There’s plenty of visual inspiration this month in these art exhibitions …
Island, Hang Tough Gallery, Dublin
Ceadogán Rugmakers has launched “Island” – an ambitious project in collaboration with twelve Irish artists, who have created a one-off rug or wall hanging. Following the exhibition the artworks will be auctioned off (on February 5), with 50 per cent of the profits from the sale going toward Peter McVerry Trust, in aid of the homeless and the remainder to fund an ambitious regenerative project called For The Birds at the site of Ceadogán’s workshop overlooking Bannow Bay Estuary in Co Wexford. The Island project includes pieces by Gottfried Helnwein, Dorothy Cross, Sean Scully, Maser, Domino Whisker, Gilbert Menassa, Hannah Ní Mhaonaigh, Mary O’Connor, Colm Mac Athlaoich, Sean Atmos, Lola Donoghue and Alice Fitzgerald that are on exhibition at Hang Tough Gallery, 4 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2; www.ceadogan.ie.
Bridget Flannery, Terra Incognita, Solomon Fine Art, Dublin
Bridget Flannery’s exhibition opens on January 12 and runs to February 4 and is influenced by the tones, shapes and language of the landscape and seascape in all its forms. “Landscape and language become one, language and colour become one,” says Flannery of the immersive periods of time she spent in nature, walking, sitting or drawing. The work in “Terra Incognita” is the result of two recent experiences in unfamiliar and vastly differing terrains – Ballycastle, North West Mayo and Yamba, New South Wales, Australia. Using acrylic, pastel, and collage on wood surfaces, the new paintings represent Flannery’s exploration, curiosity and investigation into the tones, textures and histories deep within these diverse landscapes; www.solomonfineart.ie.
Turner: The Henry Vaughan Bequest, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
This month, Turner lovers have a double treat. Not only can they view the free annual display of light-filled watercolours bequeathed by the English collector Henry Vaughan, they can also view “Turner: The Sun is God” – featuring 89 artworks on loan from the Tate collection in London, continuing until February 6, tickets for which start from €5. A programme of learning events will complement the exhibition. The Gallery has re-published its definitive book The Works of JMW Turner at the National Gallery of Ireland in hardback to accompany the exhibition. It is available from the Gallery Shop priced €22.95 and shop.nationalgallery.ie.
2012-2022, a decade of exhibitions, Olivier Cornet Gallery, Dublin
From its first gallery space in the Wooden Building in Temple Bar, through a tenure at 5 Cavendish Row, to its current location at 3 Great Denmark Street, the Olivier Cornet gallery has had the pleasure of hosting many solo and thematic art exhibitions. Its anniversary group show will feature works by established artists such as Claire Halpin, Eoin Mac Lochlainn, Miriam McConnon and Yanny Petters. “2012-2022…” will also reflect on the ways in which art can help us ask relevant questions, meditate on the state of affairs in the current epoch, empathise with – and relate to – each other and negotiate our way forward in these challenging times. The exhibition will run until February 15; www.oliviercornetgallery.com.
Metallic Skulls, Gormleys Fine Art, Dublin
Figurative painter Gordon Harris follows past masters such as Caravaggio, Cezanne, and Warhol, all of whom used skulls as sources of inspiration. Harris describes the skull as “one of the most powerful and iconic symbols on the planet”. Of his new exhibition “Metallic Skulls”, which runs until January 24, he says, “These paintings bring the viewer into the distorted forms of reality. Metallic Skulls takes a direct and challenging approach to ideas about existence, taking away gender, age, and ethnicity so the viewer is left looking at raw emotion. Maybe it’s a simplistic way of looking at the human spirit.” Metallic Skulls runs at Gormleys Fine Art Gallery, 27 South Frederick Street, Dublin 2, until January 24; www.gormleys.ie.
Amanda Jane Graham, The Coiffured, Irish Architectural Archive, Dublin
“The Coiffured” exhibition by Leitrim-based artist Amanda Jane Graham combines humour with a critical reflection as she explores the significant historical landmarks in the history of hairdressing. Opening on January 18 and running until February 24, Graham, a former hair-stylist, references the headdresses of Egyptian pharaohs to Queen Marie Antoinette and 18th-century Irish parliamentarian Edmund Burke, who famously wrote “’the occupation of a hairdresser, cannot be a matter of honour to any person.” The series of 20 drawings and four 3D printed pieces also features a sound installation, a series of recorded interviews with hairdressers from different backgrounds illustrating the day-to-day experience of a hairdresser. This free exhibition is on view from Monday-Friday from 10am – 5pm; www.iarc.ie.
Hannah Fitz, Lookieloo, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin
Hannah Fitz’s forte is for making inexact versions of familiar objects “which hover toward an imaginary or perhaps parallel realm”. Opening on January 19, Fitz brings together three groups of sculptures, distinct but interwoven. What seem like complicated wooden cabinets and sideboards appear dressed as decorative versions of themselves. Wrought iron fencing repeats and loops back upon itself, mimicking street architecture while doubling up as indoor lighting. Populating this quasi-domestic landscape, is a series of plaster figurines evoking garden statues or mantelpiece ornaments from a bygone era. Nothing is what it seems in the universe Fitz has created. Closer inspection reveals oddities, aberrations and minor deviations from a prescribed way of describing the world; www.kerlingallery.com.
If We Could See Ourselves As Others See Us, Solstice Arts Centre, Meath
This sound/video installation is a special community arts project which explores connection – from choirs coming together to sing to swimmers taking the plunge together and trees connecting under the earth, which has been described as a “Möbius strip of ponderment”. Running from January 14 to 27, no booking is required; www.solsticeartscentre.ie.