Author Archive

Last Chance To See Sculpture In Context This Saturday.

Sculpture in Context

Considered by some “the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of Northside Dublin” the National Botanic Gardens will open its doors yet again to the Sculpture in Context 2012 for its consecutive 26th year.

The exhibition has been running for the last month and will end this coming Saturday (20th of October 2012)

Sculpture in Context has, over the years staged highly acclaimed visual arts events at venues such as Fernhill Gardens, the Conrad Hotel, Kilmainham Gaol, the Irish Management Institute, Dublin Castle, Farmleigh House and the National Botanic Gardens.

The gardens are not only a quiet oasis on the outskirts of Dublin, they also gives the artist the rare opportunity of realising large scale work in a botanical haven. It also gives the visitor an opportunity to ramble and explore, sometimes finding sculptures in the most unusual places. The sculptures are displayed throughout the gardens, ponds, Great Palm House, and Curvilinear Range, with the smaller works exhibited in the gallery above the visitors’ centre.

Some of the sculptures are highly original. From Michelle Maher’s “Symmetry” flower heads installed on the surface of the water to “Bobbing Apples” by Ayelet Lalor, and the “Migration” coral-like sea creatures by Petrina Shortt, viewers will be able to wander in a maze of creativity. There are sculptures that children will enjoy with the large eyeballs “A good Gawk” by Sandra McCowen and the cuddly “Bears Necessities” sculptures by Liz Walsh and Clodagh Murphy.

Other participating artists this year include Gavin Friday, Peter Killeen, Cliodna Cussen, Sonja Landweer, Liz Nilsson, Brigitta Seck, Breda Marron, Leo Higgins, Jackie Ball. Claire Halpin and Madeleine Hellier, Peter Koning, Kathleen Standen, Jane Murtagh and many many more.

Where: National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.

When: 6 Sept – 20th of October. Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am – 6pm
Admission Free.

Visit my Blog:

A blog about Arts and Photography in Dublin

Celebrating Deadly Art – When Zombies & Dinosaurs walk the streets of Dublin

A month ago Dublin witnessed a horde of zombies rising from the dead to celebrate two worthy causes, the Irish Cancer Society and Barnardos. This deadly bunch dressed in amazing costumes was prowling from St. Stephens Green to Temple Bar to raise money and ultimately celebrate life.

It is the third year that Dublin is gathering its dead to raise a much needed contribution to a humanitarian cause. An estimated 5 000 zombies were seen crawling their way and moaning through the streets of Dublin from 2 pm and well into the night.

Deteriorating rapidly has never been more popular at the moment.

But if you didn’t enjoyed the experience of walking amongst the dead, you can always try to walk amongst another sort of giant dead.

Yesterday, on September the 19th, Dublin  was welcoming another set of awe-inspiring life-size deadly beasts. Tyrannosaurus Rex and his pals will return to stalk the land after 65 million years of absence on earth.This welcome won’t last long. Only 4 days.

Global Creatures in association with BBC Worldwide Ltd have put together an amazing WALKING WITH DINOSAURS worldwide tour at the O2 arena to celebrate the life of these captivating monsters. Ticket prices range from €24.90 to €46.00, available from Ticketmaster.

So if you have missed the deadly domination of zombies this week you can always catch up with the 200 million year domination of dinosaurs next month. You will get to see another set of deadly monsters walk, you’ll hear them roar and come face to face as they fight for survival and supremacy in Dublin.

Where: Arena Dublin Live, O2 Arena.

When: 19th-23rd of November 2012.

Photograph by L.A Speedwing.

The Hall of Mirrors goes to Limerick City

FARMLEIGH GALLERY PRESENTED HALL OF MIRRORS until LAST month. The amazing optical illusion exhibition was an eye opener and shatteringly entertaining.

Strangely enough there was hardly any noise made around the exhibition.  Even though the exhibition attracted a nice 15,000 turnout, their facebook page only got 23 likes.

Knowing the exhibition started on the 16th of March and just finished on the 22th of July, that’s an average of 5 likes a month. Hard to understand what happened.

For my part, I only heard about it through a friend. Although skeptical and unsure about the content of the exhibition, I walked in the Farmleigh gallery and was immediately won over by the visual experience.

In Collaboration with CLARITY: Centre for Sensor Web Technologies  and Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, Université Paris Descartes & CNRS, Paris-based Irish artists and architecture graduates, Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly,  worked very hard at this exhibition project.

The exhibition strived to awaken the public to the complex and beautiful processes of visual perceptions. In other words, it explained how it tricked the viewer’s eye in the most amazing ways.

For over two years, Cleary and Connolly worked with an international team on the Hall of Mirrors project and I must say the result was a success.

The exhibition offered a deeply engaging, enjoyable, educational, exploratory, aesthetic experience to art lovers, science lovers, families, schools, and everybody else. Who everybody else is and why was it not better promoted, god only knows!

But luckily for everybody else, there’s a second chance to enjoy the experience. The project will be soon touring around Ireland from August 2012 to January 2013.

In fact their tour starts tomorrow, Thursday the 23rd of August in Limerick City.

The three venues and dates are:

Limerick City – Gallery of Art, August 23rd – October 9th
Navan – Solstice Arts Centre- October 18th – November 22nd
Ballina – Ballina Arts Centre, December 4th – January 15th

Like their page:

Like my page:

Picture by L.A Speedwing

“After The Great Scaldwood.”

Blowing bubbles, spinning tops and drinking straws, how magical do these methods of drawing sound to you?  If not magical, at least, they sound interesting. To give you an idea, if you’re a fan of Miyazaki animation, such as “Howl’s Moving Castle” or “Princess Mononokone” you will definitely enjoy this artist’s work: Clouds castling in the air, spirits of wolves roaming around and thorny trees that used to be.

Do not be alarmed.  You are stepping into a world of ghosts where past and present realities intertwine to create a lovely dream-like quality to this artist’s work.

Upon the end of her artist in residence at Draíocht, Deirdre Byrne, 2003 graduate from NCAD with a 1st class honours degree in Fine Art Painting has recently launched her exhibition called “After The Great Scaldwood.”
Apart from the fact that her work is penning shades of black on white while Miyazaki’s work is filled with colours, a common theme of fluidity seems to resonate from within between artists.

Water seems indeed something that both artists seem very aware of. As Des Kelly described very accurately when he visited Deidre’s studio, “In some areas the ink runs like tears through mascara tracing the blemishing effects of the emotional trauma arcing through this stunted land.”

But the comparison between Byrne and Myazaki doesn’t stop there as both artists share also an environmentalist concern.
Deidre’s drawings show representations of the present urban area layered with aspects of the area’s history such as the great Scaldwood, the ancient forest that once covered Blanchardstown.

Indeed throughout her art, Deidre gently reminds us of Scaldwood’s vast deforestation, and the once-natural habitat of the wolf. If wolves might not be prowling around anymore, Draíocht do hope that visitors will prowl around by visiting their current exhibitions.

Where: Draíocht, The Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin 15.

When: Thu 14 Jun – Sat 1 Sept 2012- Ground Floor Gallery.

Opening times Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm.

Free Entrance.

Women’s fiction and Children’ Stories available for FREE on Smashwords from this author.

Young Designer Camp in Dublin1 – 9th – 13th July.

THE MALTHOUSE DESIGN CENTRE is offering a chance for kids to shine.

They have organized a Young Designer Camp which sounds like a brilliant idea.

It’s a 5 day camp and this camp will give kids the opportunity to work alongside 3 Malthouse resident designers. (Aislinn Lynch,  Fiona Snow or Kathryn Payne)

Bright young minds will work on a daily design brief allowing them to take their own designs home at the end of the day. They will be exploring new emerging materials, work on lighting pieces, learn about designing an entire space, learn about making felt pieces, and even learning about the machinery used by some designers.

The camp is designed for kids 6- 12 years, from 10am – 1pm and is €120.

Who says kids should not be distracted by bright lights? Certainly not the Malthouse Design Team who’s hoping kids will leave this experience with a glow.

To make a booking, please phone us at +353 1 855 8070.

Where: The Malthouse Design Centre,Distillery Court, 537 Nth Circular Rd, Dublin1.

When: 9th – 13th July.

Who: MTC –

Women’s fiction and Children’ Stories available for FREE on Smashwords from this author.

Draw a Lego Art Exhibition Starts This Thursday…

Who said Art had to be boring? There’s an art event coming up which will please the young at heart.

Draw a Lego art exhibition is an art exhibition dedicated to Lego featuring art from emerging artists around Dublin and Ireland. The exhibition will run from this Friday 22nd of June to next Saturday 30th June 2012 at Exchange Dublin gallery in Temple Bar.

Exchange Dublin is a collective arts center run entirely by young people. They hold discussions, gigs, visual arts and performance and anything else you can think of. Most projects originate from the autonomous “Exchange Groups” that use the space as a hub for their activity. All work is voluntary.

The Opening day for the Draw a Lego Art exhibition will be this Thursday at 6 pm.  The Art of The Brick has captivated millions of creative minds since its creation in 1949 and the artists hope the fan base of the legendary colourful construction toy will be equally captivated by this exhibition.

Where:  Exchange Dublin, Unit 1, Exchange Street Upper, Temple Bar, Dublin

When: All Week- Opening times – 11am-11pm

Free entrance.

Poster exhibition drawn by Aurelie Montfrond.

Women’s fiction “When you Dance” available for FREE on Smashwords from this author. More free short stories coming up soon.

Vote for Ireland’s Favourite Masterpiece

RTÉ One with RTÉ Radio 1 is celebrating Arts and asking Ireland for its opinion.

Two weeks ago, a programme of an hour long presented by Mike Murphy was reviewing Ireland’s favourite Masterpieces which have been selected by curators, experts and the Irish public over the last few months. From a compilation of 100 paintings, 10 were selected to let us decide which one might earn the title of Ireland’s Favourite Painting. See the long list here.

The intention of the campaign was to increase awareness of the immense riches in our public art collections and to encourage people to visit these collections and see the works for themselves.

While we can question what made the experts and the public chose those 10 paintings , we can’t question the excellent idea of bringing the public to discover and appreciate Arts in Ireland.

However Ireland’s Favourite Painting campaign is coming to an end as it’s running until TODAY only at 2pm ( Monday 21st May 2012) You can only vote online now as the postal votes are already closed.

On Thursday 24th May, President Michael D. Higgins will reveal which of the ten shortlisted masterpieces below has been voted Ireland’s Favourite Painting by the Irish people.

So which artist will you vote for? Make your choice and make it fast!

Link to the website and the ten masterpieces:

It’s also a great time to go and visit a gallery near you, or to try to see some of the artworks for yourself.

Zelouf+Bell Furniture Retrospect Will Make Your Heart Sing

How often do you get to see beautiful highly skilled furniture?
Once in a life time? That’s exactly the time it took for Susan Zelouf and Michael Bell to gather their furniture and present them to the public in a once in a life time exhibition.
They will be showing a retrospect (1992-2012) of their amazing work in Farmleigh, Motor House from the 4th of May til Saturday 19th of May.
From their website you get an overview of what they were able to achieve over the years.
Every piece of furniture is a feast for the eye. Unsurprisingly they have been commissioned by embassies, government buildings, and even churches.
However do not be fooled. Their price is high. But so are their standards.
Every piece takes weeks to make and every piece is crafted with love. In every piece you sense in the making a combination of a wild vision, a hint of humour or seriousness depending, but undoubtedly a refined taste for beauty.
From every angle of every piece, you can tell the effort and thought that has been put into it. From the Famine Larder to the amazing Briques Sideboard made in bog oak, the Cocktail Cabinet and the Horns Gazelle Desk, their motto has been to make beautiful limited-edition couture furniture.
It felt only natural to them that they chose Peter O’Brien, couturier and costume designer to open their exhibition.
Over the years, history, fashion, nature, architecture, buildings, paintings and fabric have inspired the couple as much as they have inspired each other.
When you see the result it’s hard to believe that they haven’t done this all their lives. Yet you would be wrong. Bell was a rep for a tobacco company while Zelouf made a living as a singer and voiceover.
Nothing had prepared them for meeting each other but like their furniture, once they had found their love, they knew they were on the right track.
They hope visitors will agree with them and come to their exhibition.
When: 4-19th May 2012 – Opening Times: 10 am -5 pm.
Where: Motor House, Farmleigh, Castleknock, Dublin 15.

The RHA in Dublin doesn’t stand for Roll Homogenous Art

It doesn’t even stand for Royal Horse Artillery because there isn’t one in Dublin. I looked it up. However it does stand  for Royal Hibernian Academy.  The Royal Hibernian Academy originated when artists from the Society of Artists in Ireland petitioned the then Viceroy, Earl Talbot, in the late 1700’s for the opportunity to exhibit their works annually. A Royal Charter was finally granted in 1821, and the deeds received in 1823, giving the Academy independence from all other institutions.

And so although the Academy was not showing any artillery, it was showing horses only just two months ago.

Exhibited in many shapes. The Academy presented a Horse Show: horses in paintings, sculptures, video and last but not least see-through inflatable nylon. The latest, Max Streicher’s installation was quite wonderful and intriguing.

Alas no more.

This show ended to let other specimens in such as birds from Stephen McKenna. Although the exhibition has just ended, any viewers who got a chance to visit his work could see his classical approach to still life.

But if still life wasn’t their cup of tea, paintings from Sam Douglas might have managed to stir a little more life into any visitors.

Until last month, Sam Douglas’ travel experience to various mountain ranges had filtered into a recent series of paintings called “Remnants 15” where art lovers could escape reality or at least find a new way to enjoy erosion and sedimentation.

The RHA has welcomed another eminent artist such as Corban Walker who represented Ireland at the 54th Venice Biennale last year. His large-scale sculpture composed of 160 inter-connected open-framed stainless-steel cubes called “Please Adjust” found me still adjusting to its statement but if you couldn’t adjust to this, you were able to adjust to Brendan Earley’s constructions.

Through one of his large sized paper artworks the artist wanted to explore “those large swathes of land we pass through without much regard. These areas are not meant to be seen (never mind mapped), except perhaps as a blur from a car window.”

These “Places Between”, composed of both handmade and consumer goods are actually no more. The exhibition ended on the 29th of April. So they won’t shake you from the state of inbetweenness  that one might be in when looking at modern Art sometimes but the Royal Hibernian Academy is always trying to shake their visitors with new exhibitions so keep an eye on their website to check their next Art events.

Where: 15 Ely Place, Dublin 2.

When: Exhibitions available all year around.

11am – 5pm- Except Wednesday – Saturday until 7pm. Sunday 2 – 5pm

Women’s fiction “When you Dance” available for FREE on Smashwords from this author.

New Gallery Number 6, Dublin 2

Gallery Number 6

They say there’s safety in numbers. At Gallery No 6, located off Grafton Street, you will definitely feel safe. Situated in the prime shopping location of Anne St. South the new gallery, which opened last October, features an impressive number of twenty-seven artists.

Apart from the wide variety of art displayed, your eye is bound to catch the fantastic ceramic sculpture which sits proudly in the middle of the gallery. Suzanne Brady is an emerging visual artist from south Dublin. Suzanne has recently finished three years studying sculpture and ceramics at Connolly House. Her piece “Angst” shows a naked body of an arched woman.  Breasts out and arms stretched offers a vision of tension. Yet it singularly gives a soothing impression on the eye and mind.

More prominent Irish painters such as Alan Kenny or Louise Mansfield will no doubt catch the interest of the wealthier viewers.

At the end of the gallery, a range of Roisin Duffy’s work is also available. She claims to be a visual story teller and every piece does exactly that. Accompanied by a poem, every of her figurative artworks will bring either humour, imagination or colour to your world if not all in one. The gallery also has a small selection of her Slate Sculptures.

In addition to established names the policy of Number 6 is to encourage emerging Irish Artists, providing them with the opportunity to display and sell their works.

If 6 was not your lucky number, it should hopefully be the case now. The gallery run by Sorcha, Tom and Ann boasts in having miniatures, limited edition prints, etchings, reproduction note cards and book of paintings. So before your number is up, come and visit by the numbers Gallery number 6.

Where: 6 Anne St. South, Dublin 2.

When: Tuesday to Saturday. 11.30am – 5.30pm.

“Saving Ordenia” – Short Fairy Tale for FREE on Smashwords from this author.