Previous Exhibitions

Latitudes

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Tom Climent

Latitudes

19 January - 28 February

Based in Cork, Tom’s work over the last twenty years or so has varied from paintings of figurative, urban and landscape subjects. His most recent work tends to focus on the creation of a structured space, while investigating the boundaries between abstraction and representation. It suggests a narrative but never actually reveals what that might be.

www.tomcliment.com

Opening Reception on Friday, 19 January, 7pm*

*Followed at 8pm by the first in a new series of informal Jazz Music gigs in the Gallery & Bar. See event listings for details. 

Michael Boran and Stephan Loughman

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Dunamaise Arts Centre and Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin present an exhibition of recent work by Stephan Loughman and Michael Boran from 12 October to 11 November

Michael Boran and Stephan Loughman are two artists of the same generation with family ties to Co. Laois. Within each of their practices they investigate the changing dynamic between our perception of the natural landscape and the ever expanding built environment.

In his photographs Boran pictures towers, pylons, masts, plant stalks and monuments from a Piranesian vantage point that places the viewer far below the pictorial object. The desire to ascend is a prevalent motif in this recent body of work in which Boran represents the urge or instinct to reach upward, to peak, to seek out the most prominent positions. Often blurring the line between natural and manmade, Boran poses visual similarities in patterns formed by vines and power lines as they tangle and drape. We are also presented with the idea of pairing and of duality. Through the imagery, which often simulates the visual codes and studio finesse of stock photography, we are invited to consider the idea of doubles and dichotomies, of objects growing into one another.

Loughman’s recent paintings have taken vintage postcards issued by the Women’s Institute in Britain as their source material and subject matter. The use of these postcards, which the artist bought in bulk at online auctions, represents a departure from his previous method of painting from film stills and yet the work retains a filmic quality. Images of the English countryside appear lushly detailed though curiously deadpan and while the source material documents picturesque landscapes, their corresponding paintings appear densely ominous, as plotted points within a broader narrative. Through time spent with Loughman’s paintings, it begins to emerge that a history has been obfuscated or perhaps veneered. These seemingly idyllic images appear constricted – imbued with a sense of unease or discomfort. The implication of such a device attests to Loughman’s ability to modify or drastically alter the mood or tone of an image through the medium of paint.

In viewing these works by Boran and Loughman side by side we are presented with divergent forms of media that approach similar subject matter. Loughman’s paintings feature tunnels, bridges and arches amidst verdant foliage, referencing architectural intervention in the landscape. Boran’s photographs span the undergrowth of the garden to the heights of telegraph poles. As the works relate to one another, we can observe a multitude of connections and affinities. Throughout the exhibition, both artists consider the softening boundaries between rural and urban.

Exhibition runs from 12 October to 11 November

www.kevinkavanaghgallery.ie

Stephan Loughman Bio

Michael Boran Bio


Bennie Reilly

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Small Pieces of Precarious Life

Bennie Reilly

1 Sept – 8 Oct 2017

“He had never comprehended the endless variations of design: Why this lattice ornament? Why these fluted scales, these lumpy nodes? Ignorance was, in the end, and in so many ways, a privilege: to find a shell, to feel it, to understand only on some unspeakable level why it bothered to be so lovely. What a joy he found in that utter mystery” – from The Shell Collector by Anthony Doerr

Bennie Reilly presents an exhibition of oil painting and sculptural bricolage. The work employs a broadly museological framework, but rather than the rigid system of categorisation found in contemporary institutions, it is influenced by the exotic, esoteric form of a ‘cabinet of curiosity’, where mystic and scientific properties are at parity. For Reilly, the acts of walking, observing and discovering objects are the habitual preludes to the creation of her sculptural forms, one that depends on inquisitiveness as an inherent facet of creation. Through the cacophony of shapes and tones, the artist guides the detritus into orbits and the noise of the collection begins to harmonise, even if it is at times atonal. The constituent articles—worn, faded, cracked, expired as they are—have an alluring mystery and Reilly describes her attraction to these as a kind-of romance. Their original beauty was reliant on the holistic intention of their creator. When this spell is broken, they are discarded. A collector recognises value where it lies and plucks it from obscurity. But here we also have the alchemical hand of the artist, which first bides and eventually binds; hoarding the multifarious till a rapport is discovered.

The aforementioned sense of precariousness extends across all aspects of Reilly’s practice. Her painting interprets the artefacts and specimens upon which she bases much of her sculpture, such as fossils, minerals and exotic plants. Their existence are the results of chance, by the nature of their physical formation and the fortuity of each being discovered, preserved and displayed. Her subjectivity too is a form of precariousness, pitted as it is against the weight of scientific history.

The title is borrowed from that of Jean Dubuffet's first series of sculptures in the 1950s, Petites statues de la vie precaire (Small statues of precarious life). When displayed in a gallery, Dubuffet's sculptures—made with basic materials such as clay, papier-mache and aluminium foil—could be recognised for that which inspired them: primitive figurines and anthropological artefacts, but removed from this setting their atavistic qualities might be entirely overlooked. Treading a line between whimsy and exemplification, they questioned the presumption of monumentality in the gallery environment. Reilly’s bricolages echo Dubuffet’s, both in their physical precariousness and their conceptual origins. -Davey Moor

Small Pieces of Precarious Life is Reilly’s first solo exhibition since 2013’s Rara Avis at the Royal Hibernian Academy. She has exhibited extensively across Ireland and in Europe. Her research has taken her to museums throughout Europe and the US and to remote residencies in Iceland, Norway and in Ireland.

www.benniereilly.com

1 September - 8 October | Exhibition Reception on Culture Night: Friday 22 September

High Tide

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Hazel Egan

Due to human-generated pollution and the excessive burning of fossil fuels, the delicate balance of everyday life is disrupted as temperatures rise, ice caps melt and sea levels surge.

Egan’s practice draws on the threat of imminent change and the suspense of an uncertain future. Working with the potential and poetic qualities of everyday industrial and quotidian materials, the work in this exhibition highlights relationships and cycles that can be understood on a micro and macro level. Dualities such as light and dark, weight and fragility, tension and balance position the work between imposed control and the precarious possibilities of collapse.


Exhibition runs 25 July - 27 August

Reception on Wednesday 23 August, 7pm, as part of Heritage Week

Funded by

The Arts Council

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Dunamaise Arts Centre

Church Street Portlaoise, Co. Laois, Ireland.

Contact The Dunamaise Arts Centre

Box Office Opening Hours:
Tuesday to Friday: 10am to 5.30pm
Saturday: 10am to 1pm & 2pm to 5pm.
One hour prior to curtain on the evening of a performance.
Box office 00353 57 866 3355.

General Enquiries: info@dunamaise.ie

Our Sponsors

The Arts Council Laois County Council