Tag: Drawing

The Golden Vein


Joanne Laws: What was the rationale behind your original project proposal, particularly with reference to the ‘Golden Vein’ thematic, outlined in the commission brief?  

Áine McBride: My motivation to respond to the thematic was the potential it offered for an abstracted response. The strip of land of the Golden Vein approaches an ideal(ised) state, offering a framework for conceptual projections around broader notions of land and landscape, place and site. The perceived perfection of this area allows it to be considered … Read the rest

Critique: Eoin Mc Hugh ‘Loje, Jelo, Laso’

Kerlin Gallery, Dublin
25 October – 7 December 2019

Speaking on Luke Clancy’s ‘Culture File’ on RTÉ Radio 1,  Eoin Mc Hugh offered ‘Loje, Jelo, Laso’ (Red, Yellow, Blue) as straightforwardly phonetic, like all of the words in Toki Pona, a philosophical language invented – believe it or not – to make things easier to understand.1 McHugh’s titles have previously referenced poetry and psychoanalysis, in an oeuvre rich with allusions to both. Clearly interested in language and how it relates to our perception of art, he complicates things considerably here by choosing titles – our traditional access points – … Read the rest

‘Open Minds’

Rua Red, Tallaght
6 September – 5 October 2019

‘Open Minds’ featured over 70 artworks made in Irish prison education programmes, with the installation at Rua Red furnishing a metaphor for imprisonment. We know nothing of these artists’ lives. They were necessarily anonymous, with artworks attributed not to the artists, but to the institutions that confined them. No context concerning them was available, save for the titles they had given their work. It was rarely clear quite what was on show. Prison Staircase, a spiralling, assiduous pencil drawing from Wheatfield Prison, was typically enigmatic. But a sense of the … Read the rest

‘Social Commons’

Liberty Hall Theatre, Dublin
2 – 12 May 2019 

Francis Fay, The Knight of Mirrors, 2019, performance, 2 May; photograph by Kathryn Maguire

Presented in the congenial lobby, stairs and bar areas of Liberty Hall Theatre, ‘Social Commons’ was curated by Kathryn Maguire and Siobh McGrane for May Fest – SIPTU’s “celebration of workers’ culture”. Where the ‘commons’ denotes a shared physical resource, ‘social commons’ can mean a dispensation of peer-to-peer relationships, parallel to private and State structures, aimed at promoting a ‘general good’. The term refers not just to redistribution, but to transformative communal self-understanding. At the base … Read the rest

Anita Groener ‘The Past Is A Foreign Country’

The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon
19 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 … Read the rest

Dorothy Smith ‘Land Marks’

RHA Ashford Gallery, Dublin
15 March – 22 April 2018

I moved house recently and, in the process, became acutely aware of our perceived ownership of spaces. As I emptied one house of our family’s possessions, our hold on it began to drain. And as we began to fill the new house, our presence began forcing out the previous occupants. Before I turned the key of our old house for the last time, I was left in a space emptied of our things but was also conscious that some of our memories and traces would remain. This often-indiscernible line that … Read the rest

At the Fade

Birr Arts Centre, 16 October – 1 December 2017

I rarely turn down an offer to travel to Birr, a heritage town with multiple architectural attractions. One of these is the Oxmantown Hall (a former parish hall built in 1888), now Birr Theatre and Arts Centre. Open in its current form since 2000, the renovated building is a jewel of Irish architectural history and a modern hub of arts activity for the town and surrounding region. The building faces a row of impressive terraced Georgian houses on a street that is shouldered by the ornate St Brendan’s Church. I travelled … Read the rest

Now Came Still Evening On

John Coyle and Gary Coyle, The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon, 10 September – 12 November  

‘Now Came Still Evening On’ is a unique exhibition presenting the work of father and son John and Gary Coyle. John’s intimate paintings occupy The Dock’s light and airy Gallery One while Gary has created a vast immersive installation in the largest of The Dock’s three galleries.

John Coyle’s paintings and drawings depict scenes and people close to his studio and home. The works have a conciseness and authority clearly developed over a long career. They are reminiscent of the intimiste paintings of Vuillard and Bonnard, and … Read the rest