It seems ages away now, but it was less than two weeks ago that I had my big excursion in to Dublin for a "gallery day". I blogged about the first two stops (The Molesworth Gallery and The National Gallery) last week, and you can find that blog here. But the catalyst that got me venturing into Dublin in the first place was desire to see Damien Flood's new exhibition, Tilt, at the RHA. I met Flood (always Damo to me) many years ago when he was a teenager and a friend to several of my nieces. For many years now, he has been quite an accomplished artist and I am always curious to see the development of his work. I was aware of his (relatively) new excursion into ceramic figurative work and wondered how it would fare in juxtaposition with his paintings.
Wednesday, 16 June 2021
Wednesday, 9 June 2021
During lockdown this year, I have been enjoying Graphic Studio Dublin's series of artist zoom presentations, Artists Beyond the Studio. A few weeks ago the final presentation was made by Cian McLoughlin, sixteenth in the series, in advance of lockdown being gradually eased and cultural venues reopening. Though he has done printmaking, McLoughlin is primarily a painter and his presentation and work shown was amazing; a recording of his presentation can be seen here, and many of the other artist talks are on GSD's youtube channel. In talking about his newest work McLoughlin made me aware of his upcoming exhibition at The Molesworth Gallery in Dublin, and this is where I started my "gallery day" in Dublin last week.
The Molesworth Gallery is a private gallery in a refurbished Georgian building, not far from The National Gallery and the RHA Gallery, which were on my list for exhibition-viewing that day. Unlike the two larger galleries, The Molesworth did not require advance booking of free entry tickets (I enquired to be sure), so after parking the car a short walk took me to the gallery.
Wednesday, 2 June 2021
A couple of weeks ago I heard this loud squawking from a large number of birds. I was indoors, but the sound was cacophonous and I wondered what was going on. On my morning walk I saw that workmen from the Council were on the edge of the estate with some power tools. I thought they were just planning to do the usual trim, which in itself was always an expected disappointment - they had a habit of annually cutting back the blackberry bushes just as the berries were near to ripening. I had grown accustomed to not foraging for blackberries in my own neighbourhood. Usually, however, that culling was done later in the season,. All this bird protest was probably in a justified panic as I imagine nests were being destroyed.
I could never really see the point of trimming the blackberries either: the bushes were on a small green in the neighbourhood which was used for no purpose other than as an entranceway to the park and as an area for a Hallowe'en bonfire. That wilful destruction of bird habitat was taking place was disturbing to say the least.
Then earlier this week the destruction continued as some bureaucrat with too much time on their hands (covid make-work project?) ordered the cutting down of the elderflower trees in this same area.
Wednesday, 26 May 2021
A few weeks ago I was sorting and culling from several large boxes of correspondence and found a number of things that didn't actually belong with correspondence, rather they could be more appropriately part of my personal art archive. I already blogged about an envelope filled with torn pages from a number of notebooks here. But I found a number of other things in the boxes. This sketch was one I did on my second art school class trip to New York City in 1981. I had been with my friends at The Lizard Lounge that night and for some reason left on my own. I remember running across Times Square to The Picadilly Hotel, where we were staying. At the front desk I asked for the key to the lads' room by mistake and didn't realise it until I got into the room and noticed that the bathtub was full of cans of beer. Rather than return the key to the lobby, I decided to wait for everyone to come back. I found some hotel stationary, a pen, and did this drawing.
Wednesday, 19 May 2021
The work on my big painting, Knockeen, is going on at a steady but slow pace. I posted about the beginnings of this painting here, and some thoughts about how it was developing in March, here. As I mentioned before, it is slow and steady work. By the end of March I had all colours blocked in and started re-working particular areas.
Wednesday, 12 May 2021
While I was recently sorting through several large correspondence boxes (organising/ culling/ amalgamating) I came across an envelope full of pages from small (only about 5 inches x 3 inches) notebooks I kept in 1981, after I finished art school. I had obviously already culled them at some previous date, only keeping pages that I thought were interesting. I know that these pages came from several different notebooks as there were two back pages in the envelope. One of the back pages, along with doodles, has an advert for a storefront for rent. I never lived in or rented a shop but I must have been thinking of it as an option in my early Toronto days. One of the doodles represents an image of an egg and its shadows that I had previously created as a large silkscreen print in my 2nd year of art school, so obviously the image stayed with me.
Wednesday, 5 May 2021
Along with numerous writers world wide, I spent the month of April partipating in Na/GloPoWriMo (National/Global Poetry Writing Month) as I have done for the past five years. The premise is to write a poem daily based on a specific (optinal) prompt. In addition, there are links to both live and pre-recorded poetry readings, which are amazing to follow; not all live events work with the differences in time zones, but some do. These are great introductions to the work of other poets that may have been previously unknown to you, or even reminders to listen to known poets. Following the prompts has led to writing unexpected poems and learning about other poem forms. Some of the poems written during NaPoWriMo I have continued to work on, revising and tweaking, and eventually publishing. Although I began taking part in 2017, during several non-April months, I have looked back at the archive and worked on prompts for several previous years (working backwards I have one more year, 2013, to finish, which I plan to complete by the end of this year).