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January/February Issue – Out Now!

The January – February 2019 issue of the Visual Artists’ News Sheet is out now. This issue features a range of conferences, exhibitions, residencies and events that took place towards the end of 2018, while also profiling several ongoing artistic projects and collaborations. In columns for this issue, Miriam Logan outlines some philosophical perspectives on activating creativity and Róisín Kennedy reviews the recently published collection of Brian O’Doherty’s letters, edited by Brenda Moore-McCann. Maeve Mulrennan discusses the recent ‘Reframing the ‘90s’ conference in UCC and Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, while Diana Bamimeke reports on ‘Winter Seminar: The Lives of Artists’ at TBG+S and the RHA. In this issue’s regional column,

2019 01 January/February

Synontic State

ÁINE PHILLIPS REFLECTS ON TULCA FESTIVAL OF VISUAL ARTS 2018, CURATED BY LINDA SHEVLIN. A person in complete accord with their environment is described as being in a ‘syntonic state’. Curated by Linda Shevlin, this year’s edition of TULCA Festival of Visual Arts in Galway examined this concept. The artists, thinkers and writers assembled by Shevlin offered different perspectives on this theme, generating various possibilities for viewers to attain syntonic experiences through art. A vibrant example of human and environmental accord was created on the opening night by Aoibheann Greenan with The Life of Riley. Taking the form of a street procession, led by a lone piper, the work involved

2019 01 January/February

Dream Analysis

PÁDRAIC E. MOORE INTERVIEWS IRISH ARTIST DOIREANN O’MALLEY ABOUT HER RECENT SOLO EXHIBITION AT DUBLIN CITY GALLERY THE HUGH LANE. Pádraic E. Moore: Before we discuss your recent work, perhaps you can offer some insights into your background? Doireann O’Malley: I was born in Limerick and lived there until the age of nine, returning in 1999 to study Sculpture and Combined Media at Limerick School of Art & Design. Gerard Byrne, who has been a formative influence on my practice, was teaching there at the time. After this, I completed an MA at the Belfast School of Art, studying under Willie Doherty. At the time, I was working mainly in

2019 01 January/February

Productive Friction

KEVIN BURNS REVIEWS THE FOURTH AND FINAL INSTALMENT OF VAI’S NEW SPACES EXHIBITION PROGRAMME IN DERRY. It’s about four in the afternoon: I’ve just bothered someone in an office to buzz me up to the first floor; I ascend a grand Georgian staircase, lined with Rothko posters; I wait while they switch everything on; and now I’m watching a stage eat itself. There are four metal scaffolds with stage lighting, mirrored in quadrants, cyclically contracting then expanding, like industrial foliate. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice that a progress bar has appeared at the top of the screen, with a timer counting 3, 4, 5 – then

2019 01 January/February

Good Listeners

CHRISTOPHER STEENSON INTERVIEWS DANNY MCCARTHY AND MICK O’SHEA ABOUT THEIR SERIES OF NEW RELEASES, WHICH EMERGED OUT OF THEIR PARTICIPATION IN THE ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG RESIDENCY. Christopher Steenson: How did you both come to be invited to participate in the Robert Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island in Florida? Danny McCarthy: An American artist, who was sitting on the selection panel for the Rauschenberg Residency, recommended us. You cannot apply to go on the residency, as it’s by invitation only. I knew we were to be invited on an American residency, but when this arrived in my inbox it was like winning the Lotto – the terms were so generous. In fact,

2019 01 January/February

‘MANMADE’

Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown2 November 2018 – 23 January 2019 The current exhibition, ‘MANMADE’, at Millennium Court Arts Centre, features the work of several artists examining marine debris, coral life and metaphors of irrevocable danger carried by the sea, based on increasing levels of human pollution that threaten the oceanic ecosystem. The centre has developed an accompanying public programme, comprising a range of outreach activities, aimed at promoting environmental consciousness. This agenda acts to both serve and subvert the curatorial theme: collectively the artworks explore this subject and its associated materials, yet the conceptual integrity of the exhibition is undermined, in its framing as some sort of awareness campaign.

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2019 01 January/February

‘Infrastructures of Now’

NCAD Gallery, Dublin21 September – 30 November 2018 The glass modernist façade of the NCAD Gallery may be considered a portal into the machine itself. To function, this machine depends on an engaged, creative, intellectual exchange between students, researchers, lecturers and artists, who are in turn inherently dependent on the infrastructures and resources the machine affords them. ‘Infrastructures of Now’, curated by Anne Kelly, interrogates this interdependency, critically addressing questions of autonomy, institutional expectations and the technical methodologies and languages engaged by the contemporary practitioners it frames. The works featured in this exhibition have at some point – either notionally or physically – passed through the engine rooms of this

2019 01 January/February

Tomas Penc ‘ENDUSER’

Triskel Christchurch, Cork 11 October – 22 December 2018 In large black type, the word “ENDUSER” confronts visitors, while underneath, an inscrutable text begins: “you owe me, big smooth eggs of divine fertility laid out of the window into the endless landscape.” The phrase “you owe me” is repeated throughout this text: “you owe me…snow… strawberries…colour…”. Some, but not all, of the things ‘owed’ also appear in the presented artworks.  Penc presented two distinct and consecutive phases of this exhibition, each running for approximately a month at Triskel Christchurch – an eighteenth-century neoclassical Georgian church, which functions as Triskel Art Centre’s main auditorium. The titular artwork, ENDUSER, featured in both iterations,

2019 01 January/February

Chris Doris ‘The Empty Field’

The Model, Sligo17 November 2018 – 27 January 2019 This extensive exhibition by Chris Doris is installed across five gallery spaces at the Model, exploring a number of thematic strands, influenced by components of the artist’s life, namely: meditation, psychotherapy, psychology and neurobiology. Doris brings these professional interests into play and reinterprets them in the gallery context, showcasing a unique range of observational modes, as well as a lucid, coherent range of artworks.  What might initially appear as hard-edged abstraction within the galleries, is softened through the introduction of the outside world. Natural light is present in three of the five spaces; it appears to have been deliberately choreographed to

2019 01 January/February

Maud Cotter ‘a consequence of – without stilling’

Limerick City Gallery of Art 30 September 2018 – 6 January 2019  The fundamental experience generated by Maud Cotter’s solo exhibition, ‘a consequence of – without stilling’, at Limerick City Gallery of Art (LCGA) is appropriately described in the exhibition text as “a mercurial landscape of the mind… a place where matter and consciousness mix”.  Cotter, who was one of the founders of the National Sculpture Factory, Cork, displays an uncanny understanding of, and meticulous control over, the materials she uses, as dramatically evident in two large-scale sculptures: without stilling (2017–18), a skilfully imagined construction, produced entirely of finely cut Finnish birch ply in the South Gallery; and matter of fact

2018 06 November/December

November/December Issue – Out Now!

The final issue of 2018 is loosely themed around several prominent anniversaries being celebrated this year, offering a retrospective glance at the evolution of various Irish arts organisations. Given the upcoming 40th anniversary of Visual Artists Ireland in 2020, we are currently working on the SSI/VAN archive (which extends back to 1980), with a view to mobilising some of this archival material during VAI’s anniversary year. This issue inclues an edited version of an important panel discussion, organised as part of a year-long programme to mark the fortieth anniversary of the Douglas Hyde Gallery. In other organisation profiles, Declan Long reflects on 30 years of the Kerlin Gallery, while Pádraic

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2018 06 November/December

A Celebration

INVITED ARTISTS AND THINKERS DISCUSS THE HISTORY OF THE DOUGLAS HYDE GALLERY ON ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY. This is an abridged version of a public conversation that took place on 17 May at The Douglas Hyde Gallery, as part of a year-long programme marking the gallery’s fortieth anniversary. The panel, chaired by Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith and introduced by current DHg director Georgina Jackson, comprised artists who have previously had major solo exhibitions at the DHg. Each artist took the opportunity to reflect on the significant influence the DHg has had on their relationship with contemporary art. Georgina Jackson: The Douglas Hyde Gallery holds an incredibly important space in Dublin, in

2018 06 November/December

A Cherished Place

DECLAN LONG PRESENTS AN OVERVIEW OF THE KERLIN GALLERY’S 30-YEAR HISTORY. “Places you can go for free, run by strange people with visions who want to help artists by showing and selling their work”: this was Jerry Saltz, the New York art world’s notorious, necessary gadfly, writing in praise of Chelsea galleries right after Hurricane Sandy had flooded basements, damaged exhibition spaces and indiscriminately destroyed countless works of art. Galleries come and go; we might love them or loathe them; but in that moment of devastation, Saltz felt a need to make a stirring case for their defence: fundamentally, he said, “I love them. All. More than ever.” Free places,

2018 06 November/December

University of Atypical

JANE MORROW REFLECTS 25-YEARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ATYPICAL, BELFAST. Most organisations would throw a big, indulgent party for their 25th birthday. It’s not that the former Arts & Disability Forum don’t love a party – they do – but they elected instead to mark this key anniversary by asking difficult questions of their staff, board, members and stakeholders: “Who are we? What contribution do we make? Why are we here and how can we continue to make the best work possible happen here?” As a result, they took the bold move of rebranding. They’d known for a while that the organisation’s name made it sound more like a “therapeutic

2018 06 November/December

By Design

PÁDRAIC E. MOORE INTERVIEWS OONAGH YOUNG ABOUT THE TEN-YEAR EVOLUTION OF HER DUBLIN GALLERY. Pádraic E. Moore: We first met in 2006, at which point you already had an established design practice. Can you can give some insights into what made you want to open a gallery? Oonagh Young: I’d always been drawn to visual art and studied visual communication before setting up a graphic design studio. I had to consider expanding during the ‘boom’, but realised I would become a manager, which made me question the direction I was taking. Working as a designer with several arts organisations at the time, gave me insights into how these organisations operated

2018 06 November/December

The Long Note

SARA GREAVU INTERVIEWS HELEN CAMMOCK ABOUT HER NEW FILM COMMISSION FOR VOID GALLERY, DERRY. This year marks the 50th anniversary of a key civil rights march in Derry that took place on 5 October 1968, calling for the right to vote and an end to gerrymandering and discrimination in housing. This march, and its suppression by the state, is often cited as the galvanising moment of the civil rights movement, and as the starting point of the political conflict that dominated the next 30 years. In the days and weeks before the 50th anniversary, a range of events were organised by a wide spectrum of political groups and by a

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