENTING IRELAND AT THE 58TH VENICE BIENNALE. Jonathan Carroll: Your biography is the perfect antithesis of Brexit: you were born in Dublin; studied at University of Ulster, Belfast; live in London and have an MA from Goldsmiths; and you are being brought to Venice by Void Gallery in Derry, with a curator from Cork. Is it good timing for such a European endeavour? Eva Rothschild: We were not alone in being anxious about getting everything transported to Venice before the initial Brexit date. The Scottish, Welsh and British pavilions were all installing early, to avoid any difficulties. There is nothing in the show that

Project Profile

A Painter’s Life

CHRISTINA MULLAN PROVIDES AN OVERVIEW OF THE STEPHEN MCKENNA RETROSPECTIVE AT VISUAL CARLOW.  Writing on the notion of painting in 1994, Adrian Searle remarked that painting exhibitions are often classified as a “resurrection” of sorts. He argues that we need not consider these events in such a manner – that painting “is not a patient, it is not ill or dying, or in need of resuscitation. It is not convalescing, or in remission, reborn or revived. It needs no revivals: painting is not an old-time religion”.1 If anything can testify to this statement, it is the current retrospective exhibition, ‘A Painter’s Life: Works from 1958–2016’, and the accompanying group exhibition,

2019 03 May/June

Rock the Casbah

LILY CAHILL, WINNER OF THE VAI/DCC ART WRITING AWARD 2019, REVIEWS MICHELLE DOYLE’S SOLO EXHIBITION, ‘OBEDIENT CITY’, AT A4 SOUNDS GALLERY, DUBLIN. I recently hosted a visiting American friend. Spending the majority of their stay in suburban south Dublin prompted the query as to why the fashion is for graveled driveways as opposed to grass. This was one of the only notable differences between the modern metropoles of Dublin and Boston, apparently. Having never paid any particular attention to such ubiquitous assemblies in the past, I couldn’t speculate as to my fellow citizens’ preference for large gatherings of pounded stones surrounding one’s abode. The zealous tourist prompted pause for thought:

2019 03 May/June

Walker and Walker ‘Nowhere Without No(w)’

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin15 February – 3 June 2019 ‘Nowhere Without No(w)’ highlights Walker and Walker’s longstanding interest in the Modernist canon – particularly Charles Baudelaire and Stephane Mallarmé, in this instance. The themes of the works presented – and the artists’ long-running collaborative practice – are diverse, but Romantic association predominates. The exhibition is exactingly prescriptive in its use of ideas and literary references. Its sleekly direct and literal translations of ideas into form invoke the aesthetic austerity of the conceptual tradition. However, its sensuous silvers and inky blacks exacerbate the cerebral quality into kitsch and fetish, helping to establish a sense of fraught disclosure. Pathos is

2019 03 May/June

Anita Groener ‘The Past Is A Foreign Country’

The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon19 January – 9 March 2019 Stories of displacement are not aesthetic. These are rushed, unplanned, reactive situations, without much time or resources for calculation or intention. Perhaps this is part of the reason why many people find it hard to identify with asylum seekers; it is difficult for most of us to comprehend such an urgent need to escape danger and to find a safer place.  Anita Groener’s recent exhibition at The Dock captured this challenge, before we even approached the work. The title, ‘The Past Is A Foreign Country’ – taken from the opening of L. P. Hartley’s novel, The Go-Between (1953) – highlighted this sense

View More ››
2019 03 May/June

Sam Reveles ‘Poulaphouca: New Paintings & Works on Paper’

Butler Gallery, Kilkenny17 March – 12 May 2019 ‘Poulaphouca’ at the Butler Gallery is Sam Reveles’s first large-scale solo exhibition in Ireland. The fourteen works on display in the four adjoining galleries include Reveles’s most recent paintings and works on paper. The exhibition is a journey of an experience which demonstrates the development and shifts in Reveles’s work over the last few years. In the first gallery space, one of the artist’s earlier works, Cill Rialaig 2, is an elemental example of his previous ‘grey’ period. The paper is approached episodically; an underlay of grey wash is erased by a lattice of horizontal scratchy marks. This method of creating through

2019 03 May/June

‘MAKing Art: The PAINTing Exhibition’

Draíocht Arts Centre, Blanchardstown14 March – 18 May 2019 Immediacy, I’ve found, has always been an underlying characteristic of much contemporary painting. I’ve never tried to pull back the curtain of the canvas, in search of hidden meaning lurking beyond sight. Surely, I thought, there is no code to crack; what you see is what you get. However, this limiting preconception was unilaterally turned on its head by ‘MAKing Art:PAINTing’. Sitting with the paintings in this group exhibition – which includes work by Susan Connolly, Bridget Flannery, Geraldine O’Neill and Liz Rackard – I found nostalgia, warmth and physical engagement seeping out.  ‘MAKing Art:PAINTing’ is the second instalment in a

2019 03 May/June

Geraldine O’Sullivan ‘Light Keepers’

Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen9 March – 10 April 2019 The crisp depiction of County Cork’s Fastnet Lighthouse – tall and erect yet submerged in a sea of blue – opens Geraldine O’Sullivan’s exhibition, ‘Light Keepers’ at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre. As one of 14 artworks on display, this painting immediately anchors the viewer in what unfurls as a world of green gushes, titanium white surf and brilliant blue horizons.  O’Sullivan’s paintings are accompanied by 11 mixed-media collages that act as visual documentation of the information, stories and anecdotes the artist has encountered since commencing research into the history of lighthouse keeping in Ireland, over three years ago.

2019 02 March/April

March/April Issue – Out Now!

The March/April issue of the Visual Artists’ News Sheet is out now. In columns for this issue, Sarah Durcan outlines her ongoing research project, ‘The Memory-Image’, as well as a related screening event at the Irish Film Institute in January. Sara Greavu discusses the evolution of CCA Derry’s dedicated reading group, booksvscigarettes, which aims to bring concentration and care to a range of texts, through the attentive act of communal reading. The Skills Column for this issue comes from James L. Hayes, who discusses experimental casting processes, technologies and materials, as well as the most recent iteration of his ongoing ‘Iron-R’ project. Reflecting on the many uncertainties currently facing artists

2019 02 March/April

The Truth of the Encounter

JOANNE LAWS INTERVIEWS NICK MILLER ABOUT HIS PAINTING PRACTICE AND HIS CURRENT EXHIBITION IN LONDON. Joanne Laws: The term ‘Encounter Painting’ is commonly associated with your work. I guess this relates to things happening in your daily life and how you respond to them?  Nick Miller: Not really, it’s more formal than that. Back in 1988, still in my late-twenties, I had a kind of eureka moment about what art could be for me while on a residency in Dublin Zoo. I began to draw from life again, facing the otherness of animals in captivity. It became about meeting and holding contained energy through the act of drawing. It coincided

View More ››
2019 02 March/April

Time Tries all Things

CHRIS HAYES TALKS TO GRACE WEIR ABOUT HER CURRENT EXHIBITION AT THE INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS, LONDON.   Fight with Cudgels (c.1820–23) is a painting by Francisco Goya that depicts two men duelling, and with each step, slowing sinking further into the mud below them. Their supposed opposition is a misreading; their struggle is not between two distinct forces, but a situation which they create together and for each other. “With every move they make,” wrote French philosopher Michel Serres, “they are gradually burying themselves together.” The image appealed to Serres as a metaphor for a relationship between two things, in this instance, that of people and the threat of climate

2019 02 March/April

Drawing de-Centered

MELISSA O’FAHERTY AND KIERA O’TOOLE DISCUSS THE IRISH CONTEMPORARY DRAWING COLLECTIVE, DRAWING DE-CENTRED. Diverse-nomadic-open-provoke-interim-decenterd-trail-liminal-sift-provisional-testing-scratch.  Drawing de-Centred is an artist collective and online platform for exploring contemporary drawing practice and research. In 2016, six professional Irish artists, whose practice is rooted in drawing, first met at a peer critique event, organised by Visual Artists Ireland and chaired by Arno Kramer. Kramer is a visual artist, curator and founder of Drawing Centre Diepenheim in The Netherlands, who champions contemporary drawing in all its diversity. One of the many outcomes of this serendipitous encounter was the establishment of a drawing-focused platform, titled ‘Drawing de-Centred’ (DdC). The title of the collective originated from the

2019 02 March/April

Universal Credit

ROB HILKEN OUTLINES THE CHALLENGES OF THE UNIVERSAL CREDIT SYSTEM FOR ARTISTS IN NORTHERN IRELAND.  Artists in Northern Ireland are being challenged by a range of uncertainties. Brexit is casting a looming shadow, but with so many unknowns about the nature of any withdrawal agreement, it is very hard to put plans in place that will mitigate against potentially negative impacts. But even before Brexit comes into effect, there is another issue that is already having a significant impact on the livelihoods of artists in Northern Ireland – that of the United Kingdom’s new benefits scheme, called Universal Credit. Universal Credit is the new ‘simplified’ benefits system that combines Jobseekers

2019 02 March/April

‘Lectus’

MART Gallery, Dublin10 January – 14 February 2019 This is the third year of MART’s Exhibition Award, in partnership with CIT Crawford College of Art & Design (CCAD) and Fire Station Artists’ Studios (FSAS). Curated by Deirdre Morrissey, ‘Lectus’ platforms the work of Èanna Heavey, Sarah Diviney (both CCAD graduates) and IADT graduate Emma McKeagney. On that day in January when winter finally decided to bite, the 12-foot red doors of the Fire Station Gallery gaped open. In its jaws, a yellow bathtub, half full of cloudy murk, sits almost fallow but for a motionless floral dress, stained with an indistinct darkness. This is the sculptural residue of Diviney’s performance,

2019 02 March/April

Shane Keeling ‘BAD-MAN Oh Man’

Wexford Arts Centre14 January – 16 February 2019 Wexford-born emerging artist, Shane Keeling, recently graduated from the National College of Art & Design with an honours degree in Glass & Ceramics. As recipient of NCAD’s 2018 Ceramic Residency, Keeling has developed a new body of mixed-media works which aims to generate dialogue on mental health, suicide and the stigma surrounding these conversations. Curated by Lisa Byrne, Keeling’s solo exhibition at Wexford Arts Centre is not just about the art – the artworks presented are certainly not unremarkable, but perhaps more importantly, they provide a vehicle to explore the artist’s very timely concerns.  Through the material processes of making, breaking, mending

View More ››