The Exhibitionist | 8 | Je Suis Charlie


Sad news in visual, and indeed in general this week with the terrible events in Paris where four of the leading cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo were killed in a terrorist attack on their offices. Fellow cartoonists from around the world were quick to respond with various tributes to the dead and calls for peace. The journalists at Charlie Hebdo are already back at work and the coming issue’s cover sums up their feelings, the prophet Mohammed holding a sign the says ‘Je suis Charlie’ and above, the words ‘All is Forgiven’.


On the home front, I’m really interested to see the new show at Kevin Kavanagh Gallery by artist Richard Proffitt who is showing installation work influenced by Hinduism and mysticism. Also Mark Garry’s new work in the RHA is worth a look.


Shows opening around the country this week:


Mark Clare at The Model

I Believe In You
24 January – 22 March | Opening: 24 January at 5pm | Opening Night Talk: 6 – 7pm
The Model, The Mall, Sligo

Public Artist’s Talk and Tour: Wed 11 Feb 3pm

The Model is thrilled to present a major solo exhibition of Dublin-based artist Mark Clare. The exhibition, I Believe in You, offers new insights into the work of Clare, who, in his role as a creative public agent, seeks to engage with and highlight unresolved incongruities within our societies, placing scrutiny on the combative issues of globalisation, individualism and public space.

The exhibition takes its title from one of three key works created specifically for the exhibition. The large-scale installation I Believe in You is designed to follow the vastness of an exhibition space which will float (and de-inflate) in The Model’s atrium. The work explores the idea of society’s disaffection with political engagement and our complex relationship with public institutions.

“What has always interested me about Clare and his work has been his role as a type of social voyeur, a creative agitator, and one who engages with ideas about the contemporary. What underscores Clare’s work is the idea of an individual’s role within the contemporary world—from physical interventions and relationships to socio-political subversions of concepts and issues like the environment, the economy, and the housing crisis. Acting as a type of dissident, Clare intentionally subverts these notions with visual dexterity, humour, and poignant jabs”, Johnston adds.

Want to see what a creative dissident looks like? Visit The Model between 24 January and 22 March. The show comes directly from the Crawford Gallery in Cork.


Gareth Kennedy at Galway Arts Centre

Invented Tradition
16 January – 7 February | Opening: 16 January at 6pm
Galway Arts Centre, 47 Lower Dominick Street, Galway

Galway Arts Centre is pleased to present the exhibition Invented Tradition by Gareth Kennedy. Having produced and exhibited projects nationally and internationally for a decade, this will be the most comprehensive presentation to date of Kennedy’s work in his native city.

The exhibition will feature three select bodies of work from the last two years of Kennedy’s practice which collectively investigate the social agency of the handcrafted in the 21st century and generate ‘communities of interest’ around the production and performance of new material cultures.

The first floor at GAC will be devoted to the presentation of Post Colony (2014), which explores the natural, industrial and colonial histories of Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry. Over ten days in May and June 2014 a ‘community of interest’ led by fifth generation woodwright Eoin Donnelly established a green woodworking and charcoal burners encampment at the site of the isolated ruin of the Victorian Glena Cottage within the National Park. The invasive species Rhododendron x superponticum was utilised as a raw material in this workshop. First introduced to Ireland in the 1700’s this plant has become deeply problematic within the national park and across many celebrated landscapes of Ireland and the British Isles. Ironically the invasive plant, a hybrid creation of the eighteenth century botanical nursery, has become an iconic touristic image in the park with its prolific purple blooms. Its insidious effects on native biodiversity, threatens the parks precious oak woodlands. The park management has wrestled with controlling the plant for over forty years, efforts which continue into the twenty first century.

For more information on the exhibition, click here


Amanda Ralph Public Commission ‘Paper Boats’ Relaunched at Lough Boora Discovery Park

Friday January 16th at 3.30pm

A public sculpture entitled ‘Paper Boats’ by artist Amanda Ralph has been on quite an expedition. They began life as a fleet of seven boats that call upon the wistful desire for adventure you sometimes get when watching a boat going out to sea, and were commissioned by Offaly County Council in 2000 for the River Brosna in Clara. Two winters later, the river rose considerably after a storm and debris swirled around the chained anchors, dragging some of them under. The OPW were called to dredge the river, and Offaly County Council employee Dominic Fleming spotted the machine hauling the boats onto the riverbank. Rescuing five of the seven, he placed them in storage in Clara, waiting for someone to claim them. Around this time, the Arts Office in Offaly County Council was undergoing a change of personnel and somehow the fate of the rescued boats was overlooked.

Arts Officer, Sinéad O’Reilly says, “When I took up the post in 2005, I found a record of them having being commissioned, but nothing of what had happened to them subsequently. I had heard in conversation that the OPW removed them, but nothing further. In 2014, Amanda contacted us to ask if we knew anything about what had happed to the sculptures. We started to ask questions locally and amazingly we found them, stored in a loft in a depot in Clara. We are very grateful to Dominic Fleming for rescuing the sculptures when he did. He even managed to avoid them being turned into planters over the years! Two of them are still missing, possibly buried into the river bank from when the river was dredged.”

Amanda assessed their condition and brought them to Arklow Marine Services where they had been originally engineered, 14 years earlier. “I was worried that there would be nobody who would remember making them and we’d have difficulty in getting them restored, but Billy Tyrrell, a fifth generation boat builder, recollected them immediately. Arklow Marine are one of the leading boat builders in Ireland, so I imagine a project like this sticks in their minds”.

While being restored, a new home was found for the remaining boats at Lough Boora Discovery Park in the context of its existing Sculpture Park. The boats were placed in Lough an Dochas at the Visitor Centre just before Christmas. Sinéad says, “We are delighted with the new location and wish to thank Bord na Mona and Kilcormac Development Association for providing a ‘safe harbour’ for them. They are the first sculptures visitors encounter at the park from the centre, and their original meaning of a wistful desire for adventure and discovery retains its value here too

Paper Boats will be re-launched at the Visitor Centre at Lough Boora Discovery Park on Friday January 16th at 3.30pm by writer and documentary maker Manchán Magan, and all are welcome.


Teresa Gillespie at Wexford Arts Centre

Below explanation (clocks stop at 3pm and existence continues)
12 January – 7 February | Opening reception: 17 January at 2pm
Wexford Arts Centre, Cornmarket, Wexford

A solo exhibition by Teresa Gillespie, Emerging Visual Artist Award Recipient 2013

In association with Wexford County Council and the Arts Council

Artist Teresa Gillespie in conversation with curator Catherine Bowe

Wexford Arts Centre is delighted to present below explanation (clocks stop at 3pm and existence continues), an exhibition of new work by Dublin-based contemporary artist and recipient of the Emerging Visual Artist Award 2013, Teresa Gillespie. As a joint initiative between the Arts Council, Wexford County Council and Wexford Arts Centre, the aim of the Emerging Visual Artist Award is to recognise and support the development of promising and committed visual artists in Ireland.

Gillespie’s exhibition of new work continues her exploration of the tension between containment and continuity. Prompted by her extended exploration of film critic Vivian Sobchack’s paper The Passion of the Material, the work has emerged alongside re-reading the modernist novel Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre. Of particular interest to Gillespie is the protagonist’s attempt to restrain ‘irrational existence’ through temporal, lexical and perceptual categories. The work has also been influenced by the novel’s prevalent metamorphoses of bodies and things into creaturely matter that stirs between the animate and inanimate, the ‘flabby’ and the encased.

For further information on the artist or the Emerging Visual Art Award please log onto or contact Catherine Bowe, Visual Arts Manager, Wexford Arts Centre, Cornmarket, Wexford on +353 (0)53 91 23764 or email [email protected].


RHA New Acquisitions at RHA , Dr. Tony Ryan Gallery

RHA New Acquisitions
January 16, 2015 – April 26, 2015
Dr. Tony Ryan Gallery

In January 2015, the second RHA recent acquisitions exhibition will be held in the Dr. Tony Ryan Gallery. This show will comprise of Members’ work that are called Diploma pieces, following the historic tradition that newly elected Members are required by our bylaws to donate a significant piece of their work to the Academy collection.

During the fighting of Easter week in 1916, Academy House, the RHA’s original purpose built gallery and school on Middle Abbey Street, was destroyed. The entire Summer Exhibition, archives and collection were lost, amounting to the biggest cultural loss in the city during that turbulent time.

Some gaps in the collection were addressed in the intervening years but there are unfortunately huge deficits in the representation of historical Members’ work in the collection. In an ideal world the aspiration would be to redress this imbalance and restore the collection to the significance it deserves as the oldest artistic collective on this island.

Recently we have been successful in garnering wonderful diploma pieces from our current membership. The show in January will include work by Eilis O’Connell RHA, Dr. Imogen Stuart RHA, the late Conor Fallon RHA, Una Sealy ARHA, Blaise Smith ARHA, Maeve McCarthy RHA, Rachel Joynt RHA, Martin Gale RHA and others.

The RHA Assembly approved recently that a special section in the collection be created for drawings. Members have been invited to donate a drawing in addition to their diploma piece and some of these will also be included in the January exhibition. I plan to have a publication for 2016 on the collection as the most fitting way not just to commemorate the darkest time in the RHA’s history but also to serve as a reminder of our recovery and our state of good health today.


Nick Miller at RHA

Nick Miller
Vessels: Nature Morte
January 16, 2015 – April 26, 2015
RHA Foyer

Between painting people and landscape, I bring elements of the natural world into the studio to try and hold them in paint in arrangements that resonate: a Still-Life in other words, although I prefer the french term Nature Morte, which brings to mind the reality of the cycle of life, nature and death that underlies the genre. I returned to painting flowers in 2011 because I had begun using them in a collaborative creative project at North West Hospice. As is traditional in visiting the sick, I bring flowers, using them as a subject for watercolours in a temporary studio on the ward. If appropriate, I engage with patients through the work, sometimes leading to portraits, interiors and sometimes just to flower paintings.

By early 2013, this practice in the Hospice had generated a new energy in my own studio for a new series of Nature Morte paintings. The process had become embedded, and the paintings became ways for me to make remote connection with my own mother, who was terminally ill over a long period: a way of attending her, even if not physically. They are titled by what is in them, but the vessels are equal subject: vases, bottles and pots she collected in her life.


Mollie Douthit at RHA Ashford Gallery

January 16, 2015 – February 22, 2015
RHA Ashford Gallery

For Douthit, painting begins in a place of order, mixing colors based on sight, placing objects in a clear and certain place. Working from life, the process unfolds, leading to images that hinge between the poetics of paint, and the specifics of the object. The process reaches an end when she is unable to truthfully put down another mark that relates to the object, or the new space it exists in.


Amelia Stein at RHA Gallery

January 16, 2015 – February 22, 2015
RHA Gallery I

Amelia Stein RHA is known and lauded for her sumptuous black and white photographs. Whether the subject is the graveyards of the Middle East, the Palmhouse at the Botantical Gardens, or portraits of artists, Stein brings together subtle tonality with psychological insight. This new suite of work sees two innovations from the artist.

Firstly, she turns her camera onto the Barony of Erris in the north west of Mayo. Wild and bleak, this landscape has challenged and shaped its inhabitants over the millennia. Stein divides this selection into studies of sky and bog. Sky, that immense and charged element, dominates and scores these images. Habitations, sometimes domestic, sometimes agricultural, and sometimes an evolution from one to the other vie with the topography for equality under the indifferent and awesome sky. Her bogs are not the wild heathland but the scared worked surface of the turf cutting. The evidence of labour, of subsistence is audible in the ridges and plains of these hand worked pits. The piling and protection of the saved turf is almost anthropomorphic, telling of the personalities of those working the bog.

Stein introduces a new method of presentation for these images. Producing large prints, freed of the frame, these works hold an authorative presence in the gallery, offering the viewer an immersive and contemplative experience.


Mark Garry at RHA Gallery

A New Quiet by Dublin based artist, Mark Garry.
January 16, 2015 – February 22, 2015

This is the fifth major solo exhibition Garry has undertaken over the past twelve months. Mark creates beautifully considered ephemeral works that act as embodiment’s of slow time. His works are measured and quiet, often requiring meticulous systems of construction. They combine physical, visual, sensory and empathetic analogues, creating arrangements of elements that intersect space and form relationships between a given room and each others.


‘CANALICULUS PURGAMENTORUM’ | The Domestic Godless at Broadstone Studios   Recently updated!

Friday 16th & Saturday 17th January 2015

Broadstone Studios, 22 Harcourt Terrace, Dublin 2

Inspired by the ubiquitous carousels of global sushi outlets, The Domestic Godless bring Canaliculus Purgamentorum to Broadstone Studios, Dublin, their latest project presenting a collection of amuse-bouches along a canal assembled from sewage ducting.

Each dish will offer a nostalgic reminiscence of the universally experienced miserable seaside holiday or otherwise pointed towards Broadstone Studio’s previous existence as the Asylum for Aged Governesses and Unmarried Ladies in 1870, replete with humour and a sense of the absurd. For example, what happens when you cross ice-cream with the contents of an Edwardian vanity cabinet? What did the stuffing from the seats of a 1974 Ford Cortina actually taste like? And what ever happened to that baked bean that escaped from your full-Irish breakfast?

For over ten years The Domestic Godless have been a thorn in the foot of Irish gastronomy, with an irreverent disregard for current fashions and culinary trends. They have introduced to the world such delights as Sea Urchin Pot Noodle, Foot & Mouth Terrine, Carpaccio of Giant African Land Snail and Victorian high tea wrought from all manner of fertilizer, often in the setting of anarchic installations.

Tickets are available for €20 at Eventbrite:

Limited places available. This show involves eating and tasting but is not a full meal. Unfortunately, special dietary requirements cannot be accommodated.

Canaliculus Purgamentorum is co-produced with Broadstone Studios and is supported in part by the Arts Council Project Award 2014. |


Richard Proffitt at Kevin Kavanagh Gallery

Wild Cries of Ha-Ha
8 January – 6 February | Opening: 8 January at 6pm
Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Chancery Lane, Dublin 8

Wild Cries of Ha-Ha is the translated name of one of the eight great charnel grounds described in Hindu and Buddhist spiritual texts. They are places of transformation, where the living and the dead communicate, populated by shamans, roaming spirits and corpses. These extremely sacred sites are feared and opposed by those without a strong-will and only the most devoted believers of asceticism and ritual practices can worship there.

Richard Proffitt’s atmospheric assemblages and installations are eerily accurate representations of the sanctuaries and relics used by cults, tribes, hippies, and loners in their attempts to communicate with otherworldly energies. We encounter intensely detailed shrines illuminated with sinister red darkroom lamps or flashing disco lights, burnt-out campfires with infinitely looped chants and mantras, ramshackle shelters plastered with anarchist newspapers, medicine wheels sprinkled with sage and incense, and collages of record covers, psychedelic posters and drug paraphernalia.

Throughout all of Proffitt’s work, ordinary objects, scraps of discarded junk, and obsessively collected artifacts are crafted and altered into tools of divination or magic. Wire hubcap rings are reconfigured into elaborate dream-catchers with feathers, bones, cassette-tape, and pin-badges dangling like talismans. Totemic icons and fetishes are fashioned from crude bits of driftwood, bones and charity shop treasures. What appear to be ancient slates with silvery etched primitive drawings are absurdly revealed to be painted foil crisp-packets.


Roseanne Lynch and Davide Grouppi at the nag Gallery | Exhibition Extended

Extended until 31st January
Curated by Helen Kilmartin and Mark St. John Ellis
nag Gallery, 59 Francis Street, Dublin 8
Opening hours: Wednesday – Friday 10.30 – 5.00,  Saturday 11.00 – 5.00

nag Gallery and Minima present the lighting of Davide Groppi and the photographic work of Roseanne Lynch.

This is the third collaboration between nag Gallery and Minima of 2014. The director of Minima, Helen Kilmartin suggested using the space for the lighting of designer Davide Groppi and this was responded to with the curatorial decision of Mark St. John Ellis to exhibit the photograms and photographs of Roseanne Lynch who deals with light and space. The installation strongly demonstrates the aesthetic philosophy of the two companies and the successful marriage of design and fine art where the barrier between the two is confused. |


The Amulet: Exploring Infant Loss | Marie Brett at The LAB

The Amulet: Exploring Infant Loss with Artist Marie Brett
16 January – 28 March 2015 | Launch Event: 15 January, 5-7 pm
Round Table Discussion: 16 January, 3-5 pm
The LAB Gallery, Dublin City Council, Arts Office, The Lab, Foley Street, Dublin 1
Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm Mon-Fri, 10am – 6pm Sat

We all have amulets, those special objects often hidden away in drawers and cupboards which mark a significant time, occasion or person in our lives. Bereaved parents worked with artist Marie Brett to locate an amulet they possessed which has significance in relation to the loss of their baby. Marie recorded the stories behind the chosen amulets and these stories, together with visual materials gifted by the parents, formed the basis for a new artwork. Intimate and universally relatable, you’ll feel and think differently about loss after seeing this show.

The Amulet will launch at The LAB Gallery, Dublin, with a special performance event from 5-7pm on Thursday 15 January 2015. Artists Ceara Conway, Helga Deasy, Dominic Thorpe and Frances Mezzetti will respond to the artwork through voice, dance and performance art. On Friday 16 January, there will be a Round Table discussion from 3-5pm hosted by Create with participants from arts, healthcare and bereavement settings. These events are free and all are welcome. To book a place at the Round Table discussion visit

The Amulet Exhibition Tour is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland’s Touring and Dissemination of Work Award. The Dublin Exhibition and Public Programme is supported by Create, the National Development Agency for Collaborative Arts. |