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The Hawk and The House

Anne Ffrench and Julia Pallone
9 March to 10 April
Gallery II and III
A two-person exhibition of photography, video, sculpture, drawing and installation by Anne Ffrench and Julia Pallone.

Over the past two years, Anne Ffrench and Julia Pallone shared a studio at Uillinn over a three part residency, during which a new body of work has emerged. Their work shares a similar aesthetic and sensibilities and has developed around the notion of passage. The intangible passage of time for Anne, and a passage linked to geography and symbols for Julia. The work of both artists touches on the idea of archetypes: a primitive mental image inherited from the earliest human ancestors and supposed to be present in the collective unconscious. Also common in their practice is a love of materials; feather, clay, wool and milk are seen juxtaposed here in film, photography and physical objects. Materials are always on their way to becoming something else in an ongoing metamorphosis.

Julia Pallone’s Sentinels investigates the animals seen on entrance pillars of the gates of houses, bungalows and cottages in West Cork. Since she moved to Ireland, those creatures have always intrigued her: they mix a sense of kitsch with the statuary, they sometimes look enigmatically decrepit and strange, half finished. As guardsmen, they seem to watch, look and keep an eye on those who pass. Do they symbolically protect the house, or do they reveal the inner and hidden essence of the place? Do they materialise a passage, or are they reminiscent of a forgotten link to nature?

For this exhibition, through drawing, photography and sculptural installation, Julia explores the symbolic nature of gateways and totems, the ideas of shelter/home/protection/body and the notion of territory. The human body - as the ultimate shelter - may also be protected by totems or sentinels: this is envisaged through her work on ceramic collars. Similarly, floating houses – houses, this time understood as the symbol of protection –   somehow uprooted and showing improbable outgrowth, may reveal inner doubts and anxieties; but they could also express the need for protection, the need for the security of a home.

Anne Ffrench’s work is steeped in the experience of pregnancy and the role of motherhood. The bird of prey becomes metaphor, a trained hawk is never tame but retains its instincts to return to the wild. In this exhibition, Anne reconnects to her primordial self. Ritual, creation, transformation, altered states, and the changing of forms translates into performative video, alongside physical sculpture in varied materials. Ffrench’s practice is intuitive and the work reveals itself through a play with materials and objects. Making becomes a process of correspondence, juxtapositioning of materials creates a dialogue between them. Ffrench connects to a universal experience of motherhood and strives to achieve an unexpected newness from this familiar territory.

Julia Pallone comes from west of France and moved to Ireland in 2006. She graduated with a Masters in Fine Art in 2002 from The Ecole des Beaux Arts in Nantes, France and has also studied at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Venice. She works with a variety of media, ranging from drawing to photography and installation, through which she explores a poetic vision of the world. Julia has exhibited extensively in Europe and in Ireland at The Glucksmann Gallery; Cork; The Crawford Gallery, Cork; Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin; and Galway Arts Centre amongst others. She was awarded several residencies including at the National Sculpture Factory, Tyrone Guthrie Centre and Uillinn, and bursaries from the Arts Council and Cork County Council. She teaches art in Kinsale.

Anne Ffrench was born in Wexford, she now lives and works from Ballinspittle, Co. Cork. She graduated with a Joint First Class Honours degree in Fine Art Sculpture and History of Art from NCAD in 2004 and received a First Class Honours MA in Art Therapy in 2010. Anne was awarded an Arts Council New Project Award in 2010 and 2012 and a Cork County Council Bursary Award 2013/2016. Anne has exhibited widely including at The National Sculpture Factory, Cork; VISUAL Carlow; The National Review of Live Art, Glasgow; Tulca, Galway; and the Fringe Festival, Dublin.


The Light Keepers

Geraldine O'Sullivan
9 March to 10 April 2019
James O'Driscoll Gallery

Light Keepers is a collection of 25 artworks capturing the unique world of Irish lighthouses .The paintings and lifescapes not only show the physical structures, but also capture the echo of the lives lived by the keepers and their families. Where possible, the artwork is based on narratives told by retired light keepers and their families who once lived in the most desolate and beautiful headlands and offshore lighthouse stations on the Irish coastline.


Image: Geraldine O'Sullivan, The Bull Rock Lighthouse


West Cork Arts Centre Members and Friends Exhibition 2019

20 April to 16 May
Over 100 professional, semi-professional, amateur and student artists - painting, sculpture, mixed media, photography, print, textile, drawing.



Image: Kevin O'Farrell Photographer, West Cork Arts Centre Members and Friends Exhibition 2018



La Ballet de la Nuit (12th hour)

A film installation by Mihaela Griveva (BG) with music by James Hazel (AU)
24 May to 8 June
Gallery III, 1st Floor
The film is inspired by the transformation that occurs in nature in the time between the sunset and sunrise. The work explores the interaction between the Sun King represented by a female embodiment of a Goddess and the elements of nature. The film is part of a collective screendance work produced by International de Video Dance de Bourgogne depicting various artistic representations of Le Ballet de la Nuit (The Ballet of the Night), a 13-hour ballet which debuted the talents of fourteen-year-old Louis XIV as Apollo, the Sun King.
You can learn more about the film project here https://mihaelagriveva.com/la-ballet-de-la-nuit-12th-hour/


Alex Pentek

Sculptural Installation
24 May to 8 June
Luke Murphy's Carnivore (24 and 25 May) includes sculptural elements by artist Alex Pentek. Installed in Gallery II from 24 May and in the James O'Driscoll Gallery from 28 May will be an installation of sculpture to give context to these visual elements.


Together Now: The Engagement Project

15 June to 17 August 2019
The Engagement Project, involving studio artists from the Kilkenny Collective for Arts Talent (KCAT), artists from very different practice contexts all over Ireland and curator, Catherine Marshall, is now ready to take the work of the last four years to new audiences around the country. Following a symposium at KCAT in Callan, Co. Kilkenny at the end of 2018, an exhibition drawing on the work of the 28 artists who have been working together in residencies and other forms of engagement since 2014 will go on show in 2019/2020. Commencing in June 2019 at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, Together Now will travel from there to the Ballinglen Art Foundation and Ballina Arts Centre in Co. Mayo, the OPW galleries at Farmleigh and Dublin Castle and the F.E. McWilliam Gallery in Banbridge, before finishing back in Callan.

The work on show will have been made as a result of collaborations and conversations between the studio artists and artists who prioritise social engagement, performance, installation and a variety of media from film and video to very un-traditional interpretations of traditional media such as painting and sculpture.

Artists who are engaged in these collaborations  of hand and mind include Alistair MacLennan, Paul Mosse, Mary Ann Gelly, Kathlyn O’Brien, Anna Spearman, Rachel Parry, Dominic Thorpe, Sinead Keogh and Nevan Lahart, with studio artists Andrew Pike, Mary Cody, Declan Byrne and many others.

The exhibition will be engaging, challenging, colourful and fun. Most of all it is designed to encourage active participation in the debate about how everyone can make art.

Image: Declan-Byrne, Shoes, 2016, Engage-project.


The Past is a Foreign County

Anita Groener
31 August to 12 October 2019
The Past Is A Foreign Country by Anita Groener, addresses one of the most pressing issues of our time–the refugee crises–and our response to it.    What is it to be human today? - through drawings, large scale installations, film, and animations, Anita Groener explores the tissue of trauma and loss rooted in this question. She makes work for what still needs language, experimenting with both figurative and abstract geography. The deliberately modest means of the work (twigs, paper, pins, twine and gouache) speak to the fragility of life and society that refugee crises expose. Her art asks questions about the ethics of witnessing atrocity and aesthetic response. in collaboration with Limerick City Gallery of Art, The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon and The Lab, Dublin.


Image: Anita Groener Everything is Standing Up Alive, 2018, polymer gouache on paper.



Mary A Kelly

26 October to 12 December 2019

Jack Kornfield in A Path with Heart describes ‘taking the one seat in the centre of the room, opening the doors and windows and seeing who comes to visit.’ When we take the one seat in Buddhist meditation it is said we become our own monastery. We create the compassionate space that allows for the arising of all things such as sorrow, loneliness, shame, desire, regret, frustration and happiness.

The focus of investigation in this new body of work for mid-career artist, Mary A. Kelly, is the chair; armchair, couch, as a physical object in space. It is a resting place, container, location and position. It’s position on its own or with another or other chairs is a conversation about relationships with people, objects and self.

Be seated, take a seat, take one’s seat is something we take for granted today but was not always the case. The first chairs in ancient Egypt were supported on representations of the legs of beasts or the figures of captives. They believed that chairs needed to incorporate natural forms to avoid creating chaos in the universe by constructing an artificial object. The earliest known Greek chair dates to 6th century BC. It was not until the 12th century that chairs became widespread in China. For most civilizations until the Renaissance the use of the chair was mostly confined to high office. The 20th century saw the increased use of technology with metal folding, plastic and ergonomic chairs. Their common use has evolved relatively recently.

Mary A. Kelly’s interest in this project started many years ago while taking part in a group psychotherapy process. ‘The simplicity of the room and the depth of life experienced in that space led me to explore many similar rooms with my camera. Eventually my focus became the chair as a construct aside from life and a witness to life. The exploration extended to chairs beyond the psychotherapeutic rooms into other living rooms. The intimate space of the psychotherapeutic experience opens out into a broader public space and life itself. Eventually the paint brush took the place of the camera.’ Mary A. Kelly, January 2019.

A chair or seat is a piece of furniture that holds and supports the human body. In these paintings, the body is absent but implied. The intention is to create a pause or resting point for the artist and the viewer.  The gallery, not unlike the secular church, stands as a temple between life itself and art. The sound recording of the dawn chorus is the natural orchestration of birdsong with the advent of dawn after dark and Spring after Winter. It is a homage to the Natural World with respect and wonder.

The Exhibition and Tour:

Chair: Mary A. Kelly is a solo exhibition curated and initiated by Aoife Ruane, Director, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda (9 February – 13 March) and presented in partnership with Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, where it will tour to in the autumn (26 October – 12 December), after exhibition at Custom House Studios (6 – 30 June). The exhibition was granted an Arts Council Touring & Dissemination Award. The exhibition is generously sponsored by Anglo Printers, Drogheda, one of Ireland’s leading and innovative print solutions providers.

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