Exhibition Opening: The Sound of Ravens by Wendy Dison

The Sound of Ravens, a new body of work by visual artist Wendy Dison, opened on Saturday 3rd November at Uillin: West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen. The exhibition includes mixed media paintings and sculptures in wire, plaster and paper. Vessels for Memories is an assemblage of fired clay vessels.

 Wendy Dison with Donagh Carey

Wendy Dison with Donagh Carey


‘Ravens are a permanent presence around our house. When I walk on the mountain ravens fly over to see what is happening and I wonder if they recognise me. In many cultures ravens are a mythic symbol of death or are thought of as messengers or omens.

‘After my mother died I walked on the mountain and thought about the ravens and how empty it would be if I couldn’t hear their cranking. The birds became a metaphor that enable me to explore my grief.’ Wendy Dison

 Dick Richards opening The Sound of Ravens.

Dick Richards opening The Sound of Ravens.

 Donagh meeting up with sculptor Moss Gaynor and painter Michael McSwiney

Donagh meeting up with sculptor Moss Gaynor and painter Michael McSwiney

For further information about Wendy Dison and the work shown in this exhibition, visit Wendy’s website www.wendydison.com. The exhibition continues until Tuesday 11th December 2018. For opening times go to www.westcorkartscentre.com.

The Voice of Hunger: September 1846

A retired US lawyer came to spend 8 weeks in West Cork to write a book and was a regular on Saturdays at Skibbereen Farmers Market, where we got to know him. During his stay, he immersed himself in local history and the Irish Famine became a particular focus. He learned about a riot that took place in Skibbereen in 1846, when it was discovered that the government was abolishing a road works scheme that was the life blood for many workers. These roads are now known as Famine Roads.

Donagh was commissioned to paint an oil sketch depicting the Riots that took place outside a government building in North Street. Coincidently, the building became a school and was Donagh’s school from the ages of 13 to 17. Donagh knew that an extra floor had been created in the building in the 1970s by lowering the ceiling on the ground floor and raising the floor on the upper floor, so this modern alteration was removed to make it historically accurate.

The Voice of Hunger: September 1846, oil on board

 Photo kindly sent by the client in situ, as it were! The painting is now in his collection in Spokane, Washington.

Photo kindly sent by the client in situ, as it were! The painting is now in his collection in Spokane, Washington.

Exhibition Opening: Catherine Hammond Gallery at Skibbereen Arts Festival 2018

As part of the annual Skibbereen Arts Festival 2018, gallerist, curator and art consultant, Catherine Hammond launched a series of exhibitions including ELEMENTS: West Cork Landscapes featuring work by 30 artists.

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Donagh Carey submitted two oil paintings for inclusion in ELEMENTS: West Cork Landscape. Pat’s Homeplace is the imagined homeplace of Donagh’s great uncle Patrick somewhere around Lough Hyne. Raheen Castle depicts the ruin of a castle tower near Castletownshend in the West Cork landscape.

Pat’s Homeplace, oil on board.

Raheen Castle, oil on board.

 Donagh Carey with Donald Tesky

Donagh Carey with Donald Tesky

Cormac Boydell: NEW WORK and Michael Quane: TWO NEW PIECES are showing alongside the group landscape show, ELEMENTS. The exhibitions are situated in the O’Driscoll Building, Skibbereen and continue until Monday 6th August. For more information; www.skibbereenartsfestival.com and www.hammondgallery.com.

Exhibition Opening: Anseo Here

Anseo Here opens on Saturday 21st July and can be found on the Visual Arts Trail of the Skibbereen Arts Festival 2018 at the West Cork Hotel. West Cork has been a destination for artists from many different countries over several decades. Anseo Here is an exhibition celebrating the connection many of these artists have with west Cork. Whether they migrated here or grew up here, each artist has a unique relationship with their environment and in this exhibition they share their thoughts on how this link has influenced their life and work.

Donagh will be showing works alongside artists, photographers, ceramicists and sculptors Janet Murran, Geoff Greenham, Diarmuid Breen, John Doherty, Ginny Pavrey, Brian Lalor and Etain Hickey.

The exhibition continues until Monday 5th August. For further information; www.skibbereenartsfestival.com.

The image featured is a detail of a painting included in the exhibition by Sherkin Island artist, Bernadette Burns

Tribal: Exhibition Opening at The Blue House Gallery in Schull

The Summer Season 2018 at The Blue House Gallery in Schull is well under way and last Friday saw the opening of a group show of gallery artists on the theme of Tribal. Other artists featured include Keith Payne, Sonia Caldwell, John Doherty and Fiona Power.

 Three works from Donagh’s Three Castles series at the exhibition opening night.

Three works from Donagh’s Three Castles series at the exhibition opening night.

 Ceramicist Jim Turner, Donagh Carey and artist Diarmuid Breen at the opening of Tribal exhibition.

Ceramicist Jim Turner, Donagh Carey and artist Diarmuid Breen at the opening of Tribal exhibition.

 Donagh with artist sculptor Sonia Caldwell.

Donagh with artist sculptor Sonia Caldwell.

Tribal continues until Wednesday 6th June. For more information on this exhibition and the full 2018 programme go to www.bluehousegalleryschull.com.

Find us at Skibbereen Farmers Market every Saturday

Donagh began showing his oil sketches and paintings at Skibbereen Farmers Market last year and is now a regular at this unique West Cork Saturday market.  Not too far from his home near Schull, the market is a lovely mix of locally grown and produced foods and artisan wares, as well as stalls selling vintage books, china, glass, clothes and vinyl.  It's also a great place to get first rate take-away food with a good selection of culinary styles and there are usually buskers to entertain and add another layer of ambience.  

Donagh displays his oil sketches depicting rural West Cork, seascapes and towns such as Castletownshend, Ballydehob and Baltimore.  He also shows one or two paintings from the Skellig or Three Towers series, which are more abstract in style.  The market has proved to be an ideal opportunity to have an informal chat about commissioning a painting, often of a place of personal significance.  There are greeting cards available to buy which feature some of Donagh's oil sketches, which are perfect when you want to send someone a little momento of West Cork when you're thinking of them.  

Alongside Donagh in his market stall is his partner, Tamsin Blackbourn, who designs and makes sustainable clothing for women.  Tamsin uses only quality natural fibre fabrics, including Irish linen, wool and cotton, some of which is organic and GOTS certified and hand makes all her garments with much hand sewn finishing - the way our clothes used to be made.  Her clothes take time to make, but are intended to be pieces that stand the test of time in quality and style.

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You'll find Donagh and Tamsin at Skibbereen Farmers Market from 9am to 2pm throughout the year on most Saturdays, come rain and shine, but not hurricane - check Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on Friday/ Saturday for their updates.  

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Opening Night at The Aisling Gallery in Ballydehob

Last Friday evening saw the opening of a joint show of new paintings by Donagh and fellow West Cork artist, Janet Murran at the Aisling Gallery in Ballydehob.  Both artists take inspiration from the West Cork rural landscape to create a diverse collections of paintings.  Janet's new work, Garden of Eden, shows the viewer the often overlooked grasses, flowers and ferns of hedgerows.  Donagh's oil sketches feature the less common views of local villages and landscapes alongside his oil painting series, Three Towers, based on Three Castles Head on the Mizen Peninsula.  

The gallery is above Rosie's Bar on the main street in Ballydehob and is open Monday to Friday from 4-9pm and Saturday & Sunday from 2-9pm.  The exhibition continues until Monday 25th September.

 Before the guests arrive for the official exhibition opening, Donagh Carey with Janet Murran and her Garden of Eden painting series

Before the guests arrive for the official exhibition opening, Donagh Carey with Janet Murran and her Garden of Eden painting series

 Friends, visitors and collectors at the opening night

Friends, visitors and collectors at the opening night

 Janet Murran with photographer Dolph Kessler

Janet Murran with photographer Dolph Kessler

 Janet and Donagh at the opening of their joint show, beside Donagh's painting  One Hundred Paces  from his Three Towers series, based on the historic Three Castles Head on the Mizen peninsula.

Janet and Donagh at the opening of their joint show, beside Donagh's painting One Hundred Paces from his Three Towers series, based on the historic Three Castles Head on the Mizen peninsula.

New Exhibition Opening Soon in Ballydehob

 

Coming up - a joint show of new work with Janet Murran at the Aisling Gallery in Balleydehob.  The official opening is on Friday 8th September from 7-9pm and all are welcome to come along to view the work and meet the artists.  

 

The gallery is situated above Rosie's Bar and the opening times are Monday to Friday 4-9pm and Saturday & Sunday 2-9pm, so you can take your pint of Murphys or glass of wine in to the gallery with you, for a wander and a gander.

 

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Three Towers - Blue House Gallery

Donagh Carey's latest series of paintings, Three Towers, opened at the Blue House Gallery in Schull, West Cork  last Friday.

 Donagh Carey with sculptor Barry Linnane, whose bronze and metalwork sculptures are exhibited alongside Donagh's paintings

Donagh Carey with sculptor Barry Linnane, whose bronze and metalwork sculptures are exhibited alongside Donagh's paintings

 It is a body of work inspired by Dun Locha, meaning castle on the lake, which is commonly know as Three Castles Head, situated on the Mizen Penninsula.  Donagh has delved into the history and atmosphere of this remote area of Ireland, in a century when tools and engineering were rudimentary, but effective enough to build an extraordinary fortress of stone.  In the 12th century, Donagh the Migratory was forced back by aggressors to the furthest most point, where he built a mural wall fort incorporating the three towers and flanked on the other sides by cliffs and the atlantic ocean.  Constructed beside a fresh water lake, the castle provided sanctuary and protection for Donagh the Migratory's clan and was never attacked.  Donagh Carey's paintings, with titles including 'Mural Wall', 'Last Bastion', 'Promontory' and 'Flank' are a response to the imagined isolation of those earlier centuries and the atmosphere experienced exploring the castle remains nowadays.  

 At the official opening, painting  Breaking Waves  to the right with bronze sculpture by Barry Linnane

At the official opening, painting Breaking Waves to the right with bronze sculpture by Barry Linnane

 From left to right,  Promontory ,  Last Bastion  and  One Hundred Paces

From left to right, Promontory, Last Bastion and One Hundred Paces

 On opening night, with the painting  Mural Wall  far right and  Headland , a series of four, to centre

On opening night, with the painting Mural Wall far right and Headland, a series of four, to centre

The exhibition continues until Tuesday 15th August and is open daily from 11am to 5pm.  

View more paintings from Donagh's Three Towers series.

Facing West - Boyle Arts Festival 2017

The Boyle Arts Festival, now in it's 28th year, takes place every summer with the main visual arts exhibition housed in the splendid setting of King House.  "Facing West" is the centre piece of the festival, featuring over a hundred established and emerging artists who presented works in various media including painting, drawing, sculpture, textile, ceramics and photography.  

 

The exhibition has been curated by Paul McKenna and was officially opened on Thursday 20th July at 8pm in King House by Heather Humphreys, Minister for Culture

 

Earlier in the year, Donagh was approached to submit work for 'Facing West' exhibition and 'Refuge, Epoch ll' was subsequently selected.  It is one in a series of three from Donagh's wider Epoch series, inspired by the 6th Century hermitage on Skellig Michael.  Specifically, the openings of the stone bee hive dwellings in which the monks sought sanctuary from the hardship of their lives and the weather on the tiny island in the Atlantic Ocean, 12 miles off the Kerry coast.

 

Among the exhibiting artists included are Hughie O’Donoghue, Katherine Boucher Beug, Tom Climent, Eilis O'Connell and John Shinnors. Donagh was delighted to learn that Karen Hendy with whom he had previously shared a studio, was also an invited artist.

 

The exhibition continues until Friday 18th August and the gallery is open daily from 11am to 6pm.

For more information about the Boyle Arts Festival click here.

 'Facing West' exhibition in King House

'Facing West' exhibition in King House

 Donagh's painting  Refuge, Epoch ll  in situ

Donagh's painting Refuge, Epoch ll in situ

  Refuge, Epoch ll  oil on canvas

Refuge, Epoch ll oil on canvas

Exhibition of New Work at Lennons Restaurant at the VISUAL Arts Centre

It was an early start for Donagh Carey, to transport his paintings to Carlow and hang in Lennons Restaurant at  the VISUAL Arts Centre before it opened for Sunday Brunch.  The Byrne family, who are the hospitality behind the restaurant gave Donagh a warm welcome. Sinead Byrne slipped off her shoes to climb up on the seating and help with the hang, whilst her son Ross who is the chef, prepared a much appreciated post-hang lunch.

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The award winning restaurant has been situated on the ground floor of the VISUAL Arts Centre since 2009 and was previously at another location in Carlow town for several years.  The owners are keen to show the work of selected contemporary artists in the restaurant and exhibitions change every few weeks.   

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There's always a thrill for the artist to see paintings that have been toiled over for weeks, months and even years, come together and exhibited as a coherent collection.  

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This new collection of oil paintings by Donagh Carey is a revisit to the theme of the Skellig Islands and Ballinskellig.  The Monastic settlement in the early centuries have become an enduring pre-occupation in Donagh's work and here he explores the idea of sanctuary, the effects of time and solitude.

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This was an exciting opportunity for Donagh to show some of his larger oil paintings.  Shown here from left to right, Sanctuary, Chalice Stone and Refuge. 

Lennons restaurant is open as follows;

DINNER THURSDAY – SATURDAY FROM 6PM
EARLY BIRD ALL NIGHT THURSDAYS, 6-7PM FRIDAY & SATURDAY
LUNCH 7 DAYS FROM 12PM

'Legacy' at L'Atitude 51 Janet Murran & Donagh Carey

 

L’Atitude 51 Wine Cafe on Union Quay overlooks the River Lee in Cork City and the historic building dates back to the 19th century.  Over the years, it has had many guises – its most famous as The Lobby Bar - an iconic Cork music venue of the 80’s and 90’s.  Today, it continues as a music venue, but also offers many more reasons to visit.  A large blackboard lists over fifty wines, hinting at L'Atitude's serious wine list for a discerning or curious palette and it's no surprise that they appear in the Sunday Business Post's "Top 10 Wine Bar's in Ireland" 2016.

 Curator,  Antoinette Moore,  hanging Donagh's oil sketches.

Curator, Antoinette Moore, hanging Donagh's oil sketches.

 The upstairs room at L'Atitude 51 showing paintings by Janet Murran and Donagh Carey.   Photo credit to L'Atitude 51.

The upstairs room at L'Atitude 51 showing paintings by Janet Murran and Donagh Carey.  
Photo credit to L'Atitude 51.

 

The Wine Cafe also provides a venue for artists to show their work, right in the city centre in an informal and social space.  Donagh Carey, along with fellow West Cork artist Janet Murran, is currently exhibiting a new series of oil sketches and paintings.  L'Atitude are happy for art appreciators to wander in and browse, although the aroma of coffee and sight of made in-house patisserie is a good reason to linger for longer.  

 

 

 

A taste of Donagh Carey's oil sketches showing at 'Legacy' in L'Atitude 51.

Morrison's Quay, oil on board, Painting 15cm x 15cm, Framed 40cm x 40cm

Carbery's Lane Rosscarbery, oil on board, Painting 15cm x 15cm, Framed 40cm x 40cm

 
 

Tim's Farm, Evening ll, oil on board, Painting 15cm x 15cm, Framed 40cm x 40cm

 

L'Atitude 51 is situated on Union Quay, Cork city and opens as follows;

Mon 9.30am - 8pm
Tues - Thurs 9.30 - 11pm
Fri 9.30am - 12.30am
Sat 4pm - 12.30am
 

Christmas Show At The Narrow Space

The Narrow Space gallery in Clonmel begins it's Christmas celebrations with a collection of new work by invited artists this Friday evening.  The Exhibition will be opened by David Anchell of Camida at 8pm and features oil sketches by Donagh Carey and work by fellow West Cork artist Janet Murran.  Other showing artists include Ann Brennan, Kenneth Bolger, Mia Carney, Brigid Delahunty, Eugene de Leastar, Ella Kavanagh, Gerard O’Connell, Tony O’Connor, Dervla O’Flaherty and Olive Stack.

The Narrow Space is situated on Mitchel Street, Clonmel and opens Monday to Friday from 10.30am - 2.30pm and 3.15 - 5.30pm and on Saturdays from 10.30am - 5.30pm.  The exhibition continues until the 21 January 2017.

Two Of A Kind: From Sea To Sky

 

The latest exhibition at The Aisling Gallery in Ballydehob features Fiona Power and Cormac O'Leary who have collaborated on this joint exhibition and have been fellow artists since meeting at art college in Sligo in the 1980s.  Their differing approaches to the theme From Sea To Sky, creates an exhibition which is pleasingly cohesive and yet diverse.

At the opening of From Sea To Sky at The Aisling Gallery

A selection of Fiona's paintings showing at The Aisling Gallery

Cormac O'Leary was born in Cork City and after studying painting at Sligo RTC he moved to Barcelona where he immersed himself in art and culture.  Cormac has now returned to Ireland with his family and is based in Leitrim. He has had solo exhibitions in Ireland, the UK and US and his work is held in private and public collections across the world.

 

Fiona Power was a founder member of establishing the Pigeon Loft Studios in Sligo, then following a move to Cork City, she became a member of Backwater Artists Studios.  Now she lives with her family in West Cork with a studio overlooking Dunmanus Bay and the Sheeps Head Peninsula.

Donagh with Cormac O'Leary

Donagh with artists Fiona Power, Helen O'Keeffe and Cormac O'Leary

The Aisling Gallery is above Rosie's Bar in Ballydehob and opens from 4pm-9pm on weekdays and from 2pm-9pm at weekends, or by appointment.  Two Of A Kind: From Sea To Sky continues until the end of September.

'Take 3' Art Show Opens in Ballydehob'

The 'Take 3' artists, Diarmuid Breen, Janet Murran and Donagh Carey met at Art School and have continued to collaborate and come together to show work.  'Take 3' is a diverse exhibition of new paintings with each artist having their own preoccupations and focus.  The Aisling Gallery becomes a place to explore their individual themes and artistic processes and how the creation of one painting instigates a series of new work.  

Take 3 poster

 

 

Thinking About Irish History - The Union Workhouse, Schull

The theme for the opening group exhibition of the year at The Blue House Gallery, Schull was 'The History Show', where thirty local artist were invited to submit work on any historical subject to mark the 1916 Easter Rising Centennial. Donagh responded to the theme by focusing on his immediate locality, always desiring to learn more about the environment in which he lives. On the road from Schull to Ballydehob, is a high, fairly significant section of stone built boundary wall, behind which was the former Workhouse.

 Union Workhouse, Schull ll, 2016  -  Oil on board, Painting 14cm x 14cm, Frame 40cm x 40cm

Union Workhouse, Schull ll, 2016  -  Oil on board, Painting 14cm x 14cm, Frame 40cm x 40cm

 

Walking across the pastoral and tranquil grounds that once housed the Union Workhouse in Schull, it is hard to imagine the suffering and hardship endured by the 'inmates' whose circumstances had brought them to the admittance entrance. Little is left now of what must have been an formidable institution, which simultaneously offered salvation to those who were starving and destitute, but also shame that they could no longer look after themselves.

Union Workhouse, Schull l, 2016   -  Oil on board, Painting 14cm x 14cm, Frame 40cm x 40cm

 

More than a hundred workhouses already existed in Ireland, but the Schull Workhouse was one of 33 which opened as a response to the famine. On arrival, families were separated into male and female wards with another section for children. In addition to the sleeping accommodation, there was a maternity ward, chapel, mortuary, kitchen, refectory and school – children were meant to be schooled, but in reality this rarely happened. Women were set to work in the laundry and men worked on the land in exchange for basic food. Life was bleak, often with overcrowding, disease and poor nutrition and with staff who were inadequately trained to supervise.

 Union Workhouse, Schull lll, 2016   -   Oil on board, Painting 14cm x 14cm, Frame 40cm x 40cm

Union Workhouse, Schull lll, 2016   -   Oil on board, Painting 14cm x 14cm, Frame 40cm x 40cm

 

A mile from Schull, the building was designed to house 600 people on it's eleven acres and must have been architecturally impressive. In the peaceful, now ruined grounds, it's hard to imagine the site once occupied by hundreds of desperate and physically debilitated people. Many only survived the hardship of those brutal times, because they could enter the Workhouse, but they only did so as a last resort, having no other option. In 1921, the Union Workhouse in Schull was burned down by the IRA, fearing it would be used as barracks by the British Army, also destroying it's records, testimonies and documents. So the stories of ancestors who endured those times are erased, leaving only fragments of the building, the boundary wall, the gates.

 

 

'Epoch, Skelligs l' shows at VUE 2015 in the RHA, Dublin

Donagh Carey was invited by the Catherine Hammond Gallery to have one of his paintings featured at VUE 2015, the annual art fair held at the Royal Hibernian Academy in early November.  The exhibition is Ireland's most prestigious showcase for the top galleries and provides investors, collectors and visitors the opportunity to view the work of leading Irish contemporary artists.  

 Twenty galleries participated in Ireland's National Contemporary Art Fair this autumn at the RHA, Dublin.

Twenty galleries participated in Ireland's National Contemporary Art Fair this autumn at the RHA, Dublin.

The 'Epoch' series is a body of work informed by the entrances to the Monastic Hermitage on Skellig Michael, one of the Skellig Islands seven sea miles off the coast of Valentia.  The remote Hermitage was built by monks in the 6th Century and inhabited for six hundred years before it was abandoned.  This painting is a response to Donagh Carey's experiences on Skellig Michael.

 'Epoch, Skelligs l' shown with the Catherine Hammond Gallery at VUE 2015.

'Epoch, Skelligs l' shown with the Catherine Hammond Gallery at VUE 2015.

 Visiting the Catherine Hammond Gallery stand.

Visiting the Catherine Hammond Gallery stand.

The Catherine Hammond Gallery represents some of Ireland's leading contemporary artists and has held exhibitions for Hughie O'Donoghue, Donald Teskey and Charles Tyrrell.  For twelve seasons the gallery was based at Glengarriff and is due to reopen in March 2016 in Skibbereen.

 The RHA at Ely Place in Dublin city centre, places itself at the heart of Irish Contemporary Art, supporting and promoting Irish art and artists.  Further information can be found at;  www.rhagallery.ie  www.hammondgallery.com

The RHA at Ely Place in Dublin city centre, places itself at the heart of Irish Contemporary Art, supporting and promoting Irish art and artists.

Further information can be found at;

www.rhagallery.ie

www.hammondgallery.com