Blue House Gallery opens its doors during June to an intense month of exhibitions comprising photography, painting, printmaking, ceramics and collage. With Artists Spaces, photographers Geoff Greenham and Melanie Black have toured the studios of resident artists, taking inspiration from the environments these artists have devised to make possible the creative process, whether it be a field for the outdoor painter to a dark workshop for indoors activity. Damaris Lysaght, a traditional ‘plein air’ artist whose studio is out in the elements, grapples with all weather conditions to achieve her images, while John Doherty and Johanna Connor persevere in the more secure environment of a dedicated studio space.
Coilin Murray shows his intently colourful small works, meditations on the seacoast landscape of Skeaghanore outside Ballydehob where he lives. Colour, as used here, seems to carry its own internal illumination, so lyrical are the modulations achieved by the artist.
In ‘Out of this Earth’, a ceramic group exhibition curated by celebrated Rossmore potter, Jim Turner, ceramic artists from around the country throw, fold and manipulate clay and glazes to demonstrate a unity of pure form, as moulded by the human hand. West Cork became renowned for its potters during the 1960s and the tradition continues with decorative, sculptural and domestic ceramics resonating with the colours of the gorse, fuchsia and montbretia that flank the fields and roadways of the countryside.
In the new Boiler Room Gallery, tucked away upstairs in Blue House, Paul Ford Cialis shows his signature collages, witty commentaries on contemporary life and manners, while, later in the Boiler Room, Catherine Weld has a small solo exhibition of her gentle abstracts, so suggestive of peace and tranquility that one might furnish a room with paintings alone as companions for the spirit and the mind.