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‘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.

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,

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

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

Critical Exposure

JOANNE LAWS PROVIDES SOME PRACTICAL ADVICE ON HOW TO GET YOUR WORK CRITIQUED AND WRITTEN ABOUT. As Features Editor of VAN, one of the most common requests I receive from artists is: “Can you review my exhibition?” Often these pitches arrive at short-notice and contain sparse information about the exhibition in question. All VAN writing proposals are discussed during bi-monthly editorial meetings and only five exhibitions are reviewed in the Critique section of each issue. We try to cover a range of media, venues and geographical regions, as well as giving coverage to artists at different career stages. Artists, curators and gallery directors are advised to submit details at least

What Passes Between Us

Sirius Arts Centre, 3 September – 15 October 2017 Pádraig Spillane’s exhibition of new work, ‘What Passes Between Us’, is presented across two galleries at Sirius Arts Centre. Four upright, mild-steel, modular frames, approximately adult height, stand in the centre of the floor in each space. A single sheet of clear PVC is cast across the top of one of the frames, while several wall-mounted digital prints complete the presentation. Two specially-commissioned electronic and vocal sound pieces – composed by Simon O’Connor and sung by Michelle O’Rourke – are transmitted into the galleries from speakers situated on the floor. The minimalist presentation suits these light-filled spaces. In the centre gallery,