Donald Teskey‘s new exhibition, ‘Ocean Frequency’, at The Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin opens next week and is well worth getting to see. His paintings of the Irish landscape are mythic, dramatic, elemental pictures that distil the power of nature and the sheer rugged beauty of the Irish landscape – and in particular the west coast of Ireland – into a singular frame.
Like other great Irish landscape painters it is the light that Teskey captures in his paintings that elevates his work above mere representation, it is the light that creates the majesty in his compositions, makes us imagine, dream, travel back through time and connect to our ancestral beginnings, realise the cultural significance of the earth on which we tread.
Irish artist Michael Canning was in art college with me, many years ago, and while I went off on a tangent he stayed close to the line and made a successful career for himself as a painter. Next month he has a show in West Cork at the Catherine Hammond Gallery. There he’ll be exhibiting new paintings, works on paper and sculpture which have been described as ‘eerie and surreally beautiful modern studies of flowers and plants whose precision paradoxically leaves everything uncertain.’
Alex Calinescu said this about Cannings work:
The work of Michael Canning resonates in the memory long after the viewer’s visual experience ends, much as a sound, a sense, can continue beyond the conclusion of a piece of music. The paintings and drawings have a weight to them, a power, which belies their quiet, understated, simplicity. His sculptural objects vibrate with an emotional intensity and immediacy that engage and inspire curiosity. There is a sense of control, and of absolute command, in his use of materials, and in his ability to convey his connection with, and experience of, the land of his birth.
The latest artist to join The Art Hand art school team is life drawing tutor Ger Kennedy. Artistic Director Sean Corcoran is delighted to have her on board and her intensive weekend course will be starting on 14th June in Waterford. If you want to know more about the art course and book a place then check out their site.
This video tour guide of The Art Hand Art School is given to you by skills exchange member, artist and Artistic Director of The Arthand, Sean Corcoran. The school will be opening this St. Patricks Day, March 17th (although the date hardly needs clarification)
The Art Hand is a new art school on the Waterford coast in Ireland that runs intensive and challenging art courses by professional artists and tutors in painting, photography, stained glass, mosaic and more and is located in a spectacular rural landscape on the cliffs near Bunmahon in an area of great natural beauty called the Copper Coast.
Linda Coogan Byrne is an avid artist and illustrator from Ireland who also happens to be heavily involved in the music industry in Ireland. In other words her days and nights are filled with music and art.
Her artwork is done in both traditional and digital formats but generally starts with a pencil sketch. She uses Sketchbook Pro and pen pad Intuos4 for everything digital and uses pencils and ink with letraset ink markers for her more traditional portraits.
Senior moments…whilst running around doing the same ol’ stuff this season brings upon us…a simple affair this year, just the Dad and I and one returned jobless émigré, daughter.
Senior moments are funny betimes, others not so when the memory brings back the sadness of Christmas and the loss of family and pals for many reasons… This morning I decided to give myself a morning off having more or less got Christmas sorted. So with one job only in mind to get some photos printed, but had brought the wrong DVD a video not images. “Doh“… As Bart Simpson would say… So time to “mozzie” around as in wander at a whim, no fixed reason, I have done this a lot and find it interesting the people and conversations one encounters. The decision to turn those into art is my own decision.
Encounter one. Buying “real” honey from the Market stalls in the shopping centre, a luxury at €6.50 a jar. But a gift to myself, not being a wine lover this is the equivalent.
So conversation around why the honey is so scarce and expensive. Bees worldwide are suffering various imported diseases, amateur bee keepers fail to keep them properly so a fungal infection spreads to all hives in the surroundings, global changes, etc. But people here do not seem to be aware of this as really serious as food crop pollination failure will affect many food crops. So what can the individual do? Inform others? Encourage correct bee keeping?
Conversation number two.
A few days ago I had made a DVD for our Grandkids in San Francisco. The other Grandmother flew out this morning on her way to spend Christmas with the three boys I share Grannydom with. The DVD was in her luggage. The DVD was a fun film to make. It was “the day in the life of Granddad and Granny” aimed at amusing the kids. I got a great interview with Santa in his Grotto, He did a real good piece to Camera for me, he knew a lot about the boys and how good they were so they will see it on Christmas day. I was ordering a coffee and the young man beside me was getting a fruit smoothie I commented on how healthy that looked. In my mind I thought “Maybe he needs it as a hangover cure?”. He had a nice country accent, so he said he had to go to work now, he gestured to the grotto, I said surprised. “You’re Santa!” “Yep” he said. I reminded him of the filming and he would be seen in the USA in a few days. He told me no one else had filmed him but that he had a list of kids the mums begged him to ring on Christmas Eve, so they would get to sleep…he said he did that as a free gesture. Nice. In his other life he was a trapeze artist, travelled around Ireland and lived in Galway. So we talked about that, being interested in Gymnastics as a kid myself and wanting to run away to a circus at age 11. I wanted to ride horses bareback.
Conversation number three.
Then I have my coffee and get into conversation with an elderly man beside me. He is very dissatisfied at the pensions certain people are getting and the guilty ones should be brought to task. I don’t exactly agree, I feel there is little us “little” people can do but make the best of “now” and try to be more intelligent at “living life.” The simple basics of spending nothing unless you have it to spend, never getting into debt for things one does not need, to spread good, be more patient and tolerant. Although I still get angry at things and people. Then have to rein back and lie low. The drink culture annoys me, the stupidity of over drinking, why? It only makes one stupid, thick and poisons you body. The rest of us sober ones have to pay up, clean up, and sort out the aftermath. A dumb animal will steer clear of fermenting plants, that’s all alcohol is. I have seen and experienced too much harm done by abuse of this over rated, over priced and over here products. Right rant over… Back to nice gentleman. We discussed people and the different types, He said “there are really no evil people in the world” He was a psychoanalytical therapist and had worked with killers from the IRA.
Next Conversation was with a nice lady who offered me a sweet from a big box of chocolates. I said I am not buying any flowers so “can I have the choc.” Yes and then ensued a conversation around metabolism, she and I are lucky we can eat what we like but don’t get fat, yet both of us observe the excess of food at every hands turn and kids growing so obese in front of ones eyes, like the drink a problem for all our futures. Yet it is 2011 and so much knowledge and products and science around to make one aware, it should be so much easier to “cop on” and get things dealt with..?
Right that was just this morning and I have told you. Just a few thought shared with others and you.
I am now writing on this and will stop soon as my neck gets stiff. I will wander into my art room and frame some photos and paintings.
Passing Through the Exhibition will be on in January/February; A solo show of my own making. It might just be a first emerging multimedia and retrospective show all at once. The Signal Art Centre in Bray, Co Wicklow, are kind enough to let this artist loose in their space for a fortnight.
The whole idea came about from a map my father made for my mother after an aerial flight they had from Finglas to Blackrock in an open cockpit bi winged plane. Some adventure in 1932! I think my dad knew the guys who were the start up of Collins town Airport, the pre runner to Dublin Airport. This map was made by him with black ink like an olde mappe with sea monsters and little drawings of local monuments etc. It showed the whole coast line of Dublin. Which looked like an odd face to me as a child. My father planned an outing one day. We used to go for walks together on Sundays from time to time. He planned that we would walk every inch of the Coastline of Dublin from Howth to Greystones. To youngsters today that might not seem interesting but at 8 or 9 years in 1963 it seemed a great adventure. We had no car, so a mile walk to the Train in Blackrock and then out to Howth head. I remember many small bits of things on several of the journeys, I loved the train and watching all the sea birds along the strand, I still do. I know we did the whole journey, it took many Sundays but we always went back to the spot we had finished before. I suppose there were small bits we had to miss as the cliff or rocks or private property intervened. There were many stops when my father would converse with another, I don’t remember who they were maybe known or maybe like me today he liked engaging others unknown who were happy to pass the time of day as they say. I remember one spot on a beach we came across an injured dying seagull, it was crying and flailing around unable to get away but horribly damaged. My father picked up a big rock and said “I have to put him out of his misery,” I said “can you not take him home and we can fix him”, I had rescued a swift from our attic and he flew away after a rest. So right then and there he came down with the rock I heard the squish of something and then nothing, limp, dead, bloodied and gone. I had a rush of hero worship that daddy had helped the gull but also a strange hatred that he could have done more, should have helped another way.
It’s a mild damp November day, I get a lift to the Dart station with £50 pocket money from my “keeper “(husband). For the first time in my life the state pays my fare to Belfast. I sit down to stare out the window at a passing urban sprawl only to be amused at an all female party in pink and white silly outfits celebrating one 40 year olds birthday. They get increasingly party like as we near Belfast.
I am also reading Bill Bryson’s “Neither Here Nor There” He returns to do journeys he made when younger, at a later age and brings me back to similar trips in my own life. I am journeying to do Performance Art with the group that first introduced me to this art form six years ago, B Beyond.
This group organises a monthly performance meet up. It is usually informal and arranged in various outdoor spaces, an opportunity for similar minded artists to perform with and to each other and also to any member of the public who is present and may get the valuable experience or not as is sometimes the result.
It might be a Park or a beach but in this case tied in with the Catalyst Arts Centre so a part of the live Art Biennale, check www.catalystarts.org.uk The taxi man, although given the correct address, brought me to the wrong gallery, The Crescent Art Gallery, but not too far out. I was a bit late and the room was already in action with maybe six or seven others. I knew the space and what it was like so had a sort of pre planned mental idea of what I aimed to do. It is an all white space with walls with old crevices and brick with white pillars supports. I had the volumes of white material that I had used several times before.
This time I used it less as a covering and more on a wrapping of the room, moving from place to place. To begin I simply warmed up rotating my neck around, it has become very stiff with Osteoarthritis. You do not want to know. But a problem. The material then winds around the pillar and me and sort of dictates where and how it wants me to move. Nothing maybe beautiful, more awkward and slow but has its own inner feeling of flow and softness.
No pre plan, but I did circumnavigate that room over a period of two hours. I was aware of the other artists working around me but was careful to not over ride, into, or on top of their space. It is a sort of instinct I am beginning to understand better each time I do this sort of interactive work in a same space. Each work is separate but yet becomes a part of the whole room experience. Rainer Paget was sitting in one corner attaching cut outs from a magazine to himself. James King was vocally filling the room with continuous repetitive verbal like part sentences. I was covered so not able to see as I moved at times, his voice gave me a location to space I knew he was near the walls so as I moved nearer could almost see his verbal graffiti. This actually helped me focus, It helped me as a mantra to pace and control my movements, and gave me a rhythm, maybe like African work chants that get a group to keep working and not notice the individuals fatigue. Brian Patterson seemed to be controlling a metal cistern ball with soccer like feet.
‘After Hours’ is an Irish exhibition, in Dublin, that showcases fine art by selected tattoo artists from many different countries, and art by fine artists who are influenced by tattoo art and culture. It will showcase how tattoo art styles influence fine artists via technique, subject matter and style. By showing the work of both groups together, After Hours intends to offer the notion of tattoos as Art, and to examine its place within contemporary art and subversive culture.
This is the first time that Dublin has seen the art of tattoo artists displayed in an independent gallery setting, away from tattoo studios and conventions. This marks an important acknowledgement of tattoo artists’ artwork as worthy of notice away from a working shop and be exhibited instead in a gallery within an international context. Body Art is a personal and treasured medium for artists and tattoo studio clients and challenges the artist to produce work on an elastic and dynamic “canvas”. Through using their own preferred artistic mediums outside the studio, obstacles faced working on skin can be met and confronted.
Mutantspace skills exchange artist Hilary Williams gives us her thoughts on Dublin Contemporary 2011 that’s on until October 31 in venues across Dublin and tells us of her plans for a group walk in Dublin this coming Sunday, 16th October, from Bray to Greystones Dublin along the Cliff Walk. Meeting at 11am in the morning
Sitting here thinking on this calm, sunny, Autumnal, yet slightly windy day, thinking I must get some sheets out on the line…
First must get the man in my life some lunch, poor man for the first time ever he is grounded. No golf, only me, the TV and some books for company. Both legs are bandaged, one had a mole removed, the other a skin graft.
Life is full of possible Performance Art. No matter which way I move, turn, come and go it all seems to present possibilities of creativity, the mundane joins the adventure, the chance is happy with chaos, how one presents it is the trick….
I have been to Dublin Contemporary twice now. It gives me much to ponder on, but I have few to converse with. I could document my husbands legs, make many gory images and then install them as some wondrous cultural spiel…
Still seriously I am always hunting what art is today as in contemporary, having being through the college milieu of understanding all the eras, cults and spins, I have sort of have come to a resting place of understanding.
There is a question which asks “Where are we after the age of ideology?” in print on the stairwell? I asked some passer bys and they were not sure. Maybe an age of individualism? Where we can sort out where the cultural shift is going?
I now hunt stuff that resonates with my own work, which is? Big pause here as I can’t put a quick fix statement of my own work…
Briefly it takes from my observations, experiences, fears, wishes and possible philosophies all tunnelling into images, stories, fragments of my life and others. Sorts of inconsistent, unorganised bits of life and of mortality with tongue in cheek.
A member of our mutantspace arts skills exchange has just finished a political billboard for an arts project in Bristol, UK. Here is his story…
When a friend of mine told me about the Burg Arts Project I jumped at the chance to be a part of it. I have worked on a few large scale art works in the past but how often does the offer to use a billboard as a canvas come up? The subversion of advertisements and popular imagery has been a constant in my work and here was a chance to put it into its proper context.
For me this was akin to my childhood dream of becoming an astronaut except this one came true. (The astronaut dream is still on the backburner and I am hoping in the future I’ll get an email from a friend saying that someone in Bristol has built a space ship out of sticky black plastic and washing up liquid bottles and is looking for amateur astronauts to fly it to Mars.) The billboard itself sits on a busy main road in St Werebergs, a small but thriving area of Bristol that has a strong anarchic tradition. The Billboard had been unused for a few years before Justin (the brains behind Burg Arts) commandeered it to show the large scale art works of some of Bristol’s home grown artists. The project is entirely self funded which means the artist basically retains creative control. Each piece remains up for a month.
Mutantspace skills exchange member and performance artist Hilary Williams gives us another insight into her process of making art in Dublin
“August is a Wicked Month” Title of a book?
Who said that? But then “Wicked” is a sort of slang for “deadly” “dead on“, cool even. A sort of double negative that makes a thing positive, “I never went nowhere” but you did…
So where is this leading one you might ask…
This is an account of the last two per formative forays this “wan” was about this month.
White Form Passing Through.
Sounds interesting, so what’s it all about Alfie? (60’s song)
As an artist, yes I am one, happy to stand up and say “my name is Hilary Williams and I am an artist,” So from time to time I need to go to my meetings, make art, get a fix, sort myself out, have support peers nearby….AA, artists anonymous.
Just Be. Just be Yourself. Just be Truly yourself. Just be truly yourself now Just be truly yourself now in the Moment.
Still filtering the ooze of unrecognised body/mind/spirit knowledge, feelings, still hunting the words to explain to myself, still troubled in how to explain to the “other me” or even the world out there. Sometimes one goes through a sort of monumental sea change in ones owns attitude, ways of thinking, even moving… Like Shakespeare in Julius Caesar talking about Brutus “some elements moved, something changed to bring about this man…” Haven’t got the lines right but in this last Workshop there was a shift, a seismic change in my way of working, thinking even moving as a performance artist.
Every weekend this year a new or established tattoo convention pops up around the world, from London to New York, Cobh to California! Thousands attend these shows to get inked, buy jewellery and clothes, listen to bands and have a few jars over the weekend. Body art is nothing new, having begun life as symbols of fertility, wards against evil and standards of hierarchy within tribes. In a way, not much has changed! Except we now have a strange thing called ‘fashion’ that tells us tattoos are cool in general, but that you don’t want a dreaded ‘tramp stamp’ any more. Hard to keep up? I’ll say!! But don’t worry, because we have an event lined up that will set the record straight and show off the talent of tattoo artists and any artists who are influenced by tattoo culture.
I know now that Performance Art can be a many shaded shadow. It can be so strong and in your face or just a puff of dust floating in the sunshine. I believe it’s the intentional action of the artist that is only the start of the art. The audience has to make it for themselves with what’s given. If it’s good it will have an effect on those present and on the artists themselves, which may be multifaceted. Maybe not the fully intended image and beauty or horror they set out to achieve but something else – referring here to the shadow again – not the real flesh and bones but a moving acting image left by light on the wall or floor or ground. One can make this art alone but then only display on images kept. Otherwise just a story. Yet the story can be stand alone art too.
When Performance art gets a hold of you in the MOMENT. You enter into or are drawn into that arena/space for that time. If like Christ “If there are two or more of you gathered here in my name, I am amongst you” A bit blasphemous of me to quote this as a reason to make action. But do you get my drift?
Using the body as an art tool is not very new, Yves Klein dragged his females nude across the canvas in blue paint, Some female performance artists counteract that by using their body strongly as a mark maker. Using hair and floor polish, body fluids, tampons, household debris and so on.
In the past my job was to encourage the use of movement to create dance like actions with young children. Not the ability to dance as such but more to feel and experiment with the body, to choreograph ones own self for oneself not to an audience but more to gain a better self awareness. “I am creeping, me the caterpillar. I am soaring, me the bird, me the bird, will swoop down and eat me, the caterpillar. Me the caterpillar will curl up into a tiny space so me the bird cant eat me.” In PE college I enjoyed dance and although not a dancer I loved the freedom of creating and putting movements into individual sequences, at times interweaving ones own work with an other or group, a spontaneous dance off which was very stimulating, fun and good for learning how to pass that on to others. In art college, we the mature access students did get good access to many life drawing classes. Just standing for hours with bits of charcoal trying to use my full arm and own body to pull out the form of the other body in front of me. Later trying to use charcoal and my body to draw literally using the body many ways.
Burning Man 2007 was the spark that lit the fire in me and out of those embers came mutantspace. It is one of the largest arts and culture festivals in the United States and takes place annually during the last week of August in the temporary Black Rock City that springs up for the event in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.
On Friday I received details from Burners Ireland about the award given to Dubliner Diarmuid Horkan, cofounder of the International Arts MegaCrew (IAM), who was awarded the commission to create and construct the official 2011 Temple project for the Burning Man event. The Temple is the largest art commission awarded by Burning Man, and this is the first time this commission has gone to an international artist.
our next DIY arts festival, the Trash Culture Revue, will take place sometime towards the end of the year. So if you want to create, produce, get involved, play, experiment, try stuff out, have fun, design, administrate, organise, volunteer or just come along then let me know
we provide free creative and production skills for your arts projects and events through our skills exchange so you can experiment, fail, make and play no matter who you are, where you are, what you do or when you do it.