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Visual Eyes: Selected artwork from the IMMA Collection at the Iontas Arts Centre, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan

An exhibition of works from the Collection of Irish Museum of Modern Art opens to the public on Thursday 1 September 2005 at the Iontas Arts Centre, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan. Visual Eyes: Selected artwork from the IMMA Collection is shown in collaboration with the Iontas Arts Centre and is the Centres inaugural exhibition. The exhibition includes work by prominent artists such as David Godbold, Tim Mara, Brian Maguire and Paul Winstanley.  

Brian Maguire deals with ideas of alienation and isolation within society and in personal relationships.  His work has been at the cutting edge of contemporary Irish art in spite of the fact that he continued to use the medium of painting at a time when many artists were turning to other media. In 1998 he was commissioned to represent Ireland in the Bienale de São Paulo. The resulting Casa da Cultura Project was donated to IMMA in 2000. During his stay in Brazil, Maguire worked on a series of drawings at an arts centre where local children from the Favela Vila Prudente, one of the city’s slums, attended classes. Maguire made drawings of sixty children during his four month residency. Two drawings of each child were completed, one was given to the child to take home, and the other drawing remained with the artist.  When Maguire visited the children’s homes, the portraits had found their niche, sometimes in the most unexpected places: drawings were hanging from coat-hooks, on curtains and perched alongside treasured nick-knacks and soft-toys on sideboards. The photographs which were taken make up the series called Favela Vila Prudente and serve not only as a document of the exchange between the artist and the children but also as a testament to the duality of the life of these portraits. Bare concrete walls and naked bulbs are the backdrop to the drawings in the photographs – a striking contrast to the white walls of the Museum. 
Paul Winstanley’s paintings are meticulous, meditative renderings of vacated spaces such as waiting rooms, deserted passages and lobbies. Sometimes looking out from these interior spaces onto the landscape, Winstanley frames the natural world with the clean lines of 1970s utopian architecture. The spaces he is interested in are those spaces which are most often the last place you want to be – like doctors’ waiting rooms or official spaces where people count minutes and wait their turn. Time is slowed down here and the smallest of details occupy the eye as it wanders over the interior, becoming familiar with its every crack and crevice. In Veil a common white net curtain is elevated to the poignant and poetic status of a veil. We can imagine its folds and edges stirring slightly in the breeze, but somehow the image is not benign and innocent, instead it is melancholic and unsettling. We are excluded or deprived by the veil, the space beyond it is hidden from us and we are concealed from the outer world.

Also included in the exhibition are prints by Tim Mara who is widely considered to be one the most important printmakers of our time. The self-portrait Reeded Glass and Shadow is one of a series of three prints. On the left, there is an image of the artist wearing his father’s black-rimmed glasses, his face distorted by the textured glass; on the right Mara’s silhouette is barely visible against the cream wall suggesting the passage of time and the importance of family history.

The exhibition is accompanied by a series of workshops facilitated by artist Cliona Harmey in response to the film Hereafter by Paddy Jolley, Rebecca Trost and Inger Lise Hansen. A projection of the resulting work will be shown alongside Hereafter as part of the exhibition. IMMA staff will also facilitate workshops and talks for local national and secondary schools, supported by the Department of Education & Science. 

The exhibition will be officially opened by Enrique Juncosa, Director, IMMA.
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 programme facilitates the creation of exhibitions and other projects for display in a range of locations around the country.

Visual Eyes continues until 7 October 2005.

Opening Hours: Sunday – Saturday 10.00am -5.30pm

For further information and images please contact Monica Cullinane or Patrice Molloy at Tel: +353 1 612 9900, Fax: +353 1 612 9999, Email: [email protected]

1 September 2005

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.