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Selected works from the IMMA Collection at Friars Gate Theatre, Co Limerick

An exhibition featuring film works from the Collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art opens to the public at Friars Gate Theatre on Monday 7 December 2009. Prospect features five film-works which survey environments that bring together a range of perspectives – from the natural to the manmade, the intimate to the vast and the familiar to the unknown. Artists featured in the exhibition include Paddy Jolley, Clare Langan, Brian Duggan and Isabel Nolan. This exhibition marks the first occasion that Friars Gate Theatre and the National Programme have collaborated.

As part of the exhibition Irish artist John Beattie facilitated talks and workshops with local primary and secondary school groups. Resulting artworks are exhibited in the foyer space as part of Prospect. John Beattie frequently works in video, photography and drawing and his practice explores ideas and perceptions relating to the Artist, the Studio and the Audience (viewer, spectator, and participant) in various contexts such as the studio, the gallery, or in more socially engaged environments. The workshops are supported by the Department of Education and Science.

Paddy Jolley’s film-work, Hereafter, 2004, is the result of a commission from 2002 to make a film in Dublin’s north-side suburb of Ballymun – an area targeted for radical social and economic change due to Dublin City Council’s plan to regenerate the area by demolishing and rebuilding residential housing and services. As part of this plan, residents were requested to move from flats in tower blocks, which in many cases were their lifetime dwellings, to new contemporary houses. Jolley in collaboration with German artist, Rebecca Trost and Norwegian artist/animator, Lise Inger Hansen, focused on the freshly departed flats and the physical items left behind.

Clare Langan’s trilogy of films are shot on location between Ireland, Iceland and Namibia, the works explore the seemingly limitless forces of nature, tracing the path of a solitary figure through a post-apocalyptic landscape. Forty Below, 1999, depicts a world where the delicate balance of nature has been upturned. There appears to have been a flood and the familiar world is now submerged in water. There is a weightlessness, a lack of gravity, where time and place merge and the division between earth and sky become unclear. In Too Dark for Night, 2001, the second in the trilogy, there are again violent extremes of climate; in contrast to Forty Below this landscape is an arid one becoming engulfed by an ever-advancing desert. The final part of the trilogy, Glass Hour, 2002, is set in a deserted urban and industrial wasteland which shifts from the natural to the built environment. Smoking chimneys point to the possibility that the apocalypse suggested by all three films is man-made. However, the violence of nature is also present as an angry, fiery-red earth opens up ready to engulf the world.

In Brian Duggan’s work, the artist himself is the protaganist performing activities which are constrained and testing space even when undertaken in the great outdoors. Door, 2005, was made in the Burren, Co Clare, yet the artist has chosen the parameters of a window frame in a ruin in which to perform his feat. In Isabel Nolan’s work Sloganeering 1-4, 2001, notions of identity are explored using a white T-shirt on which Nolan repeatedly scribbles slogans. These slogans are underlined, added to and ultimately cast away as the artist takes off her shirt to start writing on a fresh one worn underneath. This work explores the complexities of identity and how it can be reduced to clichés, it also looks at how in today’s culture communication is often reduced to sound bites.

Friars Gate Theatre, Kilmallock has been operating successfully as a theatre and arts centre since October 1997. The theatre has a vibrant performing, visual and educational programme. Friars Gate is committed to the promotion of arts in their widest form and incorporate the significance of all forms of artistic expression and encourage the participation of all members of the community in activities which enrich appreciation of the arts.

Focusing on the Museum’s Collection, the National Programme facilitates offsite projects and exhibitions in a range of venues and situations throughout Ireland. The Museum aims to act as a resource at a local level through working in partnership and relying on the knowledge and concerns of the local community. Partner organisations are wide-ranging and include a variety of venues both in traditional art and non-arts spaces, allowing for far-reaching access and interaction. The National Programme in 2009 has been supported by the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism.

Prospect continues until 27 January 2010.

Friars Gate Theatre, Sarsfield St., Kilmallock, Co. Limerick
Open: Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm and later on performance evenings. Other times by appointment.
Telephone: 063-98727

For further information and images please contact Monica Cullinane or Patrice Molloy at Tel : +353 1 612 9900, Email : [email protected] 

4 December 2009

Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.