WB Yeats 2015

June 13th 2015 is the 150th Anniversary of the birth of WB Yeats, one of Ireland’s greatest ever poets and writers. There are countless events taking place to commemorate his life and work throughout Ireland but particularly in Dublin and Sligo, places with which he was very closely associated. But there are numerous commemorations occurring internationally from Singapore to New York.

Here are just a few public artworks from various locations in Ireland commissioned to remember his great legacy.

Bust of WB Yeats Sandymount GreenW.B. Yeats bust by Albert G. Power (1881-1945) in Sandymount Green, Dublin very close to where Yeats was born in 1865.

Dublin_St_Stephens_Green_William_Butler_Yeats_Memorial_02W.B. Yeats statue in St. Stephen’s Green by Henry Moore erected 1967.

Statue_des_Schriftstellers_William_Butler_Yeats_(2)Sligo and its surroundings were also a central part of Yeats life and writings. This is a recent work by Rowan Gillespie from 2013 in Sligo town centre.



Apocalypse Now and Then

Mad Max-Fury Road - Jasin Boland, courtesy of Warner Bros.

The fantastically reimagined dystopian world in the new movie Mad Max: Fury Road is a wonderfully cacophonous sensory vision of a post-apocalyptic nightmare. With stunningly choreographed anarchic violence it is an orgiastic relishing of the grim and macabre, with the reapers of death dispensing gory dispatch to anything in their path. Rendered in the grandly lurid sensibility of a comic book it is a visually stunning descent into a hellish, plague-ridden scene of horror.

Of course this is nothing new. Tales of apocalyptic catastrophes exist in the mythic pre-histories of many world cultures. Depictions of the world after the imagined Apocalypse have proliferated in art for millennia. In medieval times these visions served as potent religious visual warnings to wayward congregations but by the 18th Century had often become preposterous Technicolor indulgences.

Here are just a few examples from different eras in art. All are vivid depictions of war, death and disaster.

The Four Horsemen from the Apocalypse-Albrecht Dürer

The Four Horsemen, from The Apocalypse, (1498), Albrecht Dürer © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Triumph of Death, (c.1562) Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Museo del Prado

The Raft of the Medusa (1818-19)-Jean Louis Théodore Géricault-(Musée du Louvre)

The Raft of the Medusa, (1818-19), Jean Louis Théodore Géricault, Musée du Louvre

Los_Desastres_de_la_Guerra-No.39-Grande_hazaña, con muertos-Goya-PradoJake & Dinos Chapmans_after Goya_Disasters

Los Desastres de la Guerra-No.39-Grande hazaña, con muertos, Goya, Museo del Prado

Jake & Dinos Chapman’s after Goya Disasters

Apocalypse-Ludwig Ferdinand Schnorr von Carolsfeld

Apocalypse, (1831) Ludwig Ferdinand Schnorr von Carolsfeld

Sodom and Gomorrah-John Martin

Sodom and Gomorrah, (1852), John Martin

The Great Day of His Wrath-John Martin

The Great Day of His Wrath, (1853), John Martin

Death on the Pale Horse-Gustave DoréDeath on the Pale Horse, (1865), Gustave Doré

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse-Viktor Vasnetsov

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, (1887), Viktor Vasnetsov

The Menin Road, 1919-Paul Nash

The Menin Road, (1919), Paul Nash

Apocalyptic Riders-Nibil Kanso

Apocalyptic Riders, Nibil Kanso

4 Days in May

a pigeon sat on a branch reflecting on existenceA Pigeon sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence is quite simply unclassifiable moviemaking. Winner of the Golden Lion for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival it is a rare thing indeed. The film’s title refers, so the film’s Swedish director Roy Andersson says, to the imagined thoughts of the birds sitting on a branch in Pieter Breughel’s famous painting The Hunters in the Snow.

Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder_-_Hunters_in_the_Snow_(Winter)This painting was the first popular depiction of a winter scene in Western art and still provokes enquiry and mystery to this day. Anderrsson’s film is the third part of an extraordinary filmic ‘living’ trilogy following on from Songs from the Second Floor and You, the Living.

Now showing in selected cinemas.


Ruth-McHugh-ModulorAlice-Maher-Goddess-After-CanovaJoe-Caslin-YesequalityRoyal Hibernian Academy Annual Summer Exhibition 2015 You could never describe the large annual RHA Summer Show as unimportant. Sprawling and often predictable but always displaying some stand out pieces it should not be ignored. Not designed to be mould breaking or offensive nevertheless the high quality is guaranteed and it is still possible to acquire excellent work with a reasonable outlay.

Opens from 26th May – Free Admission.

Japanese woodprintAn Evening of Japanese Culture, Food and Music

If the previous standard of lectures and events organized by the Heritage Department of the DLRCOCO is anything to go by then this cultural evening focusing principally on Japanese printmaking should be well worth attending. To add to the cultural atmosphere there will be Japanese themed food on offer and accompanying music. It is all part of a programme to highlight the friendship agreement between Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and the Izumo district in Tokyo, Japan.

Thursday 28th May – Cabinteely House, Cabinteely, Dublin 18.

Tickets available at www.paviliontheatre.ie

Dave Dineen - Kim Haughton


In Plain Sight – Kim Haughton

In Plain Sight is an important and timely exhibition at The Gallery of Photography in Dublin about the devastating effects of child abuse and it’s continued legacy. Using recorded testimonies, survivors own photographs, portraiture and landscape photographs Kim Haughton presents a disturbing sense of the pain caused by these crimes committed in plain sight. Views of ordinary, banal suburban landscapes harbour far darker acts and are also crime scenes with society as a whole very much complicit.

Opens 14th May and runs until the 31st May.

Art Uncovered

Hiding Out, Anthony Wigglesworth, Then & Now, Art-Uncovered


Michael Watts is doing something different in the often-strait jacketed world of art galleries. Too often commercial galleries and curators take a predictable approach to the work they source and decide to display. The resulting art available to the public can often seem restrictive and dull. Instead through his Art Uncovered, Michael Watts starts from a passionate personal involvement and insightful knowledge of often-neglected corners of the art collecting market. Here is a collector who knows the hidden connections that abound in art and is not afraid to collect and display across a wide range of artists, genres and periods from the late 19th and early 20th century right up to contemporary works.

Two Figures-Edward_Delaney-Michael Watts GallerySir_William_Orpen-Michael Russell GalleryHis current exhibition is located in an impressive airy and glass-walled space on the seafront in Dun Laoghaire. The gallery has an open inviting atmosphere, often the antithesis of many traditional galleries, and would have the potential to be the best gallery space in the Borough. Showing work by Edward Delaney, Sir William Orpen, Grace Henry, George (ae) Russell and Marcel Dzama alongside impressive younger emerging artists such as Anthony Wigglesworth and Jacinta Hughes. It would be a very welcome addition to the area if it were to become a permanent space for the display of art. Particularly in the context of the recent devastating effects the recent recession has had on all retail businesses in the surrounding streets.

A Load of Fuss-Connor_Brothers-Art-UncoveredVisit the current exhibition Then & Now in Unit 3 Harbour View, Crofton Road, Dun Laoghaire – daily from 11.00-1700 until the 6th May.

Guarding the Nest

Mending Nets-Grace_Henry-Michael Watts Gallery

Size is everything

Rose Wylie_inglorious_basterds


Sometimes big is better – big canvasses and big bold gestures. This is what you get with Rose Wylie’s paintings. Simple figurative representations and unequivocal depictions of everyday objects executed with a loose, rapid and freewheeling approach that has a real sense of freedom to them. There are also cultural mash-ups with cross-references and a wry humorous take on populist culture with references to TV, movies and celebrities.

Rose Wylie_flowerpiece


The corollary can of course be equally true that small is beautiful. The adjunct exhibition is a scrapbook-like cross-section of the bewildering range of matchboxes produced by innumerable small manufacturers all over India. Here the curator is more akin to the small schoolboy with that obsessive collector trait that we all go through at some age and which some of us never abandon. These small objects invoke that particular pleasure of trying to assemble a complete collection in your chosen obsession.








The matchbox designs themselves have mutated over the years from initially depicting the rich panoply of Hindu deities to now embracing every aspect of day-to-day life including the most bizarre and random of objects. The sheer range and eclecticism of imagery used is both hilarious and intriguing. Literally everything it seems can be appropriated to act as visual aid to sell something as mundane as matches. So it is that every conceivable animal is featured along with smoking monkeys, umbrellas, shoes, kitchen utensils and a moustachioed baby.

indian_matchbox_2The everyday becomes totemic, amusing and personalised. The sheer spectrum of designs means there is an image for everyone to relate to. The small size strictures actually become a template for the creators to work within producing slight but imaginative variations on a constant theme. The results are charming, amusing and often humorous insights into a completely vernacular world of design and culture.

Both exhibitions continue at the Douglas Hyde Gallery until 16th May.

Rose Wylie_installationindian_matchbox_installation

Four Highlights For April

MrGilhooleyUnsuitable Irish art finally goes on public view – On view now

The Hugh Lane Gallery has recently acquired the once scandalous stained-glass artwork by Harry Clarke depicting Nelly the partially nude mistress of Mr. Gilhooley from the eponymous novel by Liam O’Flaherty. This is one of the original panels from the so-called Geneva window commission for the League of Nations but replaced by Clarke in the final completed work due to a hairline crack. On viewing the completed window then president of the Irish Free State WT Cosgrave did not think it suitable subject matter for public viewing. Go and see what all the fuss was about and revel in this beautiful pink and gold vision in stained glass from the vividly creative mind of Harry Clarke. It enhances the gallery’s other permanent display of Clarke’s wondrous Eve of St. Agneshttp://www.hughlane.ie/

Dona Antonia-Zárate_GoyaFlavours of Art: Spanish Evening at the National Gallery of Ireland – April 9th 2015

Pierrot_1921_Juan GrisAn introduction to the very fine highlights of the National Gallery’s Spanish collection, including masterpieces by Velázquez, Goya and Picasso, followed by a supper of Spanish specialities in the Gallery Café, with music by master Flamenco guitarist and composer from Cadiz, Juan José Manzano.


Blade_Runner_posterBlade Runner returns – In cinemas from April 3rd

Ridley Scott’s vision is a science fiction masterpiece, which has been much imitated but never equaled over the decades since its original release. The concepts, futurist imaginings and sheer visual bravura still resonate today with many of its key themes now proving wholly prescient. Like all the best science fiction it still evokes that thrilling sensation of partial recognition mixed with a slightly queasy encounter with a unique vision of the future. It has remained the ultimate cult movie and touchstone to a generation of designers, writers and filmmakers. Catch this timely re-release on a big screen where it was always meant to be viewed. http://lighthouse.admit-one.eu/?p=details&eventCode=15585 

Vincent Van Gogh – A new Way of Seeing – In Cinemas from 14th AprilWheat Field with Cypresses_1889_Van Gogh

694px-Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Self-Portrait_-_Google_Art_Project_(719161)Made in collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, this film is a major re-showing of the gallery’s collection and a celebration of the 125th anniversary of Van Gogh’s death. Seeing Van Gogh’s masterpieces on the big screen, in high definition is a revelation. Renowned curators and art historians, offer their interpretations and explanations of his work. With exclusive new research revealing recent discoveries and insights. Check out http://www.exhibitiononscreen.com/vincent-van-gogh-a-new-way-of-seeing for participating cinemas in your area.



Sunset Please_Mairead O'hEocha


Something’s happened to Mairead O’hEocha. Or rather something’s happened to her painting – a liberation through a subtle but vivid acceleration. A new gear or higher-octane value has been injected into her work. O’hEocha’s paintings have always possessed a cool, measured and detached atmosphere with a strong sense of location and environment. They have an allusion to the expectant stillness of a Hopper but eschew the potential narrative provided by his solitary figures, a tinge of melancholia but lack the laden symbolism of a De Chirico. Often they are depictions of international everywhere-bland but without the studied realism of a Martin Gale. They are little paeans to the ignored oblique margins of roadsides and industrial non-descript buildings and backwaters.

Story Centered Family No.2_Mairead O'hEocha


This small collection of recent work displays a marked leap forward with a new vivacity and a much more expressive approach. Now there are brilliant flashes of colour and skittish movement – a pleasure in colours and speed of application, an increased abstracted quality producing a wider field of view with a cinematic quality. This looseness conversely brings a very assured confidence and boldness. The locations are less identifiable with temporal qualities and an air of that which is about to happen lending them more resonance. There is certain poignancy not evident in previous works.

Tree for Missing People_Mairead O'hEochaHoarding Lights Rain_Mairead O'hEocha


Carefully considered but with fast execution these new paintings are bold and strong, vigorous and delicate all at the same time revealing a new self-confidence. More is the pity that this is not a more extensive display of her current direction. A larger exhibition is a must. More of these please.

A must see before exhibition finishes in next few days at Douglas Hyde Gallery, TCD.