Exhibitions 2024

Ita Freeney: Water’s Edge

8th February – 3rd March 2024

Rain Coming In, Oil on Linen, 56 x 76cm

Water’s Edge: Ita Freeney

This exhibition builds on a series of paintings – Water’s Edge that the artist has been working on over the last 3-4 years. Mood, form and light are the main concerns of the artist in these works. These paintings play with abstraction and representation – finding and emphasising abstract forms in the landscape, while also observing nuances of colour and tone to evoke mood/atmosphere. The artist’s focus lies with horizontals, distance, direction, and echoes.

The boundaries between land and sea – headlands, piers, slipways and approaches to the water are explored. The lightness, airiness and openness of sea and sky is emphasised by the contrast with the land/ built environment. Familiarity and building relationships with the places that inspire, has become a very important element in the work. Many return visits to inspirations in Mayo (with thanks to the Ballinglen Arts Foundation) and  closer to home -East Cork into Waterford, result in getting absorbed in the places, observing them from different vantage points and in different lights.

Uri Blayer: Experiences in the Irish Landscape

8th February – 3rd March 2024

Irish Coast, 35 x 47.7cm

Irish Coast: Uri Blayer

I have been painting landscapes ever since I remember.  My professional adventure began in the Negev Desert where I worked and lived for several years.  After studying art in NY under the guidance of late Prof Lennart Anderson I moved to Hawaii in order to challenge myself with its unique landforms and seascapes. Since then I have travelled extensively to remote locations in search of inspiration and new experiences in painting.  Each location means a fresh look at things. I paint from observation only, and must face the elements over a long period of time until I feel something from the essence of the place, then I translate it into visual language.

I always start and finish a painting outdoors, even if it means carrying a large canvas along with my supplies, easel and palette, to a remote location day after day, sometimes week after week, returning to the same site at the same time of day until the painting is done. To me, the act of painting in awe of nature means being in tune with subtle changes and is essential for achieving another aspect, or quality in a landscape. Most of the works in the show were done over the past three years, some were painted in County Waterford where I reside, while others in the remote Island of Inishmore where I had spent the last summer camping and painting.  Uri Blayer is an Israelian born artist, who now resides in Co. Waterford

Angela Gilmour: Terra Nuillius

11th January – 5th February 2024

80° North, into the pack ice, oil on birch, 86x77cm.

Terra Nullius: Angela Gilmour

Angela Gilmour’s artistic practice highlights the urgency of climate change, land consumption, sustainability and the political and environmental impact of land and sea borders. Primarily a painter, Gilmour’s work also includes drawing, print, photography and installation.
Through a blend of site-specific investigation and scientific research, Gilmour (trained as a physicist) creates paintings, drawings, large-scale photography and etchings to document the sublime beauty created by the entropic forces of weathering on landscapes. Her installations weave scientific equipment and objects of geological importance with detailed botanical drawings, and screen-printed technical diagrams and research data.
Gilmour’s current research investigates the history of Svalbard, in the High Arctic. This Arctic archipelago of nine main islands has often been referred to as Terra Nullius, a term applied by international law to describe an inhabited landmass that is not owned by a single country. Svalbard, a land of extraordinary beauty and fragility, lies at the nexus of politics, science, and Earth’s most extreme climatic changes. Located a mere 10 degrees latitude from the North Pole, it is one of the planet’s most remote locations.
Gilmour’s recent work chronicles the historical importance of Svalbard, with its beginnings in the Devonian age, some 280 million years ago. It was during the Devonian that Earth’s first forests formed, and subsequently, those forests carbonized and became fossil fuels millions of years later. In the 16th century, European explorers landed on Svalbard and the unique Svalbard treaty granted sovereignty to Norway in 1920. Climate change is hastening glacial melting in Svalbard, and the archipelago is in the midst of complex and perilous political and environmental challenges that will impact the archipelago into the future.
Using Svalbard as a focus, Gilmour’s work explores narratives that question our ability to balance progress with the preservation of the environment.

Carrowbeg Artist Group: So Nice Day

11th January – 5th February 2024

Image: photo Christine Prescott

Participating artists;  Ellen Cafferkey,  Una Kearns, Trish Kelly, Anna Rose Lowry, Gerry O’Malley, Sarah Kelly and Máire Maguire.

Artist Christine Prescott worked with the Carrowbeg Artists Group, a group of artists with intellectual disability who have been creating for 13 years under the guidance of Caroline Masterson, Breda Burns and Grainne O’Reilly, at Custom House Studios. Christine engaged with the group creating art within nature. 

This collaboration was over 12 weeks September-November 2023. The artist and participants worked together using a combination of Eco-Art and Forest Bathing methods, engaging in a highly sensory and process orientated practice. Christine introduced the group to the possibility of materials and processes found in nature. 

Beginning with a nature immersion activity designed to open sensory awareness to their surroundings. The artists had  opportunity to express their personal aesthetic by exploring ways they can use the nature around them to perform actions to make patterns, prints, sounds or sculptural forms. 

Participants used themes of colour, touch, pattern & shape.  Creating movement; sound; visual contrast; smell; mood; ambience; orientation; gravity and balance.

This project was supported by MSLETB and Mayo County Council Arts office  Upstart Programme.

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