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In June this year I had the privilege of joining The Blind Elephant Collective, an illustration collective based in Dublin with a talented and eclectic fusion of artists and styles.  As a new member, I was delighted to be invited to take part in their retrospective show, ‘Five Years in the Trunk’ at the Bernard Shaw (see work below). So far it has been loads of fun getting stuck back into one of my favorite passions, drawing; and i’m really looking forward to working on more illustration projects with the other “Blind Elephants” over the coming months. Big congrats to the Blind Elephant Collective on their five year success! For more info visit  http://www.blindelephantcollective.com/

 

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Exotic Beast, 2015; acrylic, enamel, ink, nylon thread and Indian stamps on board (21.5cm x 21.5cm)

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In a land that mourns the recent loss of material wealth, we sometimes have to stop and look at the richness that is all around us. Richness abounds in the Midlands and often it is free for us to enjoy; no money need change hands. Standing in the dusky evening as the light fades across the Slieve Blooms, monasticism ever present, castles, grand houses, burial sites, folklore, and hidden secrets beneath your feet as you walk the bogs and “the dark mutinous Shannon waves”.[i] In such moments it is difficult not to feel the rich pull of history and ancient culture and how it juxtaposes with the now, in the Midlands. Ghost estates, emigration, modern settlers, and orbital routes. Arteries pulsating with high speed traffic through the Midlands, often whirring over hidden gems.

In collaboration with Damer House Gallery and at the invitation of Muireann Ní Chonaill, artists associated with the Midlands have responded to the theme of Saibhreas, which means richness and abundance in Irish. Ranging from photography, print, painting and sculpture to film and audio, each artist has been influenced by people, surroundings and the life of the Midlands.

As rich as Damer is an Irish phrase which refers to the prosperity of the Damer family. Very often we do not know the origins of phrases but in this instance, we do. Damer House dates from the 1720’s and is believed to have been built for John Damer soon after he bought the town of Roscrea in 1722. Damer’s uncle, Joseph Damer, originally from Dorset, settled in Ireland in the aftermath of Charles II’s restoration in 1660 and prospered as a Dublin moneylender, to the extent that he was able to purchase estates in North Tipperary. Having no children of his own, he brought over his nephew, John, both to assist him in the business and to inherit his wealth. Damer House is unusual in that it stands in the centre of a 13th century castle on which work commenced during the reign of King John.

In this celebration of artistic creativity, the richness and abundance associated with the Midlands is acknowledged. Saibhreas will travel to the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, opening on June 18th at 7:30pm

[1] The Dead, James Joyce

 

The artists: Aisling Conroy; Brendon Deacy; Brian Redmond; Caroline Conway; Cathy Carman; Eileen McDonagh; Eoin O’Conaill; Jerry Cahir; Jock Nichol; Ken Wardrop; Lisa Fingleton; Lorraine Walsh; Michael Boran; Niall Cahìr; Nick Miller; Nuala Hayes; Pat Fitzpatrick; Ray Murphy; Rita Duffy; Ruth Barry; Sharon Murphy; Simon Burch; Stephen Loughman; Vera McEvoy and Wendy Wright.

Curator: Muireann Ní Chonaill is Arts Officer in Laois County Council and Manager of the Laois Arthouse. She is a graduate of Arts Administration from UCD and has an MA in Visual Arts, specialising in Curating from IADT. She oversees the management of the Laois Arthouse in Stradbally. Last year she curated the Sitting residency by Nick Miller in the Laois Arthouse.

Thanks Laois County Council Arts Office for assistance. Special thanks to Wendy Wright for curatorial assistance in preparation of Saibhreas.

For more information contact: The Arts Office, Laois County Council, Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise, Co Laois. T: 057 8664019. E: artsoff@laoiscoco.ie. Or Damer House Gallery E: damerhousegallery@gmail.com.

 

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Radius,2015,  acrylic and nylon thread on board_ 25cm x 235cm
Radius (2015) acrylic and nylon thread on canvas; 25cm x 25cm

 

Nepal Leprosy Trust (Irl) presents,  Borders: From Kathmandu to Kerry and Beyond is an International group-touring art exhibition examining the concept of borders in Nepal, a country that is completely landlocked; in comparison with Ireland, a country surrounded by water.

Exhibition Dates:

  • Kathmandu, Nepal –1st – 9th April 2015
  • Cill Rialaig, Kerry – Sunday, 3rd May 2015
  • Laois Arthouse, Stradbally, Co Laois, Thursday 11th June 2015.

 

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Carnation (12′ x 12′)- acrylic and nylon thread on board

 

Selection Box

Group show

Dec 04th – Dec 20th 2014

The Talbot Gallery & Studios presents it’s annual Christmas Show. The show will comprise of small artworks, all within 12inch x 12inch size, being sold at the same price; 200 euro. We feel this format will offer a wonderful way for people to invest in an emergent talent, rediscover a previous favourite or to begin their own art collection. We hope this will prove a fruitful opportunity for art enthusiasts to start following and supporting artists at an affordable price, while also being able to engage with Dublin’s vibrant artistic community.

Invited Artists: Aileen Murphy, Aimee Nolan, Aisling Conroy, Alison Pilkington, Angela McDonagh, Anne Hendrick, Anne Marie Webb, Blathnaid Ni Mhurchu, Bennie Reilly, Cecilia Bullo, Cecilia Danell, Ciara O’Hara, Claire McCluskey, David Lunney, Deirdre Heyden, Dorota Borowa, Emma Hogan, Emma Roche, Felicity Clear, Fionna Murray, Gerry Davis, Helen MacMahon, Ida Mitrani, Jane Fogarty, Jennifer Cunningham, Joe Stanley, Joe Scullion, Kate Murphy, Laura Angell, Lucy Sheridan, Marie Farrington, Mary A. Fitzgerald, Miriam McConnon, Sean Guinan, Selma Makela, Steven Maybury, Steven McGovern, Stephen Morris, Sinead Kennedy and Will O’Kane

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Dunamaise Arts Centre announces the opening of its

‘Open Submission’ Exhibition

‘One artist to be awarded month-long residency in The Arthouse, Stradbally’

The Dunamaise Arts Centre, is delighted to announce the opening of the annual ‘Open Submission’ exhibition at the Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise, on Friday November 14th at 8pm.

This year’s exhibition is featuring 30 pieces of art by 26 artists, carefully selected by guest curator, Geraldine O’ Reilly of Aosdána, out of some 50 submissions entered into the competition.

One selected artist will be awarded a month-long residency in The Arthouse, Stradbally, Co. Laois, kindly sponsored by Laois Arts Office. This is an opportunity for the artist to develop their work in a professional studio setting, with full residency support. The winner of this opportunity will be announced by director of Dunamaise Arts Centre, Michelle de Forge on the night.

The Open Submission has become an exciting addition to the Dunamaise Visual Arts calendar sparking immense interest from both established and emerging artists all over Ireland and also locally from County Laois.

Geraldine O’ Reilly is a visual artist and printmaker, who has had many solo and group exhibitions throughout Ireland, America, Australia, the UK and Europe. Her work is in many private and public collections and Geraldine has been commissioned to create new work for Offaly County Council and Dublin City Council. In 2004, Geraldine was elected to Aosdana for her contribution to the arts in Ireland.

She says, “This exhibition represents a wonderful snapshot of the talent and diversity of artists that are working on their craft throughout Ireland and locally here in Laois. I have chosen a selection of work that I believe showcases the best of the talent of Irish artists and I am very excited about the exhibition and the collection of works on display for the public to enjoy.  I wish everyone that entered this competition the best for their future career as artists and we thank everyone who took part and look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.”

The artists chosen to exhibit in this year’s exhibition include: Paul Bokslag, Allan Buckett, Conor Brennan, Robert Dunne, Rebecca Deegan, Aisling Conroy, Pamela de Bri, Aidan Flnagan, Conor Flynn-O’Donnell, Eileen Ferguson, Crona Gallagher, William Hamilton, Sharon Murphy, John Lalor, Lia Laimbock, Rosemarie Langtry, Paul McCormaic, Eoin Mac Lochlainn, Bernadette Madden, Sue O’ Brien, Patricia Pachova, Margaret Ray, Zita Reihill, Paul Roy, Sarah Ryan and Andrea Woodgate.

The 30 works chosen for exhibition will be of mixed media and sizes. The exhibition will run until December 19th, 2014.  Entry is free and all members of the public are invited to visit the gallery throughout the month to enjoy this diverse exhibition.

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VUE, Ireland’s National Contemporary Art Fair takes place again this autumn at the RHA and this year for the first the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s annual PORTFOLIO exhibition will coincide with VUE, making this a weekend at the RHA not to be missed! Galleries participating in VUE will include Taylor Galleries, Peppercanister Gallery, Jorgensen Fine Art, Fenderesky Gallery, Oliver Sears Gallery, Graphic Studio Gallery, Hilsboro Fine Art, SO Fine Art, Molesworth Gallery, Stoney Road Press, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Green on Red, Eight Art Gallery, Cross Gallery, Solomon Fine Art, Catherine Hammond Gallery, James Wray Gallery, Olivier Cornet Gallery, Claremorris Art Gallery and Irish Arts Review

Showcasing the best of contemporary Irish craft from world-class makers with international reputations, PORTFOLIO will feature unique and innovative objects across a variety of disciplines including: furniture, ceramics, jewellery, glass, metals, paper, textiles, calligraphy, woodwork and basketry.

 

OPENING HOURS:

Thursday, 30 Oct: Private view, 6 – 8pm

Friday, 31 Oct: 11am – 8pm

Saturday, 1 Nov: 11am – 7pm

Sunday, 2 Nov: 12pm – 6pm

 

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Chromatic IV 2013
Chromatic (iv) 2013, Aisling Conroy

 

Royal Ulster Academy 133rd Annual Exhibition

17 October 2014 – 4 January 2015

Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, Belfast, BT9 5AB

Founded in 1879, the Royal Ulster Academy is the largest and longest established body of practicing visual artists in Northern Ireland. One of the founding principles of the Academy was to hold an annual exhibition of work by both members and non–members of merit. Now in its 133rd year, this event remains one of the highlights of the Northern Ireland arts calendar attracting over 70,000 visitors in 2013. Over 300 works by some of Ireland’s best known and up–and–coming artists will be on display at this year’s exhibition – a mix of painting, sculpture, ceramics, glass, photography and film.
Exhibiting artists include: Cristina Bunello, Simon Burch, Tom Climent, Aisling Conroy, David Crone RUA, Róisín de Buitlear, Paul Gaffney, Carol Graham RUA, Angela Halliday ARUA, Brendan Jamison ARUA, Oliver Jeffers, Sharon Kelly RUA, Frances Lambe, Elizabeth Magill ARUA, Niall McCormack, Simon McWilliams RUA, Hamish Moyle, Hughie O Donoghue, Nuala O Donovan, Belen Paton, Kathy Prendergast, Eddie Rafferty ARUA, Paul Seawright RUA, Dermot Seymour ARUA, Neil Shawcross RUA, Mark Shields RUA and Amelia Stein Many of the works on display will be for sale so if you are looking to buy a piece of art this is the perfect opportunity. There is a wide variety of price points to suit most budgets. With the support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Academy is delighted to present a comprehensive events programme aimed at schools, families, art enthusiasts and the wider general public. These events, which will run throughout the exhibition, include guided exhibition tours, in conversation sessions and workshops for young and old. Admission to the exhibition and participation in all educational activities is free of charge.

Dates and Opening Hours:

Friday 17th October 2014 – Sunday 4th January 2015 Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, Belfast, BT9 5AB Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm (last admission 4.30pm)   The 133rd Annual Exhibition is generously sponsored by KPMG, the leading Accounting and Professional Advisory Firm.

http://www.royalulsteracademy.org/annual-exhibition

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Sol Art held its second major summer exhibition, ‘Revitalize’ opening on the 20th of August. The exhibition includes all the galleries favourites such as Liam O’Neill, Jimmy Lawlor, Kenneth Webb and Kevin McAleenan along with three exciting new artists to the gallery, Aisling Conroy, Amanda Shirlow and Myra Jago. There was a great attendance on the opening night which included artist talks by Myra Jago and Aisling Conroy. The exhibition continues until 6th September.

http://www.solart.ie/

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Earlier this year I was awarded a bursary from Laois Arts Office for a residency at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre in July. I had another amazingly fruitful and magical time there working on a new series of paintings. Thank you to all the staff there for being so helpful and to Laois Arts Office for supporting me!

 

TGC 1 (17) TGC 1 (7) TGC 1 (14) TGC 1 (15) TGC 1 (13) TGC15 TGC 1 (8) TGC 1 (10)

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Genial Librarian Who Transformed Holdings at NCAD

Edward Murphy: March 27th, 1948 – May 17th, 2014

Eddie Murphy (left), with Ciaran Benson. Photograph: Matt KavanaghEddie Murphy (left), with Ciaran Benson. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh 

                                                                                                                 

Edward Murphy, who has died aged 66, was librarian at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) until he retired last year. During his 35-year tenure he transformed the library, essentially developing it from scratch.An open, irreverent person with a mellifluous voice and a mischievous sense of humour, he was distinctly unofficious and easygoing, and his personality coloured the library he created. In recognition of this, it is now called the Edward Murphy Library.Edward, universally known as Eddie, was born in Dublin to Edward and Kathleen (née Ryan) Murphy. The family lived in Terenure. He attended Gonzaga College and then UCD. His father was a neurologist and he too initially studied medicine although he soon realised that it wasn’t for him. After a European tour in the late 1960s which seemed to take in “every museum in France, Belgium and the Netherlands”, he returned to Dublin, dropped his medical studies and switched to art history.After graduating, he spent two years in Italy, then won a studentship at the National Gallery of Ireland and studied librarianship at UCD.

The lack of a proper library in the National College of Art and Design was keenly felt and, from 1972, actively addressed by the board. After a series of stopgap arrangements Murphy was eventually appointed librarian in 1978. When he took up his post the stock numbered about 600 books. Now there are something in the region of 100,000, but Murphy’s achievement was much more profound than their acquisition. Thomas Street He mapped out the library’s future development, which really began with the 1981 move to immeasurably better, bigger quarters on Thomas Street. There, under his direction, it became a valuable, living resource attuned to the evolving needs of both staff and students, making available hundreds of journals and periodicals, along with moving image material in the Visual Resources Centre.

At Murphy’s urging, in 1997 NCAD, together with the Arts Council, established the National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) a resource archive of material relating to 20th century and contemporary Irish art.

It is a public facility, open to anyone involved in researching any aspect of Irish art. It sprang from Murphy’s recognition that a great deal of material, much of it ephemeral, had no appropriate home and was disappearing. There was no shortage of such documentation, from flimsy exhibition price lists and catalogues to newspaper reviews and personal archives, but no institution was systematically preserving it.

Once the organisation was in place and the doors were open, material poured in, apart altogether from that directly acquired. Dorothy Walker’s personal archive resides there, as will Patrick Scott’s. Robert Ballagh has pledged his papers, and so has art historian Brian Kennedy. The RHA awarded Murphy a gold medal for his work on both NIVAL and the NCAD library in 2013. Although he retired as librarian that year, he continued to work for NIVAL out of a sense of personal commitment.

He is survived by his mother, Kathleen, and his sister, Ruth. He was predeceased by his wife, Patricia Casey, who died earlier this year, and by his brother Denis.

 

The Irish Times,Sat, Jun 21, 2014,

http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/genial-librarian-who-transformed-holdings-at-ncad-1.1841237