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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.

For information on participating in the Members and Friends Exhibition please see here.


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



Le 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. View the film trailer here.
You can learn more about the film project here https://mihaelagriveva.com/la-ballet-de-la-nuit-12th-hour/

Alex Pentek

Implicate and Explicate Order 
24 May to 8 June

Luke Murphy's contemporary dance performance Carnivore (24 and 25 May at Uillinn) includes large scale, sculptural elements by artist Alex Pentek. Implicate and Explicate Order is an installation of Alex's new origami and scientifically inspired sculpture. Exploring ideas of connectedness, these ongoing themes and forms give context to some of the visual elements created for the Carnivore performance.

With a multi-faceted sculptural practice, Alex Pentek’s body of work covers a variety of materials from large scale public realm sculptures in steel, to gallery based paper works. Alex’s paper sculptures blur the boundary between engineering, magical trick, Mobius form and mathematical construct. Often creating new origami folds for this work such as his star-shaped pattern and stellated icosahedron (which you can download to make here; http://alexpentek.com/studio/), in designing his paper-sculptures, he uses a mixture of mathematics, drawing, 3D computer modelling and precise origami paper folding techniques.

Alex is also a drummer in a blues/jazz band and is drawn to Eastern ideas of memorised response; a non-western approach that values a quality of knowing or understanding created through rhythmic repetition.



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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