This new collection of artworks is an investigation into the fauna and flora of the west of Ireland which has had a direct influence on the artist’s creativity.
The artist takes her influence from the early Edo period of Japanese art and through this style explores the idea of the warrior in nature and the need for indigenous species to protect and defend themselves from the challenges that the modern world and global influence bring.
The idea of a butterfly as warrior with its colourful tiled wings is explored, the scales of a fish, the sting as the sword of the bee.
The myths associated with the natural world and the stories of their warriors are investigated alongside the history and legends of the west of Ireland.
The Collection serves as a reflective celebration of the warrior spirit that resides within the animals and plants of Irelands west and is completed by a series of painted panelled works, triptychs, diptychs grouped pieces, print and drawings.
Cróna Gallagher is a studio holder at Leitrim Sculpture Centre in Co. Leitrim.
She would like to offer thanks to Cill Railaig in Kerry, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Monaghan, Oberpfӓlzer Künstlerhaus in Bavaria, the Henreich Böll cottage Achill and Ginestrelle, Umbria where material for this collection was recorded and researched, inspired by and completed. She would also like to thank Leitrim County Councils arts office for helping to make this collection come into being, to The Hyde Bridge gallery for their support and kindness and to Marion Thews for her instinctive ability in knowing how best to frame the collection, and to FabLab Manorhamilton.
EARTH + WATER
EXHIBITION AT HYDE BRIDGE GALLERY, SLIGO
22 MARCH – 11 APRIL 2017 (10am-5pm Tuesdays to Saturdays)
Father and daughter team James and Sally Maidment present Earth + Water, an exhibition of painting, installation and photography at the Hyde Gallery, Sligo. Both graduates of the Fine Art Department at the Institute of Technology, Sligo, the artists invite visitors to the exhibition to share their fascination with skill, place, identity and experience.
Through a series of portraits and installation elements James focuses on a group of men he worked with in rural Sligo, hedging & ditching the roads in the late 1980’s. James pays homage to the men’s physical skills, and the knowledge he gained from their stories which reflected their deep connection to and understanding of, the locality, its history and inhabitants.
Sally presents a series of photographic works documenting the final training session of a young Maltese team of rowers from the Bormla Rowing Club, before the annual rowing regatta held in Bighi Bay. A hotly contested competition, the U18 team train daily to defend the titles won by their fathers and grandfathers.
Both artists have a deep respect for manual skills that are developed over a period of time, and the fruits of joint endeavour that are manifested through the efforts of each group of men, at different stages of their lives. The U18 rowers on the brink of manhood, and the difficult choices that we make as we navigate through life, in contrast with the older gentlemen who have experienced the highs and lows that life can challenge us with. Sally comments ‘I am very excited to have this opportunity to exhibit with my dad and to display our individual responses to shared interests side by side, this will hopefully provide the viewer with a unique opportunity to reflect on achievement and skill.’
James always planned to work with the material that he collected during that year in Highwood and he is pleased to have this opportunity to pay his respects to the men from whom he learnt so much.
“I believe that there is no better way to measure a man's character, than to work alongside him…”
James would also like to thank Drumshanbo Enterprise Centre (DEC) Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim for their support.
Sally Maidment is a visual artist who works through a range of media including: drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, animation and film-making. She has comprehensive experience working in the arts, higher education, community and health sectors. Both her personal practice and her role in collaborative projects are focused on exploring identity. She is interested in art performing an ‘archaeological’ function to uncover hidden or overlooked narratives.
Throughout his lifetime James has worn several hats: merchant seaman, London bus driver, mechanic and computer programmer, but one constant has been his interest in drawing, painting and photography the results of which he has exhibited on a regular basis.
Finally, James had the opportunity to follow his dream and attend Art College and graduated from ITSligo with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art (Painting) in 2016. He continues to develop his practice which involves painting and sculpture dealing with issues of belonging, personal histories and the interaction between humans, objects and place.
Born in Antrim in 1992, Stephanie grew up in Northern Ireland, before moving to Leitrim. She recently completed a degree in Fine Art at the Institute of Technology, Sligo: and will finish her honours degree later this year. She now lives and practices in Sligo.
The work explores materiality; each carefully selected material/ objects has the ability to maintain its individual character/ personality, while also indicating a description of time. The objects suggest time within their function or through their visual appearance of which aesthetically look aged, distorted, weathered and/or broken. Objects/materials contain our personalities; each possession bears the ability to indicate the life of its previous owner, allowing us to question the possibilities of its history.
Drawing on distant, global, cultural and the notion of incepted memories, selected images blur the line between reality and fantasy. By using specific materials in combination with chosen Images, Stephanie aims to create an atmosphere of which we all can have a personal experience, the space of which becomes a window to another moment in time, allowing us to question the space in which we live.
Exhibition opening Tuesday 21st February at 6pm by Emma Stroude and runs until 14th of March 2017
“I have to stay alone in order to fully contemplate and feel nature”
Caspar David Friedrich
In an age of continuous personal bombardment of technology such as smart phones, tablets, twitter, Facebook, TV etc., finding stillness and solitude in the our world can be at a premium. The current body of work is a visual enquiry into finding stillness in landscape and in particular my own personal understanding of this pursuit. As a visual artist living in County Leitrim, I am influenced by the rugged nature of the rural landscape and in particular these harsh but beautiful environments within the west of Ireland.
As part of this area of interest I am also fascinated in the reality of the “Commons in Society” and the connection between the moral responsibilities of the community towards the landscape. The ownership of parks, greens, lanes, walkways and rural areas that is open to the public. My current area of research also extends to an enquiry into traditional painting of the landscape, in particular the idea and notion of romantics within the rural landscape. Areas of continued interest include artist such as Casper Fredrick, William Blake and German romanticism painting, In particular my work is influenced by paintings “Monasty Graveyard In Snow (1819) and The Abbey in The Oakwood (1810) by Fredrich, other influences include Dutch painting in particular the work of Pieter Brugel. The recurring theme within my work focuses on notions of disillusion with materialism, return to the natural world, death, destruction and resurrection.
The choice of aluminium as a medium in which to paint on is a deliberate one, although this material is not one of traditional use I find its coldness and dampness a direct connection to the landscapes and subjects I choose to paint. The aluminium also enables me as an artist to show the process of painting i.e. brushstrokes, additional liquids each work is very much unique as the experimental development can vary with each painting.
“Chester’s delicately executed saplings with curved leaves limply adorning the struggling stalks are beautiful, simple, and elegant. The misty shrouds the veil the images add an eerie feeling to the work indicative of Chester’s observed gloominess caused by man’s destructive habits on nature”
Quote from “Land is ours” booklet, Aedin McGinn 2015
Opening Wednesday 7th December from 5.30pm w/ Brian LeydonAn exhibition by Fergus Lyons of recent Sligo-landscapes and other oil-paintings and also pencil, ink and watercolour drawings.With the new work, the exhibition includes a re-hang from the previous Hyde Bridge Gallery show " To Sligo - and Beyond " by Fergus Lyons. This show continues until Saturday, December 17th. Artist's Statement:A sentient being, embodied and living on a lump of matter, lost in infinite space, at some stage my eyes opened and I was forced to considered this, unsettling, human predicament. I tried to arrive at some plan as how best to respond. I could, of course, refuse to cooperate and stay on in the bed, but maybe I could get a job, with a shovel, in philosophical construction ? My decision, finally, was to take up the paint brush and start painting. This is the road I'm on now. In relation to drawing and how it underlies a finished painting, these thoughts, I imagine, have something to do with the process of construction. Drawing being one route to consider.
Wider than the Wild
Borne on the Wind
Singing in my Blood Stream
Drumming on my Skin
Closer than the Air that I Cleave
Than the Marrow in my Bones
Rising in all that Falls
I see a Road
Irish artist Fergus Lyons explores Ireland's landscape, dreams and myths in his painting of the West of Ireland. Irish mythology and legend have become part of the landscape itself and it is this realm of the imagination that Fergus captures in his paintings.The exhibition continues from 29th October - 25th November
The Hyde Bridge Gallery, Yeats Memorial Building, Hyde Bridge, Sligo
Opening Tuesday Sept 27th 6pm
Exhibition runs until October 27th
This exhibition is run in conjunction with Sligo Arts Service, Primary Colours Arts Education Programme. See www.primarycolourssligo.ie for more information on the Primary Colours programme or facebook: www.facebook.com/primarycolourssligo
Artist Statement :
We have a priest in the family, dividing his time between Kilkenny and America. He’s an old man now, and a bee keeper. Wrapped in the parochial house tablecloth, our first hive of bees came up in the back of our VW Caddy van five years ago. Steve said that it was like driving for three hours with two engines.
We have four healthy hives now, each harvest we rob up to thirty pounds of pure Irish gold.
As a maker of animal drawings, I have never really been attracted by insects, but this exhibition is a celebration of all that is bee.
Each bee is born to her work,
Each drone seems happy with his lot.
We have farmed them for honey back in the ancient times, and we farm them still. This collection uses drawing, sculpture and audio visual. I started with the notion of a sound, initially I would have just recorded our bees, but there was something more that needed to be said. We talk all day with friends and strangers, but we whisper in art galleries. Whispering is secrets, reverence, conspiracy, comfort.
Here, it is also the sound of industry.
Bee keeping is surrounded in folklore, ritual, fertility, stories and poetry. Kipling’s poem encapsulates the relationship between keeper and bee. Without bees, our fragile planet would quickly become barren and lifeless, think on that.
I have been using charcoals for about thirty years now, mainly making drawings of animals. Lately I have been adding an oil based pigment to the glazes to bring in a bit of colour. I currently show with The Doorway Gallery Dublin, Whalley Fine Art Belfast, Lavelle Gallery Galway, The Greenlane Gallery Dingle and various group shows nationwide.
Exhibition by Patricia Curran Mulligan
Hyde Bridge Gallery, Sligo, Ireland.
Opening 30th August 2016 6pm - running Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm until 24th September
'Parable' as an exhibition, is an assembly of memories and materials, where the scientific story is a questioning of clues. Looking for someone who is looking for us. Finding evidence does not take you all the way. We search for awareness towards the last step of connection. Faith gives a mental map, looking for revelation of purpose. Here the circular argument allows the story to wander the periphery in a field of material activity. We are found meandering in this body of art work, seeking the core. Fifteen pieces are religiously/spiritually themed and tempered.
It is in that returning to being 'witness', which allow the 'Parable' to come alive, where old traditions hold fast. The discipline of Icon writing in a monastery evokes a meeting point by the artist between contemplative prayer and a making beyond oneself. Gold, the highest order, is used as 'a currency of the precious', to remind of our limited edition of resources.
In 'Birthing Shells', the artist unfolds her own 'Parable' in the organic symbolism of fragile objects, seeking a cushioned arrival of the human, safely home.
Here 'When Planets Fall', the 'Parable' is rewriting itself, the delayed Second Coming, informing us that we already know the story's end. The mantra of the 'Latin Text', props behind a comforting childhood sound memory, a reassurance that all will be well.
'Cairde Visual' - The Cairde Arts Festival Open Submission Exhibition
Hyde Bridge Gallery, Sligo, Ireland.
Opening 5th July 2016 6pm - running Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm until July 22nd
Cairde Sligo Arts Festival is delighted to announce our third annual open submission show. This year’s show boasts talent from artists from all over Ireland and abroad and features a great diversity of media.
We are pleased to announce the return of the Hyde Bridge Gallery Award, The Model Cara Award and the exciting new additions of The Hamilton Gallery Award and the SG Education Award. Thank you to all of these organisations for their exceptional support.
We hope you can join us for the opening on Tuesday July 5th at 6pm.
We would like to thank the Cairde Visual Committee:
Barra Cassidy, Marilin North, Cormac O’Leary, Lorna Watkins and Heidi Wickham.
A special thanks to invited panel guest Philip Lindey.
7th to 26th April | Opening: 6 April, 5.30pm
The Hyde Bridge Gallery, Hyde Bridge, Sligo. Broken People by Stephen Kieran. Kieran works with mixed media ceramics, natural materials, branches paint, ink, and charcoal. For ‘Broken People’ Kieran has looked at Kintsuki, The Japanese art of repairing a broken object in a way that honours and highlights its past, the artist combined this with the human form as a way to represent the journey people take to become who they are at a current point in time.
As part of Sligo’s Commemorations of 1916, The Hyde Bridge Gallery, Yeats Memorial Building, Hyde Bridge, Sligo, local artist Emma Stroude and projection designer Joe Hunt have collaborated to present a public visual art project on Rockwood Parade over the Easter period.
The project aims to reawaken curiosity and begin new conversations on the hidden stories of 1916. The Proclamation was progressive in that it claimed the allegiance of Irish men and Irish women. The women who were involved in The Rising were working not only for political freedom but for personal freedom too.
Ten portraits of women involved in The Rising and in the struggle for Irish freedom in the years to follow will be projected over ten days from the Yeats Building on to a wall adjacent to the river on Rockwood Parade, Sligo. Anyone crossing the Garavogue on Hyde Bridge after the light falls will see a different portrait appear each night on the following dates:
24th March from 7pm – Constance Markievicz (free public launch event)
25th March from 7pm – Kathleen Clarke (widow of Tom Clarke)
26th March from 7pm – Maud Gonne MacBride (widow of John Macbride)
27th March from 8pm – Lillie Connolly (widow of James Connolly)
28th March from 8pm – Áine Ceannt (widow of Eamonn Ceannt)
29th March from 8pm – Grace Plunkett-Gifford (widow of Joseph Plunkett)
30th March from 8pm – Muriel MacDonagh (widow of Thomas MacDonagh)
31st March from 8pm – Agnes Mallin (widow of Michael Mallin)
1st April from 8pm – Margaret Skinneder (sniper and messenger)
2nd April from 8pm – Elizabeth O’Farrell (nurse and messenger)
Emma Stroude lives and works in North Sligo. Ireland's history and Atlantic coastline influence the two diverse themes which run parallel in her practice. One stems from her interest in women's role in Irish history resulting in an ever evolving series of charcoal portraits of key female figures. The other is born from her fascination with relationships between light, water and the landscape.
Artist: Emma Stroude Tel +353 (0)86 0513509. www.emmastroude.com
Projection Designer & Technician : Joe Hunt www.elvisnspiders.wix.com/joe-hunt-design
Sligo sculptor Hugh McGettigan is bringing his exhibition Preliminary Structures to the Hyde Bridge Gallery - opening on March 1st. Hugh works with salvaged materials and his sculptures are reworked as multiple sculptures before taking their current form. Remnants of previous use become a documentation of previous structures creating a dialogue with past and present works. Hugh McGettigan went to Summerhill college and recently graduated from the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire with a 1st Class Honours in Visual Arts Practice. His Sculptural works create playful tensions. To date he has been working largely with ready made and found materials which show traces of a previous use. This July he has been selected for The RDS Student Arts Award Exhibition. He has exhibited in galleries in Dublin, Sligo and Helsinki. He has recently been awarded an ‘Individual Artist Bursary ’by Leitrim County Council. He is currently undertaking a studio residency in The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon Co.Leitrim.
Exhibition of paintings
Launch 5:30pm 12th January 2016
Wine reception with guest speaker Philip Lindey
Runs until 26th January 2016
"The only true teaching Subsists in watching
Things moving or just colour
Without comment from the scholar.
To look on is enough"
The Hyde Bridge Gallery (Yeats Memorial Building), Sligo
October 20th - November 7th, 2015
‘New Works’ is a series of oil paintings inspired by secret places, from Sligo’s Hidden Glen at the foot of Knocknarea to rocky western coves to an old Dublin garden loft which holds childhood memories for the artist. Lush trees tops and cascading ivy give way to high walls and musty sunlight in this vibrant collection from one of Ireland’s most regarded contemporary landscape painters.
Seamus O’ Byrne was born in Dublin in 1957. Primarily self taught, he paints in oils and acrylics, principally figurative, with a keen interest in nature, the landscape and wild places. He has won awards and exhibited widely in Ireland since the early eighties, and overseas, including exhibitions with the RHA, RUA, Celtic Vision, Figurative Image, Iontas, Oireachtas, Independent Artists, the RSA in Scotland and Abu Dhabi. O’Byrne’s art appears in collections at Goodbodys, GPA, Smurfit School of Business UCD, HSE, Henniges Group, and in private collections across the world.
For more details, contact Hyde Bridge Gallery – Tel: 071 914 2693 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The writing of W.B. Yeats, Ireland’s most celebrated poet, continues to inspire and influence a world- wide readership while artists have always found a rich vein to be mined in the breadth and beauty of his work.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of W.B. Yeats the Hyde Bridge gallery is giving its annual small works exhibition a Yeats focus. An Open Call exhibition was announced in December where artists were asked to respond to any aspect of Yeats’ writing, or the Sligo landscape which so inspired the poet.. The response has been outstanding, with work coming in from all corners of Ireland as well as the U.K and U.S.A. There have been submissions in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture and print. The resulting exhibition is testimony to the continued interest and influence of Yeats.
The official opening is on Tuesday June 2nd at 6pm.
Photos of the exhibition can be viewed on Face Book here:
Artist Andrea Flanagan will hold her first major solo show next month at the Hyde Bridge Gallery in Sligo as part of their monthly calendar of exhibitions.
Flanagan, a graduate of the National College of Art and Design, has been creating work between studios in Sligo and Dublin since graduating in 2010.
Speaking on the occasion of the exhibit, Flanagan said “I use elements of landscape and natural formations to explore the ability to disrupt the temporal and physical planes of representation. Creating an expression of an otherworldly environment, to challenge our accepted realities and encourage speculative thinking beyond the visual.”
The exhibition will open on Friday May 22nd at 8pm, and features eight large format oil paintings.
Beyond The Visual will run at the Hyde Bridge Gallery from May 22nd to June 1st.
For further information on Andrea’s work, visit www.andreaflanagan.ie or
follow updates from the artist online at
PM 66 - is based on the life of a visually impaired person.I have researched the condition through a family member who has gradually lost their sight over the past 20 years. Through mixed media and installation the exhibition will feature personal belongings and household items that have been adapted to adjust to everyday life and daily tasks. Displaying how the use of memory, touch and order become a way to adapt to life without sight. Other areas covered include the deterioration of sight as observed through the strength of reading glasses lenses, and change in familiar images and paintings. The loss of your own handwriting and ability to read. The use of other people to translate through description the things you can no longer see."
Tara Moran-Woods is a visual artist living and working in Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.
In 2006 Tara graduated from Sligo Institute of Technology with a Degree in Fine Art. She has exhibited throughout Ireland. Solo exhibitions have included ARTTANK Gallery - Belfast (2008), Higher Bridges Gallery - Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh (2008), Teach Bán Nua Gallery - Sligo (2009). A two person show at Mad Art Gallery, Dublin (2011) and she was selected for a three person show at The Context Gallery, Derry in 2010. She has also been on residency at Belmont Mill and Artists’ Studios, Co. Offaly (2009) and The Tyrone Guthrie Centre (2012, 2008). Group Exhibitions include Ormston House, Limerick (2013) RHA Annual, Dublin (2011) and the RUA Annual, Belfast (2009). She was awarded General Art’s Awards from Arts Council Northern Ireland in 2014, 2011, 2008.
Opening Tuesday April 21st at 6pm.
The exhibition will be opened by Noelle McAlinden, artist, educator, arts adviser, curator, mentor and arts activist.
An exhibition of new paintings by Sligo based artist Emma Stroude.
Opening 6pm Tuesday 7th April
Opening address by Cormac O'Leary
Born in Berlin in 1972, Emma grew up in the North of England. She studied Fine Art Painting in London at Chelsea College of Art & Design and The Slade School of Art before moving to Ireland in 1996. She now lives and works in Sligo.
The subjects of Emma's paintings are a selection of carefully chosen derelict houses residual of another life passed on the very edge of the continent. Largely ignored, unloved and in some cases simply waiting for the tide to wash them to sea, these houses have become descriptive of themes dominant in Emma's work at present - endurance, fragility, escapism and the notion of life's transience all set against the changing light and weather of Ireland's North West landscape.
The exhibition runs from April 7th - April 18th.
Sharing its name with W.B. Yeats’ poem, The Fool by the Roadside is a compilation of works featuring drawings from the innards of an Israeli Army tank to a video dissecting the landscapes and harsh realities of two Palestinian communities in the West Bank. In addition, the exhibition will be supported by a number of installation works, photography and line drawings investigating Irelands relationship with “The Holyland”. Born in Castlebar, Bryan Gerard Duffy’s work has been heavily associated within National and International Human Rights and Refugee struggles. He graduated from NCAD, Dublin (2009) having changed his name (via Deedpoll) to that of an asylum seeker residing in Direct Provision, where it was published in the belated Circa Ireland’s magazine. He has worked in collaboration with International Spanish Art Group Artifariti in both “The Free Zone”, Western Sahara and the Tindouf Refugee Camps in Algeria. He has coordinated workshops, documentaries and performances in countries such as England, Serbia, Kenya, Belarus and the West Bank. Whilst at home in Ireland, Duffy has presented his work extensively, including the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, and the Ballina Arts Centre. The Fool by the Roadside sets out the existence of an Israeli Tank left vacant on the roadside in the Golan Heights region, North Israel. On the14th June 2014, unbeknownst to the rest of the world, Israel were preparing for / mapping the invasion of the Gaza Strip, where they were gathering their troops from the Syria border to a nearby field. Having performed the action of invading the isolated tank, which was displaced from the pack, Duffy then recorded and surveyed its insides. He departed for the West Bank. Within a week, the bombings had begun on Gaza. The line drawings are a representation of the political / geographical landscape of the region, juxtaposing a city under siege from the skies. Upon observation, the drawings are a battle of light and dark, and hence the lines emerge. Was this outcast tank too old to partake in the invasion of Gaza? The demolition of homes is also apparent in the featured video, “Knock, Knock”, where two communities in the West Bank resist Israeli policies and contend with heir impending homelessness. In stark contrast to Ireland’s building boom, Duffy poses the questions “Where have we [Irish] come from?” and “Who is truly the fool by the roadside?”
THE FOOL BY THE ROADSIDE
WHEN all works that have
From cradle run to grave
From grave to cradle run instead;
When thoughts that a fool
Has wound upon a spool
Are but loose thread, are but loose thread;
When cradle and spool are past
And I mere shade at last
Coagulate of stuff
Transparent like the wind,
I think that I may find A faithful love, a faithful love.
More images are available upon request:
Bryan Gerard Duffy,
(+353) 87 2640765
Landscape photographer Ciarán McHugh will be exhibiting a new collection of black and white panoramic images inspired by the physical landscape embodied in the writing of Nobel Laureate WB. Yeats. The exhibit celebrates Yeats 2015 and is one of the first photographic collections inspired directly by the natural environment in which the poet immersed himself in. Following its launch at the Hyde Bridge Galley in the Yeats Building in Sligo, the collection will then tour to a number of locations over the year including a summer exhibit at Lissadell House.
The collection is described by Ciarán as “A set of photographic images focusing on light, tone, form, nuance and texture inspired by a poetical landscape exuding the sensual, the mystical, the wild and intrigue. A unique collection of photographs which allows you refocus on the familiar landscapes we are immersed in and take a fresh look at the different interconnected worlds around us”.
A dominant feature throughout much of Yeats’s writing is his belief that we all inhabit a reality that is made up of two different but interconnected worlds, the one we live in and the world beyond our understanding. This other world is beyond the grasp of most humans and is free of the limitations of our mortal world. It is the world of Faeries, the Good People, the Sidhe, the Tuatha De Danann. It is a world which over time we have lost the capacity to see but one which can be revealed if we learn how to look.
Yeats’s verse pays homage to the natural beauty of Ireland’s landscape but much of the body of his poems evokes this otherworld. It is his skill as a writer which allows him to guide us from one world to the other and back again by bestowing a mystical sense to real landscapes.
Ciarán McHugh lives in Carney in North Co. Sligo. His photography is focused on the landscapes of the West of Ireland. In 2014 a portfolio of his work was selected by The Irish in Europe Association for inclusion in an exhibition to promote Sligo in the Halles Saint-Gery in Brussels. In 2012 Ciarán collaborated with US author E. Ashley Rooney to produce a book entitled ‘Ireland's Ghosts, Legends, and Lore’. He is also a member of the Made in Sligo craft group.
Launch of Into the Twilight by Ambassador Dominick Chilcott 11th March 2015
Into the Twilight - the Landscape of W.B. Yeats was launched on Wednesday 11th March 2015 by His Excellency Dominick Chilcott, British Ambassador to Ireland. The following is the text of his address on the evening of the launch.
[img src="http://www.ciaranmchugh.com/images/news/1426198491_1.jpg" alt="" >
'Into the twilight - the landscape of WB Yeats'
Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
I am delighted to be in Sligo for this important occasion, the opening of 'Into the twilight - the landscape of WB Yeats', which, as you will see, is an exhibition of black and white photographs of the landscape of WB Yeats' favourite county by the renowned photographer, Ciaran McHugh.
It is a great pleasure to be here in the Hyde Bridge Gallery in Sligo's Yeats Memorial Building.
I hope to return to Sligo in June when, partly through the sponsorship of the British Council, all four of the national poets of the United Kingdom will be coming here for Yeats' day, to take part in the celebrations of the life and works of the author of so many great poems.
As far as anyone knows, that will be the first time that the UK’sfour national poets have been together in the same place, which in itself shows the very high esteem in which Yeats is held in the United Kingdom.
It is rather humbling to be invited to say a few words this evening and officially to open Ciaran’s exhibition. For I am neither a Yeats scholar nor an expert on photography.
But I suspect that I share with many of us gathered here a love of poetry, its language and images, a love of landscape too and a great appreciation of the skill involved in capturing that landscape photographically.
Great photographs are, of course, much more than a simple reproduction of a momentary image on the surface of one's retina.
At its best, photography communicates to us on an emotional level, conveying and provoking feelings and sentiment about its subject matter. It is not a mere, cold blooded, objective thing.
Good photography should be able to surprise us, most obviously by making us look at the world in a new way. The camera does not lie, anymore than poetry lies. And like poetry, the camera embellishes and enriches our experience of living in the world.
Black and white photography is particular powerful in this regard. For it presents pictures of the world to us that are different from the coloured world that we see in the normal scheme of things. Not being distracted by colour, our minds find significance in other things that might otherwise have beenoverlooked.
Portraits of people often seem to tell us more about their subjects when rendered in black and white than in colour. We seem better to understand their personalities; our imaginations are able to penetrate deeper under the skin.
Similarly for landscape. We may lose the beauty of the greens and yellows and blues around us. But black and white enables us to see the details of the natural world in a way that can attach to them more meaning.
I am sure you will agree that Ciaran’s photographs achieve all this and more.
It is very fitting that WB Yeats should have inspired Ciaran. As you will know better than I do, Yeats believed we inhabited two different but interconnected worlds - the world of our senses and the world beyond our understanding.
It is not going too far to suggest that Ciaran’s black and white photographs, as they are not simple reproductions of the world as we see it, offer us an insight into what this parallel other world might be like by providing a different perspective, filter and focus on otherwise familiar places.
As Ciaran says himself, he hopes this collection of photographs can, in a small way, help people refocus on the familiar landscapes we are immersed in and take a fresh look at the different interconnected worlds around us.
Ladies and gentlemen, as you know the earth has orbited the sun 150 times since William Butler Yeats was born. And to mark this significant anniversary, the country is celebrating for the whole of 2015 the life and works of Ireland's national poet.
Although he was born in Dublin and spent much of his youth in London, Yeats was clear where his spiritual home was. And it lay here in Sligo. He spent his childhood holidays here. His mother, Susan Pollexfen, came from a wealthy merchant family from Sligo town.
As a young poet, Yeats came to think of this area as his spiritual home. Its landscape became over time, both literally and symbolically his 'country of the heart'.
'I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:'
You will recognise the opening lines of 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree'. The poem was written in London in 1888 when Yeats was 23 years old.
The inspirational spark for the poem was Yeats hearing a little tinkle of water and seeing a fountain in a shop window in Fleet Street, which made him think of lake water and of a particular lake, full of islands, that he remembered from childhood, and in particular a little islet called Innisfree, with a rocky centre covered in bushes to where he had dreamed, as a child, of rowing and building a wooden hut and listening at night to the ripple of water and quivering of the bushes.
Yeats' longing for such a pastoral idyll, while living in the smoke and bustle of London, is not difficult to understand.
The Lake Isle of Innisfree may be the most famous example of the landscape of this county influencing Yeats' poetry but it is, of course, far from being the only one.
A year or so ago, on a first visit to Sligo, Damian Brennan, now the President of the Yeats Society Sligo, very kindly took me on a guided tour of Yeats country, stopping at various points to read me the poems inspired by different places along our route.
It was a delightful way to spend a morning and a wonderful way to introduce the county to a newcomer . The mix of Sligo's stunningly beautiful landscape and Yeats' elegant mastery of language and image was utterly compelling, indeed somewhat magical.
Someone who unfortunately can't be here is Senator Susan O'Keefe, the Chair of Yeats2015.
She sent me a very nice note, which I would like to acknowledge, regretting not being able to be present at Ciaran McHugh's exhibition. He is a wonderful photographer, she wrote, and his collection is inspiring.
Alas, the exigencies of the banking inquiry detain her in Dublin.
In addition to Damian Brennan and Susan O'Keefe, I should also like to mention Ian Kennedy, the manager of the Yeats building.
I understand that the lion's share of the work - other than that undertaken by the artist himself - in putting together the exhibition has been done by Mr Brennan, Mr Kennedy and their staff and colleagues.
On everyone's behalf, may I say thank you to all of them.
Ladies and gentlemen, Yeats was not just a poet with deep connections to Sligo. He was a pillar of the literary establishments in both Ireland and Britain as well as being one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. His work forms a central part of the English literature A level - or leaving certificate - syllabus in Britain.
In 1923, as you know, he became the first Irishman to win the Nobel prize for literature. The Nobel committee described his work as 'inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form, gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation'.
Indeed, Yeats' own interest in Irish history and in nationalism had a profound effect on his poetry and, in return, his explorations of Irish identity had a significant influence on the creation of Ireland's own sense of itself.
As Professor Roy Foster of Oxford University, who wrote the two volume biography of Yeats that looks accusingly at me from the bookshelf in my embassy office, said: 'Napoleon's dictum that to understand the man you have to know what was happening in he world when he was twenty is manifestly true of WB Yeats'.
To that I might add, and to understand what moves him spiritually and emotionally, you need to know the landscape in which he lived, physically and in his imagination.
This exhibition, through the skill of Ciaran McHugh's work behind the lens, fuses together the man, his poetry and philosophy, and the place, Sligo, that was dearest to his heart.
It is a very worthy contribution to the calendar of events celebrating WB Yeats in the 150th anniversary of his birth. I am honoured to have been invited to the Hyde Bridge Gallery this evening and, with the greatest of pleasure, I now declare this exhibition officially open.
Oliver lives and works in Co Meath.
The things I see around me, like a horse head on the pier of a gate, or a clay swan with flowers growing out of it, that many people would perceive as normal, I tend to perceive as surreal. Inspired by this way of perceiving reality, and with a specific focus on the interest I have in the cultural, historical and spiritual traditions of the island of Ireland, my work can be seen as a fusion or realism and surrealism.
Oliver works in oils, acrylic, and pencil, wood, stone and bronze. He gets his inspiration from the rich, cultural, historical and spiritual traditions of Ireland.
Worked as a Nurse until 2003 when he was severely injured after a patient assault, which left him disabled.
Always having a love of the arts he took up painting for therapeutic outlet
He studied art and design at GMIT, Castlebar graduating with a BA in 2012.
Solo exhibitions include, “Wetlands Arts” Signal Centre Bray, 2014
Retrospective Memories, Casa Azuz,
Group exhibitions include 5 shows at the, Art Against Stigma, Linenhall Arts Centre,
Castlebar, Mayo. Receiving 2 awards for Best in Show. The Mayo Artist Show, on 3
occasions, Linenhall Arts Centre. The Volvo World Yacht Race,
Paul lives and works in Kiltimagh,
Mary Donnelly 19thMay – 1st June
Mary Donnelly Studied Fine Art at D.I.T Dublin 1982-86 .From 1986 to 1991 she was a member of Templebar Gallery and Studios,
Mary has exhibited exstensively through out her career in solo and group exhibitions in
Marys Awards include the Oriel Gallery Award for Landscape of Distinction at the Royal Hibernian Acadamy Annual Exhibition, Dublin 2004. National Self Portrait Collection 2005
"I have chosen to live in the Far West Coast of Ireland in a place of extreme beauty and weather. Over the years, I have become familiar with its every detail, knowing the landscape not simply in its unchanging topography but also in its undying indifference and constant light change."
‘‘It takes a man a lifetime to get to know a field’’ (Patrick Kavanagh). The paintings are not however about romantic sentimentality.
Mary Donnelly: Light on the visable, Mixed media on board, 4 x 6 inches
Charlotte Brooks 23rd April – 4th May
Charlotte Brooks lives and works close to Cashel Co Tipperary, she is an honours graduate in Fine Art Sculpture, from the National collage of Art and Design Dublin.
Her work includes sculpture, photography, film and installation work. These works investigate isolation through photography from a sculptural perspective. Her work in general looks at the subject of traditional views that surround women, and what is the perception of the woman from a male perspective as a Mother, Partner, Wife or Sister. The work is not language or religious based. When embarking on this investigating she discovered rapidly that the issue of isolation was not just a national issue but international.
Carol Wood and Gabrielle Bishop 7th April – 20th April
Carol Wood is a Boyle based artist whose practice focuses in the medium of painting, she graduated from G.M.I.T with a BA Hons in Art and Design in June 2013, Carol has exhibited in the Boyle Arts festival 10 times plus other group and solo exhibitions throughout Ireland. I am learning that art can be a sense of freedom to me whatever the meaning of it. I do not have to be an evaluator of my own work. My main work is produced through the means of mark making with acrylics or oils, working on surfaces like wood, panel or MDF. With layered application of selected colours along with the combination of mediums, I hope to bring about visual and sometimes unpredictable changes that may occur.
Gabrielle Bishop was born in Wimbledon, London. After graduating in History at the University of Sussex and completing her training in stained glass in London and Barcelona she worked in museums and stained glass studios in England and Spain. Now living in Westport, in the west of Ireland Gabrielle is a recent graduate in fine art from the G.M.I.T. Her paintings reflect her background in history, museums and stained glass with time, materials and environment being key to her work, along with themes of colour, light and transformation.
IDEASTHESIA March 24th – April 5th
John Kent is a Cork based Visual Artist who has been focusing primarily in the field of painting. His discipline concentrates in the atmospheric and expressive. Graduating with a BA Hons degree from the Crawford College of Fine Art and Design in June 2012, John was awarded a bursary prize by the college in the form of a residency in the Backwater Artists Group. His work belongs to private collections and has participated in numerous group exhibitions. Self/ Mind/ Conscious: We perceive reality and interpret information. We project these interpretations through expression. My use of the word "expression" is an attempt to encapsulate everything; all art, all action, all thought is governed by ones environment. Recently, I have been focused on notions like time, distance, points of perspective, language as a whole, consciousness.
"Ideasthesia (alternative spelling ideaesthesia) is defined as a phenomenon in which activations of concepts (inducers) evoke perception-like experiences (concurrents). The name comes from the Greek idea and aisthesis, meaning "sensing concepts" or "sensing ideas" and is introduced by Danko Nikolić. The main reason for introducing the notion of ideaesthesia was the empirical evidence indicating that the related term synesthesia (i.e.union of senses) suggests incorrect explanation of a set of phenomena traditionally covered by this heading. "Syn"+"aesthesis" denoting "co-perceiving", implies the association of two sensory elements with little connection to the cognitive level. However, most phenomena that have inadvertently been linked to synesthesia, in fact are induced by the semantic representations i.e., the meaning, of the stimulus rather than by its sensory properties, as would be implied by the term synesthesia. The following table shows the difference in the properties of inducers and concurrents implied by the terms synesthesia and ideasthesia"
I thought Ideasthesia would be an appropriate title for the exhibition because evoking thought is fundimental to my practice. The subjectivity of my work is broad in spectrum, I'm influenced by philosophy (most the writtings of max Ernst, Baroch Spinoza, Sigmund Freud, Neitsche, Terrence Mckenna, Noam Chompsky, John C. Lilly), physics, art history, media etc. Conceptually I am all over the place, my goal is always to make honest art and at this time in my life, being a young person who is somewhat disillusioned and is trying to seek a tangible grasp on, well, life. I'm not concerned with constraining myself to one philosophical discipline,
Little of what I learned can be exactly read from my work. As a painter, translating written ideas to a visual form changes its meaning and that interested me the most, how language has different mediums and each medium has a different quality. From this I've developed a deeper understanding the functions of language.
I always use an old french saying which is somewhat of a sardonic compliment, " You are as dumb as a painter", It basically means a painter is visually orientated and aren't very good at explaining their work. They leave the paintings explain themselves
I've always been drawn to paint horizon motifs in my work. It is borderline compulsion at this stage. Earlier work (2011-2012) concentrated on an object, these objects i created to bear no real likeness to anything in the real world. It was a means to allow the viewer to project their own narrative and feeling onto the painting, freeing them to interpret anyway they like.
[img height="427" width="411">
The work I'm showing in the Hyde Bridge Gallery is directly related to my dergree show work, rather concentrating on themes of isolation, and self I am concentrated on the world around me. Rather than creating played down quasi portraits, I am painting busy chaotic landscapes (I use landscapes loosely).
[img height="427" width="429">
I have an interest in language. Not only verbal but generally how information is carried through a medium and how it is received. I think my paintings reflect this curiosity. I play on abstraction, colour and expressive brush strokes to create an energetic and open picture. There is no definitive subject in my work, I start with a broad spectrum of thoughts and they get boiled down, distilled into a sentence in hope to start a conversation with the viewer.
Other Artist's influences
I'm influenced by the work of George Baselitz, Daniel Richter, Jonathon Meese, Damien Flood, Norbert Schwontkowski, Simon English, Joseba Eskubi and many more.
John Kent is a young up and coming artist from Cork. Graduated from the Crawford College of Fine Art & Design, John was awarded a bursary for his degree show in the form of a 9 month post grad residency at the Backwater Artist Group. Since then, his work has been exhibited around Ireland including having his first solo exhibition.
Uses painterly brush strokes
Uses Strong, Vibrant Colours
Horizons are reoccurring
a sense of place and location is given from the paintings.
The is an amalgamation of time space and narrative that creates an abstract quality
Layering; a sense of history is important to the artist.
Viewers own interpretation is something the artist welcomes greatly.
9th - 16th December 2013 - Heidi Wickham, Steve Wickham
ART EXHIBITION IN YEATS GALLERY ,SLIGO.
December 9th sees a collaboration between two Sligo based artists. HEIDI WICKHAM has been living and working in Sligo for the past twenty years. Artistic projects include local theatre, Arts Festival contributions ,HSE commissioned workshops and adult and children's art classes.
As an artist , Heidi is represented by galleries in Ireland , Europe and America and her distinctive charcoal drawing practice earned her coveted wall space in this year's RHA summer exhibition in Dublin. Best known for her animal portraits , Heidi's drawings of her much loved favourite subject , the hare, have delighted collectors for the past ten years. "My commissioned pieces range from geckos to llamas and but most popular are the family cat and dog drawings I make for clients."
STEVE WICKHAM, fiddler with The Waterboys travels extensively , and this is a collection of photographs taken whilst on tour in Europe and America in the past year. "With nearly three hundred to choose from, curating a collection of fourteen was a real struggle, " said Heidi , "but I've selected these because they capture quiet and interesting moments usually in the 'down time' between gigs". Steve has added a hand-written note to each image explaining where and when they were taken. The exhibition opens at 6pm Monday 9th December and will run for one week.
Branching out: Youth In Action Exchange to Romania
23rd - 29th November 2014
Local youth arts group and friends of Young Yeats, Branching Out will be hosting an exhibition in The Yeats Art Gallery space from Saturday 23rd November. The multi disciplinary group which formed in 2009 operates on a youth democracy principal and is completely youth led. Their base of operations is The Nest, Custom House Quay, Lower Quay Street. Young Yeats since their formation in early 2013 has formed a mutually beneficial friendship and partnership with the group.
In August five members of Branching Out, including their founder and Artistic Director, Brian Devaney, took part in a Youth in Action Exchange to Romania. The title of the project was 'Our Village in Europe'. Five other Countries participated - Romania, Lithuania, Austria, Greece and Portugal. The exchange took place in a rural mountain area in the north of Romania and beautiful town of Vatra Dornei.
Its main objectives were-
- Encouraging young people towards a better understanding on the poverty matter that affects the rural space and the way in which Europe is dealing with this problem by making appeal to the concept of European Citizenship, its rights and obligations.
- Developing the intercultural dialogue between 34 European youngsters from 6 different countries through activities based on non-formal education, which highlight traditional customs of their countries.
- Organising an exhibition with representative photography taken by participants during the exchange that reflect the Romanian rural life from a foreign perspective, comparing it to their own rural experience.
Branching Out's exhibition which features 100 photographs taken by all participants in Romania will launch at 1pm on Saturday 23rd at The Yeats Memorial Building. All are welcome to this event which not only highlights the innovative work and undertakings of local youth in Sligo but also new friendships and understandings between different cultures. It also of course portrays the breathtaking natural beauty of the location of the exchange, Romania.
For more information about Branching Out email: email@example.com
29th November - 6th December - Summerhill College exhibition
Kith & Kin
12 - 19 September 2013
Brigit Egging & Tobias Baudry
Kith and Kin is the culmination of nearly 2 years of collaboration between the visual artist, Brigit Egging, and writer, Tobias Baudry, who are also mother and son. The exhibition will be combined with the launch of their book, Snake in the Grass and Other Stories, a collection of flash fiction and short stories, illustrated by artwork from their collaborative project. Peggy Gallagher, a Sligo-based poet and winner of the 2012 Listowel Writers’ Week Poetry Collection, will be speaking at the launch.
Tobias and Brigit’s work is rooted in a common sensibility and approach to telling stories, whether visual or textual, and a main focus of their collaboration, reflected in the exhibition, is family, connections, what holds these relationships together, and what stresses cause them to break down. More broadly, the theme of distress is viewed through the distorted and sometimes surreal lens of Brigit’s depictions of the human body and Tobias’s flash fiction stories.
As the name suggests, flash fiction is very brief, often no more than a hundred words. Stories told at this length share certain features with poetry, especially the careful, thrifty construction of each line, and the stylised language, characters and settings. Brigit’s paintings, drawings, and prints also contain stories; the figures she represents are more than models for the human body; they are characters too, whose distortions and contortions, captured with Brigit’s fluid use of ink, oil paint, and printing techniques, tell stories of their own.
Brigit is a Dutch artist who graduated from Artez Hogeschool voor Beeldende Kunst, The Netherlands, in 1984. Since 1991 she has lived and worked in the west of
Tobias was born in The Netherlands but grew up in
Through the Looking Glass
31 August - 7 September 2013
This exhibition brings together the work of 7 Illustrators and Artists from around the country. With artists from Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Galway and Sligo this show will offer a wide variety of styles and influences.
JG O'Donoghue hails from Cork and specialises in archaeological and heritage illustration and art. JG has exhibited extensively and was the key founder of the online Islander Arts Collective.
Alan Corbett is another Cork illustrator who last year released his first Graphic novel, the well recieved “Ghost of Shandon”, of which a sequel is currently in the works. Alan regularly runs courses on Comic illustration.
Eva Widermann is a German illustrator specialising in illustration, concept art and character design. Her clients have included Disney and the publishers of the Dungeons and Dragons game series, Wizards of the Coast.
Rosemary Fallon is an emerging Galway artist whose work veers from Surreal painting to sculptural pieces. Rosemary has exhibited extensively and recently has had her work featured as the cover piece for the Galway Fringe Festival brochure.
Marian Noone is a Sligo artist now native to Belfast who has developed a reputation as a highly sought after Street mural artist with her distinctive images to be found all over Ireland. Working under the handle “Friz”, her work largely revolves around the female form, creating a world of sometimes sassy, sometimes sensuous characters.
Eoin Coveney has worked as a freelance illustrator for over 17 years with Clients such as Judge Dredd Magazine, The Irish Times, FHM magazine and more. He has also worked under the mentorship of legendary US comics artist Will Eisner.
Wayne O'Connor is a Sligo based artist who has worked on a selection of Boardgames and RPG books since going freelance a few years ago. He held his first solo show this year in the Hawkswell Theatre in Sligo.