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Visual Art

Whats On: Visual Arts

Orla Callaghan Exhibition: GIMBAL

Opens with a reception Sun April 7, 4.00pm-6.00pm.  Runs until Fri May 31st.

GIMBAL ( a gizmo that helps preserve equilibrium )

This exhibition brings together two series of work by Wicklow artist Orla Callaghan. 

‘Post Horizon Gardens’ comprises of collage – photographs, found objects, felt, wax and printed paper presented as an installation that represents the search for toe holds in unknown territory. The thread of this work began with an interest in the funerary gardens of Egypt and a fascination with the line of the horizon and what it may be held to represent.

‘Orbit’, first exhibited in Brisbane in 2008, is a collection of close up black and white photographs of eyes, printed in the darkroom then hand coloured and mounted on watercolour paper. The links between eye and camera are many fold, they share parts and functions and operate because of light. The reflections on the glassy surface of the eye evoke water, and diving in, the unique structures beneath are a mysterious interior landscape to explore. While each remains a signature portrait it also a universal portal.

Ian Brennan Exhibition: I am Enough

Open Saturday 13th July 2019  4pm – 6pm Runs until 31st July 2019

A series of paintings and accompanying documentary of the shadowlands of the human condition in nudes.


A series of paintings and accompanying documentary of the shadowlands of the human condition in nudes.

Ian Brennan (from Limerick) is a young skilled artist living and painting in Co. Cork. A year and a half ago he decided to give up the day job to paint professionally. Totally untutored, Ian’s raw talent has already won him fans internationally and locally.

His portraits are beautiful, yet fierce. There is a palpable energy in all of his paintings, as if the subject would get up and leave the canvas behind. Ian is painting more than the human body, he is painting the human feelings covered in flesh.

The documentary focuses on the artistic process, for Ian, this is the source from which he paints. The finished pieces are consequential to the artistic process itself. He surrenders himself to the “unknowing” and the journey becomes the art itself.

This series of work looks at shame, vulernability, abuse, the inner-critic, sexuality, depression, the relationship with the body itself and the healing that can exist in being witnessed in these aspects of the human condition.

Filming the connection between the sitter and the artist is what makes this exhibition unique. The audience can see the process from beginning to end. From initially meeting the sitter, to revealing the finished pieces and all the feelings in between.

Ian allows the audience to witness the intimacy that exists in the relationship with his subjects, an insight that is rarely shared in the art world.

His connection with his sitters is powerful. Ian’s work reminds people of a young Lucian Freud, only his figures are finer and sharper and alive enough as though they are about to exit the canvas.

“Allowing the audience to be part of the process is paramount for me. It’s the very thing that makes my work relational. My work cannot exist in isolation for me it would have no meaning, no healing, no energy, no purpose. I want to invite the view into the process, as this in turn creates an invitation to look at one’s self”

“I work solely from the energy I feel between the sitter and I. It’s not a cognitive experience, rather a holistic experience. I transcend my feelings, my bodily sensations and connect with the person on a level that hopefully is apparent in the work. In a sense I “become” the sitter for the work to happen. When I take paint to canvas I then use the experience that I have downloaded in my body to paint from. I work from photos, but the essence of that person is installed in my psyche. It’s an exhausting process as it means having to enter the feelings, body and energy of another person. It can take me weeks to finish a piece, leaving me both physically and emotionally exhausted after the work. To say I become invested is an understatement. I have shed tears, felt anger, felt abandoned, felt stuck, felt shame, felt physically sick, felt disgusted with myself. There were even moments where I could not look at the pieces. All of this is part of the journeying into the unknown, journeying into another person and thus journeying into myself, for each part of the person I am painting exists within me too. My aim with this series of paintings is to show the world the beauty of connecting through our shadow parts, which so often remain hidden. Allowing our pain be witnessed can be such a beautiful experience. I ask for the view to witness their own internal reactions to my work, for this is where you will see your own shadows.”