Image: Larry Dunne, Rockstar, Pen and Acrylics on Paper. 2019
A Solo Exhibition of work by Larry Dunne
at the Presentation Arts Centre
In Quare Taken, Dunne reflects on the homophobia he experienced while growing up in rural Ireland. The surreal and vibrant nature of his illustrations juxtaposed with the relentless prejudice that Dunne experienced in his native Enniscorthy combine into a fascinating response to the past and provides an insight into the enduring effects that such an environment can have on mental health.
This exhibition of work provides a forum for open discussion on the lasting effects of living with prejudice and stigma and dealing with the issues that surround negative experiences in life, which may be presented in a variety of ways and are unique to the viewer. The work on display also aims to remind the viewer of their own interactions with others and how small actions can impact a person’s wellbeing, for better or worse.
This exhibition opens as part of Wexford Literary Festival 2019 and runs until August 16th.
For details and information please email email@example.com or call the Presentation Arts Centre on 0539233000.
The Presentation Arts Centre,
Image: Helen Gaynor
Cutting the Lake
An anthology by visual artist HELEN GAYNOR
13th July - 15th August 2019
Exhibition Reception on Saturday 13th July at 7pm
In the public space and artist studio space at Wexford Creative Hub, YE5 A2VK
Bullring Mall, Mallin St (opposite Wexford Library), Wexford.
With guest speakers: Maura Bell, Deputy Mayor and artist Helen Gaynor.
Opening times thereafter: Monday - Saturday: 11am-4pm
On seeing paintings by Peter Doig in 2000, I understood at last, my compulsion to paint, though I had graduated from NCAD in Fine Art, Painting, some 5 years earlier... In awe of his lyrical handling of his medium - paint - there was an other-worldliness to Doig’s figurative work. It referenced landscape though his works were not landscapes, and the recognisable scenes, while having dreamlike and ambiguous qualities,took the mind to far-off and forgotten places.
And that is the lure. Painting can be as unreal as dreaming, yet still reference the real. My process of working allows for, indeed relies on, things that are neither possible, rational nor real. There is no formula, just a passion for ongoing exploration. Variations in scale and in shape are part of that. Motifs that recur have become part of my personal language.
Sometimes the medium and its materiality, colour, pigment and mark, are dominant, in other works, mood or narrative take precedence. The larger paintings are painted over longer periods of time, so all that happens in that span - in the world and in my life - can be subsumed by the works.Smaller pieces are almost playthings - with ideas, materials, etc - but sometimes possess a clarity of thought, occurring as the often do, after the bigger pieces have been worked.
For me, painting is autobiographical even when it doesn’t mimic reality.
In this body of work, the personae of pieces, varied as they are, represent the endless yet recurring aspects of the personal journey. At my best, I freely follow a stream of consciousness.There is a duality to the work - with those pieces grown from natural phenomena, islands, rivers, volcanoes, mountains - landscape as reference point - The Brooch of the Moon’ and ‘Harbour of Shifting Sands’ being two such examples; and those that rely on narrative - for example paintings in which the flying figure of a female Icarus predominate.
For all its ambivalence, the work represents real life and real struggles, the personal representing the universal - highs, lows, joys and struggles - incontestable for everyone.
After graduation from UCD with an MA in Creative Writing, over time, it became clear there was a crossover between ideas in my poetry and those expressed in painting, and vice versa. I began to think of paintings as visual poems. Though sharing a thread, the poems of an anthology can be very different to each other in both form and style, a realisation that liberated me in painting.
The eponymous ‘Cutting the Lake’ painting (there is a poem of this title too) began with remembered image - the memory of light on water in the south of France, and in the course of work, closer to home, blended with talk of cutting the island lake in nearby Lady’s Island. Later (we artists are nothing if not obsessive!), something triggered a collective of images from painter Peter Doig– a solitary canoe on a lake, and the cutting the lake notion was still present, and the notion of how line in painting can cut through in decisive and impactful ways, and allied to the Lady’s Island version of cutting the lake, relieving the pressure of too much water, relief akin to the cathartic nature of self-expression.
In dyes and paint, there are also lake pigments - made by precipitating a dye with an inert binder, usually a metallic salt. Red lake pigments were particularly important in Renaissance and Baroque painting, used as translucent glazes for rich fabrics and draperies. Colour being central to my practice, I frequently glaze to contrast with bold opaque statements. The serendipitous nature of this thought yields even more possibilities.
‘I never know what I’m going to do next...have no idea how a painting will end up. There could be a hundred paintings in every one painting, depending on where you stop' the words of Peter Doig. I love when artists whose work is so admirable express ‘unknowing’ in this way, refreshing in a world of modern spin. It pleases me to know I am in good company in my lack of ‘knowing’.
Doig chose painting because of the freedom it offers, because of its wealth of history and its limitations, and in common with Barrie Cooke he also refers to the ‘surprise’ element the desire to paint so it can be looked at for a long time without become boring. That it still surprises.
The painting evolves in the making, but evolves further in the viewing. That is why the audience is so important. Hence, this exhibition, and the desire of all artists to exhibit.
Ultimately, I plan to produce a book that marries poetic texts with painted images, a large undertaking in which I will endeavour to make visible in more detail, the exploration of the dialogue between the two media.
Helen Gaynor, June 2019
Creative Hub Studios
The Cornmarket Centre
North Main Street
The Enniscorthy Arts Trail
2nd August - 5th August 2019
The Enniscorthy Arts Trail will Launch at the Presentation Arts Centre on Friday 2nd August at 6pm with a wine reception.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Presentation Arts Centre,