An exhibition of works from the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s Collection opens to the public on Saturday 24 May 2003 at St Caimins Church of Ireland, Mountshannon, Co Clare, as part of the Iniscealtra Festival of the Arts. Journey takes its theme from the Festival, which this year focuses on journeys, and includes works by well-known Irish and international artists, such as Georges Braque and Anne Madden, shown alongside younger contemporary artists, such as Elizabeth Magill and Nick Miller. A selection of individual works from the collection will also be placed in four venues in Scariff, Co Clare. The exhibition is accompanied by a full and engaging series of workshops and talks presented as part of the Branching Out programme supported by National Irish Bank.
The works in the exhibition, selected by the Iniscealtra Festival, represent many diverse interpretations of the central theme in a wide variety of media. The renowned Kilkenny artist, Tony O’Malley, whose paintings were inspired by his travels to the Caribbean, reflects a new-found discovery of colour, light and warmth, celebrating the sea and sun and the exotic birds and foliage of his tropical paradise. In ‘Isla de Graciosa – Light – Caleta del Sebo’, O’Malley draws on his memory of a place so that the totality of his experience is expressed – the seeing plus the feeling – reaching beyond the surface to find a more complete and personal expression of a place.
A journey through the inner realm of the mind is the inspiration for the strange magic of Colin Middleton’s surrealist and symbolic paintings. In ‘Bon Voyage’ a female figure is suspended by her head from a geometric kite as she flies over a vast landscape with the setting sun visible below. British artist Colin Harrison’s work reveals a private world filled with cryptic clues and private references culled from the artist’s own memory. His sculpture, ‘Portable History of the World’, is a wooden structure in the shape of a suitcase, which is opened as if it where a cabinet. Within the box a grid like arrangement of small artefacts can be found which are drawn from the memories of the artists many travels.
In tandem with the exhibition, artist Terry O’Farrell, a member of IMMA’s Education team, has been facilitating workshops over a two-month period with ten community groups at Raheen Day Care Centre and Residential Hospital as part of the Branching Out project. Up to 200 older members of the East Clare community have been exploring the theme of memories throughout life’s journey. The resulting drawings, paintings and works in clay are exhibited at the newly-opened Aistear Centre, Mountshannon, throughout the Festival. Commenting on the project Terry O’Farrell said: “I came to a centre, which has the feel of home and met staff who respect and support the lives that these older members of the community have lived. There is a huge wealth here in the memories of the full lives lived and courage still in starting something new, in wanting to know more, willing to be open – continuing to explore”. Branching Out is a programme designed by IMMA and National Irish Bank to be national, inclusive and participative, bringing the visual arts to the community and providing opportunities for the community to get involved.
Catherine Marshall, Head of Collection, IMMA, who will be speaking at the launch of the Festival, said “IMMA has been proud to be associated with the Iniscealtra Festival each year since its commencement in 1996. I am amazed at what a small but dedicated and imaginative team can do with such limited material resources. The Iniscealtra Festival is a model of excellence in terms of its artistic goals and its outreach activities.”
The National Programme’s involvement with the Iniscealtra Festival of the Arts is considered to be one of its most successful collaborations. The National Programme is designed to create access opportunities to the visual arts in a variety of situations and locations in Ireland. Using the collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and exhibitions generated by the Museum, the National Programme facilitates the creation of exhibitions and other projects for display in a range of locations around the country.
Catherine Marshall will give a lecture on the exhibition on Saturday 24 May at 2.00pm.
Journey continues until 2 June 2003 at St Caminins Church, Mountshannon, Co Clare and at four venues in Scariff, Co Clare – the Medical Centre, the Bank of Ireland, the Credit Union and Loughnane & Co. The work produced by the older people with Terry O’Farrell will be exhibited at the Aistear Centre, Mountshannon, Co Clare, until 24 June.
For further information and colour images please contact Monica Cullinane at Tel : +353 1 612 9900, Fax : +353 1 612 9999 Email [email protected]
14 May 2003