It has been many years since I attended the annual exhibition at the RHA in Dublin, so it really took me by surprise just how much work there was to see!
I couldn't help but be impressed by the quality of the work also, it wasn't just quantity.
The first room downstairs seemed the most orderly in the way it was hung - pieces seemed to relate to one another in a thematic, colour or movement type of way and this was a satisfying way to look at work, though I would have preferred more space around individual works.
Each work deserved way more time than I gave it -- the first couple of rooms really won out when it came to my attention, but it was somewhat overwhelming to know that there were several huge rooms waiting upstairs...
I don't even have a picture of the large hall which was chock-a-block with small works, mostly paintings, skyed almost to the ceiling. The stairwell seemed to be dedicated to the work of one ARHA member. The room full of prints asked for closer attention to individual pieces and I was only able to give this attention if something stood out and/or was familiar - in that I have taken several printmaking classes over the past few years and participated in a number of zoom artist talks during the pandemic so recognised the work of particular artists.
While I object to and don't participate in open exhibitions where the artist has to make a payment, I find the RHA Annual Exhibition somewhat distasteful in that there are three distinct tiers: ARHA (part of the club!) members are ENTITLED to exhibit several pieces of work, for whatever reason some artists are INVITED to exhibit, and the rest (about 2/3) PAY a fee to enter. Competition is high and not everyone is accepted, but it sure is a huge batch of cream! Regardless of my personal opinion, within Ireland exhibiting at the RHA Annual Exhibition is considered a privilege and an honour.
ALL of the work in the exhibition is worth taking the time to see. I will do another post on individual pieces that I paid the most attention to. The exhibition runs till July 24.
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