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Earlier this month I had the privilege to collaborate with Fregoli Theatre Company on their latest work, The Heart Project. I was invited to join their Creative Team in 2018 to design a set and the show branding, and I unexpectedly wrote a short piece which was performed exquisitely by Óisín Robbins. The play was Directed by Maria Tivnan and Co-Directed Eimear Finan, and performed by the super talented cast of, Eilísh McCarthy, Kate Murray, Óisín Robbins and Jarlath Tivnan. Music and Sound Design written by Composer Mark Daniel Kerry.

L- R: Kate Murray, Eilísh McCarthy, Jarlath Tivnan, Óisín Robbins.
Photo: Emilija Jefremova
The Fregoli Heart Project, pre-show warm up with cast.
Photo: Emilija Jefremova

The set design for this show is still in development, and as the show ripens again over the coming months, we hope that the other elements will also evolve, mold, shape and restructure. Life imitates!

The process of making the set and the overall collaboration for this particular show was a new way of working for me-combining many elements. Gleaning from collected and shared accounts by anonymous writers, we examined love and life in our initial writing days. We discussed relationships-family, friendships, partnerships, romance, community, home, culture, work, first loves, break ups, sex, food, sounds smells, music, dance, illness, addictions, births, deaths the list goes on…catharsis. In piecing together narratives, we deliberated upon these accounts, these relationships- the ones that had moments (or longer in some cases!) of pain and confusion, and often with no answers; followed by mere glimpses of insight, clarity and enlightenment and how all of these can be read as mathematical equations; and as alchemy. They evolve and change into something that is beyond our own comprehension, into something we could not have foreseen. We witness the dark, and the light. We witness the maths of it all. The alchemy. The magic.

The show made its debut for the Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Nun’s Island Theatre, Galway on 8th April 2019. So much energy bursting and spilling from the seams in this show. One could not possibly ask for more.

The Heart Project aims to spread the love around national venues for 2019 and beyond, keep an eye out for updates via Fregoli Theatre here.

Full cast with dancers from The Eglington, Galway and performers from the Bohermore Teen Drama Group.
Photo: Emilija Jefremova

The Fregoli Heart Project; stage design

About the Fregoli Heart Project:

In an era of borders, marginalization, and mass attempts to inspire hate and difference, Fregoli wishes to return to what is quintessential to life; love. Love which can be deceptively simple or complex, in all its forms.

Launched on October 11th 2018 Fregoli put out an open call and received an abundance of beautiful submissions from people of varying ages, backgrounds and abilities all-encircling Love. The creative team worked as an ensemble taking these submissions and molding them into a theatre production bursting with love and light. We want to spread this love filling our audience with warmth and heart, leaving them uplifted .

The creative team included visual artist, Aisling Conroy, a composer, Mark Daniel Kerry and the cast were also joined by dancers from The Eglington, Galway and performers from the Bohermore Teen Drama Group.

DIRECTOR: Maria Tivnan; CO-DIRECTOR: Eimear Finan
CAST: Eilish McCarthy, Kate Murray, Oisin Robbins and Jarlath Tivnan
COMPOSER: Mark Daniel Kerry VISUAL ARTIST: Aisling Conroy





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Recently I had the honour of coordinating with an amazing and dedicated team on Animation Ireland’s 2019 Irish Animation Awards, and so it was a real treat to also see my design used throughout the new branding for 2019 The Irish Animation Awards.

Based on magical surroundings of Dingle and Kerry, the three suns represent the third year of Animation Ireland’s awards with swallows (AA for “Animation Awards”) returning back to Ireland this time of year, bringing the animation awards and accolades back home.
The wave pattern used to represent the Atlantic ocean on which Dingle and Kerry reside, is a Japanese motif-a homage to Jimmy Murakami and the Murakami award, which was won by Nora Twomey (Cartoon Saloon) on Saturday nights ceremony!

What a super evening with so many outstanding people, carrying gorgeous energy and personality with them within the industry and wherever they go.

Big big congrats to all the nominees and winners- some extreme talent there and forces to be reckoned with! Bualadh bos mór to the Irish Animation industry!

This was Animation Ireland’s third awards ceremony to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding creative talent we have within the Irish Animation, VFX and gaming industries. The awards took place at the Dingle Skelligs Hotel on Saturday the 23rd of March 2019.

Home to the Dingle Film Festival and Animation Dingle for the last 7 years, Dingle provided Animation Ireland with the perfect backdrop for the Irish Animation Awards. Delighted to be back in the magical surroundings of Dingle and honoured to be associated with what has become an internationally renowned event!

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Yellow heralds the floating World, I & II (2018);acrylic and nylon thread on board.

‘Somewhere between perception and reality’ is an exploration of the world of appearances, of surface scratching and the way we have to read between the lines -or images and layers- to get to the core of things.

Sometimes we have to look within to understand what’s without, but are we really looking? In the current climate of fake news, half-truths, rushed verdicts and online knee-jerk reactions, maybe art can help us navigate the tortuous roads of reality by asking us to look again and again, to consider how others perceive our world. Then we might see theirs or at least find common ground…

In my latest work, Yellow heralds the floating world I & II responds to the rise of ‘yellow journalism’ (unscrupulous news reporting) which has become the malady of modern society. This series references the traditional Japanese ukiyo-e, also know as The Floating World or ‘sad troublesome world’- a wood block printing method from the 1600’s Japan which often depicted the more “unsavory” ego driven aspects of humanity. The tablet form of the paintings with yellow web structures and thin nylon threads could be interpreted as the early day tabloid, and referencing the intrusion of the interconnecting web of social media in our lives. 

The Olivier Cornet Gallery presents this group show entitled ‘Somewhere between perception and reality’. A ‘lighter’ version of the exhibition was first presented at VUE, Ireland’s National Contemporary Art Fair (Royal Hibernian Academy, 1-4 Nov 2018). The official opening of this exhibition will be on Sun, 9th of Dec 2018, 3pm, at the Olivier Cornet Gallery, 3 Great Denmark Street, Dublin 1

The show features work by the following gallery artists:

HUGH CUMMINS, JOHN FITZSIMONS, JORDI FORNIES, CONRAD FRANKEL, CLAIRE HALPIN (shortlisted for the Savills Prize), EOIN MAC LOCHLAINN, MIRIAM MCCONNON, YANNY PETTERS, KELLY RATCHFORD and FREDA RUPP.
Alongside the OCG’s Associate Gallery Artists- AISLING CONROY, DAVID FOX, PAUL JAMES KEARNEY, SHEILA NAUGHTON and VICKY SMITH.

This exhibition runs from 9th Dec 2018 – 17th Feb 2019.

The gallery will be closed from Sun, 23rd Dec 2018 – Fri, 4th Jan 2019 and will resume on Sat, 5th Jan 2019.

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“Love each other or perish”– W.H Auden.

I was extremely excited and honored to be asked to collaborate on The Fregoli Heart Project with the phenomenally talented team of performers at Fregoli Theatre Company,Director Maria Tivnan and Composer Mark Daniel Kerry. The topic for discussion? my favorite subject, and I’m sure it’s a favorite of many- love.

The project was launched October 11th at a fund-raising gig in the Róisín Dubh,Galway with singer-songwriters Tracy Bruen, Steven Sharpe, and Dylan Murphy, along with Barry Staunton and Priscilla Winters. The poster design/illustration being the first phase of my involvement in the project.

The Fregoli Heart Project wants to provide respite to the ongoing adversity and treacherous news stories that are churned out via the media and affect our lives in negative ways.  As the launch poster suggests, Fregoli are looking to evoke the stories, memories, words, images from people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities and to represent these through an explosion and release of love, light, intensity and colour, and to ultimately… spread the love.

See below for more details on the project and how to get involved.

Fregoli wants to spread the love and perform experiences of love in all its forms gathered from the public through an open call. Our creative team including a visual artist, performers, and a composer will work together to develop and present these stories interactively through art, music and theatre.

In an era of borders, marginalization, and mass attempts to inspire hate and difference, Fregoli wishes to return to what is quintessential to life; love. Love which can be deceptively simple or complex, in all its forms; love for humanity, family, friends, nature, occupation and of course romantic love. In an effort to celebrate love, collectivity and solidarity we will appeal to the public in an open call for stories/memories/images of love, which will open Oct 11th and run until Jan 6th 2019.

Open Call from Oct 12th to Jan 6thApplication form available here

Submissions must be accompanied by this form, once completed.

The form may then be emailed to fregoliheartproject@gmail.com with your submission or sent by post to,

Fregoli Heart Project

C/O Des Kenny,

Kennys Bookshop and Art Galleries,

Liosbaun Retail Park,

Tuam Road,

Galway.

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In very good company in this Summer edition (June – August) of the Irish Arts Review magazine. Thrilled to see one of my works ‘The Wisdom of the Heart V (below) published alongside notable artists Damien Flood, Stephen Johnston, David Eager Maher, Bennie Reilly, Leah Hewson Seele, Tom McLean and Holly Walsh.

Presenting “the work of 8 artists under the age of 40 who independently and boldly explore the imaginative possibilities of paint.” To learn more about these artists, IAR invite their readers to nominate their favourite artist online here: VOTE here

p.101 : Aisling Conroy, The Wisdom of the Heart V (2018), acrylic and nylon thread on wood, 60 x 60cm.

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Proud and honored to be asked to feature one of my paintings called ‘Iconics II’ on the front cover of the current edition of the Poetry Ireland Review. This current edition also features work by fellow gallery Artists from the Olivier Cornet Gallery. 

Poetry Ireland Review 124, edited by Eavan Boland; contains new poems from Paula Meehan, Ciarán O’Rourke, Lizzy Nichols, Mark Ward, Gabriel Rosenstock, Özgecan Kesici, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and many other compelling voices. Also included is Eilean Ni Chuilleanáin’s remembrance of her Cork childhood, excerpted from The Vibrant House: Irish Writing and Domestic Space, a book of essays reviewed in issue 124 by Caitríona O’Reilly. Other books considered in this issue include collections from Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Mark Granier, Tara Bergin, The Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets, and the Collected Poems of the late Dennis O’Driscoll, and there’s also a short interview with Thomas Kinsella along with an essay on Kinsella as poet and civil servant. Another Kinsella is this issue’s Featured Poet, Alice Kinsella, and all artwork for the issue is supplied by artists associated with the Olivier Cornet Gallery on Great Denmark Street, around the corner from Poetry Ireland.

Available now to purchase online or in all good bookstores.

Visit Poetry Ireland/ Éigse Eireann for more info

COVER IMAGE: Iconics ii, acrylic and enamel on wood by Aisling Conroy

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HAUS, 2018; acrylic, corrugated cardboard on wood. Aisling Conroy

Delighted to announce the upcoming Syrias Vibes Art Auction launching Thursday 8th March 2018, with the aim of raising funds to support displaced families in Syria and Iraq.

Along with The SCOOP Foundation, they are bringing together over 70 contemporary artworks to auction in Dublin’s city centre. The exhibition launches Thursday the 8th of March in Bagots Hutton on Ormond Quay, with art, wine and canapés from one of Dublin’s top chefs, and the Artists involved talking about their work.

These original works will be sold at live auction in Bagots Hutton on Sunday 25th March with monies raised providing direct support to victims of the ongoing war in Syria. For all information on the auction, including online/telephone bidding, head on over to www.syriasvibes.com.

LAUNCH: Thursday 8th March, 6-9pm
EXHIBITION: 9th – 24th March (closed Mondays)
AUCTION DAY: Sunday 25th March, 2pm SHARP


List of contributing Artists (in alphabetical order):

Adrian+Shane, Ruthie Ashenhurst, Daniela Astone, Margo Banks, Aideen Barry, Kate Beagan, Tag Beckett, Conor Bereen, Sahoko Blake, Dermot Brennan, Poncho Byrne, Eamon Colman, Aisling Conroy, Jo Cummins, Hazel Coonagh.

Mary De Blacam, DECOY, Louise Donnelly, Denise Downey, Lucy Doyle, DUDA, James Earley, El VIZ, Fares Fares, Adrienne M. Finnerty, Jim Fitzpatrick, Martina Furlong, Katarzyna Gajewska, Tim Goulding, Joby Hickey, Jackie Hudson-Lalor, Jesse Jones, Molly Judd, Mo Kelly, James Kirwan, Steven Mannion-Farrell, MASER, Barry McAdam, Eoin McCormack, Paula McGurdy, Nick Miller, Robert Mirolo, Esther Moliné, Yvette Monahan, Richard Mosse, Patricia Murphy.

Áine Ní Chíobháin, Isabel Nolan, John Nolan, Seamus Nolan, Olivia O’Carra, Niamh O’Connor, Steve O’Connor, Shane O’Driscoll, Cormac O’Leary, Geraldine O’Reilly, Laurence O’Toole, Erin Quinn, Juliana Scodeler, Carole Shubotham, Vauney Strahan, Shane Sutton, Dominic Turner, Carol Ann Waldron, Joe Warrior Walker, Patrick Walshe, Sinéad Wood, Úna Woods.

Check out the Syrias Vibes event page here.

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From the Deluge, 2017; acrylic & nylon thread on canvas.

WHAT on EARTH has ART got to DO with CLIMATE CHANGE?‘ is a panel discussion in the context of ‘2° C’, a group show on climate change curated and hosted by the Olivier Cornet Gallery on Wednesday, 7th March 2018 @6:30pm (discussion will start at 7 pm sharp).
The panel will include, Paul Leech (GAIA ecotecture, moderator); Paddy Woodworth (author, journalist, lecturer and cultural/environmental tour guide); Hugh Cummins, artist; Yanny Petters, artist; Olivier Cornet, curator.
This event is free and all are welcome.

Venue: Olivier Cornet Gallery
3 Great Denmark Street (off Parnell Square)
Dublin 1

More more info visit:
http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/#/exhibitions-vue-art-fair-2017/4593936287

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‘2° C’ is an artists’ response to climate change, curated by Olivier Cornet with the support of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Ireland.

First Presented at VUE Contemporary Art Fair (RHA Dublin) in early November 2017, the show runs at the Olivier Cornet Gallery from 17th December 2017 to 15th February 2018. The exhibition at the gallery will feature more work than in its initial presentation at VUE.

ArtistsANNIKA BERGLUND, HUGH CUMMINS, JOHN FITZSIMONS, JORDI FORNIES, CLAIRE HALPIN, EOIN MAC LOCHLAINN, MIRIAM MCCONNON, YANNY PETTERS, KELLY RATCHFORD, FREDA RUPP, AISLING CONROY, DAVID FOX, PAUL JAMES KEARNEY, SHEILA NAUGHTON, and VICKY SMITH.

Official opening: Sunday, 17th December, 3pm, Olivier Cornet Gallery, 3 Great Denmark Street, Dublin 1

Guest Speaker:Dr Jonathan Derham BSc, PhD, MA(Mgt), Programme Manager, Evidence & Assessment Programme, Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA), Ireland.

Click here to see an online catalogue of the work.

When first presented at VUE 2017, Ireland’s National Contemporary Art Fair, which took place at the RHA Gallery, Dublin 2 from November 2 to November 5 2017, the exhibition received a lot of attention from the numerous visitors to the fair.

If you were not able to attend the fair, do not miss this second edition of ‘2° C’ which includes more works and which will be complemented by workshops and seminars in collaboration with the artists and the EPA at the gallery in Januray and February 2018.

“Olivier Cornet has a knack for curating good thematic shows, allowing artists to affiliate their work to a subject – in this case climate change – without distorting their customary practices. Here he elicits thoughtful, nuanced responses from a number of fine artists including Jordi Fornies, Claire Halpin, Eoin Mac Lochlainn, Yanny Petters, Freda Rupp, Aisling Conroy, Vicky Smith and more.”

-Aidan Dunne, ‘The Take, Critic’s Choice’, The Irish Times Ticket, Saturday, 16th December 2017. Also published online in ‘The Best Exhibitions This week‘ on 15th December 2017. Thanking Aidan Dunne and The Irish Times for this great review.

 

Featured image: Other World (The Only Thing to Sphere is Sphere Itself), 2017; acrylic and nylon thread on wood.

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For Vue 2017, Ireland’s National Contemporary Art Fair at the RHA Dublin, The Olivier Cornet Gallery and their artists will be presenting ‘2° C’, a group show on the theme of climate change, supported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Artists: ANNIKA BERGLUND, HUGH CUMMINS, JOHN FITZSIMONS, JORDI FORNIES, CLAIRE HALPIN, EOIN MAC LOCHLAINN, MIRIAM MCCONNON, YANNY PETTERS, KELLY RATCHFORD, FREDA RUPP.

The exhibition will also feature works by Olivier’s Associate Gallery Artists (AGA) namely, AISLING CONROY, DAVID FOX, PAUL JAMES KEARNEY, SHEILA NAUGHTON, and VICKY SMITH.

Opening days/hours at VUE:

Thursday 2nd November 6 pm – 8pm

Friday 3rd November 11 am – 8 pm

Saturday 4th November 11 am – 7 pm

Sunday 5th November 12 pm – 6 pm

This show will then be presented at the Olivier Cornet Gallery from the 16th of December to the 15th of February 2018. Workshops and seminars in collaboration with the artists and the EPA will take place at the gallery.

Testament, 2017; acrylic and nylon thread on board. Will be exhibited at VUE, RHA and at the OCG for the exhibition ‘2° C’