This exhibition “Sundance” was based on the miracle of the Sun in Fatima, Portugal.
The Miracle of the Sun was an event which occurred on 13 October 1917, attended by a crowd of 70,000 people who had gathered near Fatima, Portugal in response to a prophecy made by three shepherd children that the Virgin Mary, referred to as “Our Lady of Fatima”, would appear and perform a miracle on that date. Thousands bear witness to seeing the Sun dance in the sky that day.
This exhibition showcased photos & testimonies of the witnesses, religious artefacts and some original artwork produced by the artist.
About the Artist:
Based in Co. Donegal, Mary is a mixed media artist, specializing in photography and sculpture. She graduated in Visual arts practice with a BA hons degree in 2016 from IADT, Dunlaoghaire, Co. Dublin.
“As an artist, I create images and objects in an attempt to capture the struggles, pains, joys, and beauties of our human existence; which in times of grace, I believe, interacts with a divine presence. Whether through a sculpture, installation, photo or video, the objective is the same. I aim to express the sacred in our daily lives in a contemporary way based on my own personal faith journeys. I hope that viewers of my work will contemplate what they see and feel that connection of the divine in their own lives and maybe reach out to that ethereal higher loving entity, which is God, to me.”
For the past few years I have been considering forms of cultural expression and identity, and how art can help create community within our society. My original source of inspiration for this collection of work was a Rag Tree I encountered on a desolate stretch of road in the middle of nowhere, in County Mayo. The tree was festooned with a bizarre array of cast off clothes, children’s toys, rags and scraps. Whilst there was no obvious sense or signpost to meaning, it was obvious that deep meaning was present. I have since learnt that Rag trees are sites of pre-Christian votive offering; here you encounter the timeless, instinctive impulse we all share to externalise our thoughts, feelings, fears and wishes – in this case through appropriated or created objects – which when viewed become a primitive definition of art.
At a time when the ‘celebrity’ art market has warped our appreciation and understanding of art’s place in society, this encounter prompted me to consider the purpose of art and the idea of art as a shared experience, with a value - and speaking of values - beyond the financial. My piece “Placebo-Panacea : Give Me Something to Believe In” is a commentary on this continuing marginalisation and de-valuing of the power of our imaginations –often associated with ‘spirituality’ or magic when linked to healing or wellbeing - to affect change, in favour of instant, packaged, profit-making solutions for the mind.
For my other pieces I have experimented with a range of media - from pencil drawing to installation, from video to print - to explore this human impulse for creativity in times of crisis or intense emotion, as a means of provoking empathy and understanding in the viewer/reader. Through these creative acts we can create community and a cultural, social cohesion.
As an extension of this idea, local artists were invited to join me in a closing event, which was titled "Message In a Bottle”. I would like to thank all the artists who contributed a bottle containing their artwork (too many to mention here), which we will be casting out into the waves at Fort Dunree, as a gesture of “free art”. Hopefully I will receive some responses from recipients at some point in the future (via Facebook) and create a new community online!
Members Annual Exhibition: Mark III
Curated by Stephen Roche.
Artlink hosted the 3rd annual members show 'Manifold' showcasing great talent from local, national and international artists.
As part of this year's residency program, funded by the arts council of Ireland, artist Niamh McCann created a flag for Artlink Fort Dunree inspired by the landscape, heraldic symbolism and the people of the area.
The flag was raised in a ceremony which will took place at the opening of the exhibition in which the Irish flag was taken down and the Artlink flag was hoisted.
About the curator:
Stephan Roche has a BA (Hons) in Fine Art (Painting) from Limerick School of Art and Design and a MA in The History of Art and Architecture from University of Limerick. Prior to this he has worked in the Education and Outreach department of The Hunt Museum in Limerick, as an Art Sales Associate in the US, and as a freelance Curator (most recent show:‘Plinth’ in Sailor’s Home, Limerick- Culture Night 2015). His Fine Art practice mainly involves painting, drawing, and installation-based work that deals with psychological theories focused on childhood. He is curator and board member of the 126 art gallery in Galway.
The theme chosen was titled ‘manifold’ , which by its very definition has
manifold applications in its meaning. As an adjective it is of many kinds;
numerous and varied. It is something having many different parts or features
as a noun. As a verb, to manifold is to make copies of, as with carbon paper.
The manifold can be machinery in the guise of a chamber, having several
outlets, through which liquid and gas is distributed or gathered; in
mathematics it is a topological space that is connected and locally Euclidian ;
philosophically -as with Kant- it is “the totality of the separate elements of
sensation which are then organised by the active mind and conceptualised as
a perception of an external object”.
This exhibition seeks to question how the practise of each artist is manifolded:
the creation of an artwork can be broken down into stages, both in the
physical act of ‘making’ and in the critical or subjective thinking of the artist
as they make. Alternatively, manifold layers of paint or clay shape a final
represented form. The artist is acutely aware that various stages and
sensations are synthesized in the production of a coherent artwork: numerous
different elements, forms, features merging as one in the finished piece. The
varied artistic practises of Artlink members, their manifold approaches and
interpretations, will eventually culminate in an exhibition that allows the
viewer multiple outlets for discovery. For this open call the artist is simply
asked to propose artwork that illustrates awareness of the various stages of
production, and how these elements become a completed artwork: to think
about ‘manifold’ –by whatever definition- and consider its significance in one’s
'We are all I know is there' was performed by Cuislí as part of their ongoing work 'Structuring Structures' at Artlink, Fort Dunree. Co. Donegal on 22/07/2017. This performance includes sound files and film projections created by Cuislí. It was documented by Artlink; film by Harry Kerr and photography by Martha McCulloch.
New Sculptural works by artist Kevin McLaughlin
Artlink, Fort Dunree. 22nd - 29th March 2017.
New work in Sculpture by Kevin McLaughlin.
Objectecture is an exhibition of sculptural works that showcases for the first time my long term engagement with Assemblage, Constructions and Found Objects. This body of work seeks to draw on and explore overlooked aspects of non-typical sculptural materials.
The coded energy and kinetic dynamics of certain materials in certain forms and configurations is undeniable and it is these physical characteristics that highlight the desirability of utilising such materials to articulate space and ideas. Some of these sculptures have been ‘in process’ for up to 8 years. What the sculptures look like and how they are materially constituted occurs by employing a broad diversity of materials; wood, stone, metal, bronze, beachcomb, plaster and found objects. Working with things that already exist affords me associations that are beyond my inventive and creative control and Inishowen is a place where such materials are available in abundance. On its beaches, along its boreens & roadsides, in its fields and boglands and its abandoned rural buildings. What I do comes from an old place. When it comes to aesthetics the values I espouse are archaic. The work does not seek to represent any new formal innovation. It is not designed to ratify any critical theory or aspire to be a commodity in the market place. I am intuitive leaning, so for me its very much about an authentic engagement with the materials that taps in to what is compelling in those materials and harnessing and expressing it some how. Within that framework, these works seek to explore the symbiosis between studio/handmade and institutionally taught sculpture. They blend early experiments in Assemblage with work accrued during formal instruction undertaken in California and later at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre. Mood is central to many of these works, form & texture being mood evocative.
However ultimately, it's about what I have always liked to look at and work with - challenging organic materials in simple, sacred forms.
As a sculptural theme, I am interested in the extreme cultural juxtaposition between certain aspects of the landscape of the northwest of Ireland and certain principles of materiality in contemporary sculpture. With its mountainous undulating coastline that is constantly being formed and reformed by the omnipresent power of the north Atlantic Ocean, it is a landscape that is undeniably sculptural in its topography and fundamental essence. This body of work is very much a response to and an exploration of that landscape and that relationship. Past projects include solo and group shows with the Earagail Arts Festival and the Derry City of Culture 2013 visual arts programme and a driftwood mandala installed & immolated at Burning Man in 2006.
This exhibition is structured thematically over three sub-sections; The first features painted found-object assemblages and vertical constructions in various configurations and groupings. A prominent base/plinth of stone, wood or formed concrete is incorporated as a critical feature of each of these works.The signature coatings of opaque white, gesso and plaster are applied in various overlays of brushstrokes and pourings. The second section features works that are rudimentary but fully realised 3-D assemblages that reflect a tinkering sensibility, these represent my homage to the time honoured traditions of sculpture. The third section showcases a triptych of painted wooden vitrines that combine various elements of physical materiality and visual complexity. This work is derived from my most recent practice and is of a more experimental nature. Each of these works draw on a frontal aspect, a handmade-ness and an affinity with the relic, the dig-find, the portmanteau & the fetish bundle.
I prefer to not define these works as ‘abstract’ but rather as ‘non-figurative’ as this term offers the potential to avoid being fixed to any one particular reading or description and it implies a more advanced depth of feeling and meaning as it has been understood in my experience of creating these works.
Co. Donegal. March 2017.
Copyrighted material. All Rights Reserved.
A Collection of work by Inishowen based artist Sinead Smyth www.sineadsmyth.net
CREDO Credo – Literally "I believe" in Latin, meaning a religious belief.
This exhibition by Inishowen artist John Mc Carron explores the connection between symbol and belief. John utilises sculpture, painted panels and cubes as "building blocks of belief" with painted symbols as his backdrop.
Today credo it has broader meaning for any system of principals that guide a person or group. Where it once held such a high esteemed meaning today there's often a fairly humerus air to the word.
A hedonists credo might be simply "party on,"or "enjoy the ride;" an actors, "the show must go on."
Politicians have credos for example John Kennedy's Political Credo “I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas”
Credo’s are as much a part of everyday life now from rappers and weather forecasters.
For this solo exhibition John says I'm inviting the viewer to think about what it is that triggers a meaningful visual connection between symbol and belief, be it religion, luck or UFOs”.
About the artist;
John Mc Carron
Based in Buncrana John is a sculptor and painter. He studied art & design and fine art at NWRC and has taken part in group shows such as Artlink and CCA artillery street and in other venues in the north west. John takes some of his inspiration from early Irish, Celtic and modern art. To date John has been also working with sculptor Maurice Harron Studio who designs and create public art in Ireland and overseas. Their latest work unveiled in east Belfast after one of the north's most famous writers, CS Lewis. Seven sculptures all based on characters from Lewis' book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, were unveiled on the 53rd anniversary of the author's death at the age of 64.
Curated by Lucy Elvis.
Members Annual Exhibition: Mark II
Curated by Lucy Elvis
About the Curator:
Lucy is a writer, researcher and curater from the U.K, currently living in Galway. She has worked as part of a curatorial team in Sweden and is currently on the board of directors of 126 gallery where she was chairperson between May 2015 and January 2016 and the board of TULCA festival of visual art.
She is currently a Galway doctoral Scholarship Scholar completing a Phd in the philosophy department at NUIG, which focuses on constructing and account of Gadamer's architectural theory and its possibilites for our understanding of our built spaces.
Insiders & Outsiders
Living near the coast lends us a distinct relationship to nature, fascinated by the sublime magnitude of the sea, yet bound to shelter from the rapidly changing weather and storms it brings in. Inside we find our 'first universe' yet also the oppresive driving forces of traditions and social norms.
"'Outsiders can be lovers of nature, those who are drawn to the wilds, but equally those who place themselves or are placed at the fringes. Resistant to the prevailing forces of society the outsider is romanticised, excluded and pitted inevitably against those on the inside. Insiders and outsiders are often contrasted as urban as opposed to rural, as convention against non-conformism, as those that belong and those on the fringes."
Artlink membership has a national reach and the exhibition this year has a diverse range of submissions that explores the theme of insiders and outsiders in a range of contexts and mediums.