As September rounds the corner of an unusual year in the life of many Blue House Gallery presents a host of suitably reminiscent shows as well as exciting new work to entice and engage before the season takes a gear change. From the 3rd September – Sunday 15th September there are three shows to enjoy in different mediums and styles. Downstairs Johanna Connor presents ‘Indelible’. Largely produced with the use of polaroids, paintings and drawings taken and produced from her time spent in New York after the completion of her Masters Degree in Art & Process from CIT Crawford College of Art & Design in 2018/19. Johanna brings together her collected imagery of the overlooked and disused; worn facades and spaces. Their original gloss and relevance still evident and yet on the wane, transformed as current communities stamp their own identities upon them, around and about them, almost like weeds growing over dereliction to create new landscapes and commentary over the old and redundant. Through it all, as the title ‘Indelible’ suggests, retaining a permanence that seems rooted into a continuing history.
Upstairs, there is no doubt that ‘Moving’ belongs in the title of David Seeger’s latest exhibition of works in clay, ‘Moving On’. Taken from the earth and elevated to a class of being far removed from the static and mundane his use of glazes turn surfaces into paintings and mirrors; tricking our senses and perceptions through playful mastery of surface painting of geometrical patterns and designs. Their flow and movement helped in no small part by the sheer brilliance of technical skill employed to create forms that vibrate with fun and playful invitation while still retaining their origins of purpose. Inspired by his surroundings in West Cork as well as a keen interest in diverse philosophies it is this balance between fun and intelligent questioning that makes his work so unique and appreciated, as well as objects of singular beauty.
Upstairs, contained within the Boiler Room we step into the concise and considered world of Diarmuid Breen’s imagination. His New Works offering slightly surreal landscapes that are not entirely unfamiliar and yet have the feel of something dreamlike. Populated by those who seem to be a part of situations that carry the weight of routine and expectation – not necessarily of their own making perhaps. Spaces within the paintings are dominated by buildings that are placed with the weight and aspect of institutions; whether of faith or industry with neither being obvious. Through it all one is treated to Breen’s confident skill of draftsmanship, his gently considered line and colouring; like a creator who watches over his charges with benign care.
Rounding out September, 17th – 29th and taking over the whole gallery there are two very special anniversary shows to enjoy. The Graphic Studio Dublin celebrates 60 years in ‘Diamond Point’. Pioneers in the art of printmaking in Ireland, the GSD provided for the first time the necessary training and facilities for both active and apprentice printmakers. That early commitment has continued to this day with studio spaces and courses designed to educate and promote the processes of etching, stone lithography, wood and Lino cutting as well as contemporary techniques including photo intaglio and screen printing. Similarly providing a vital presence for artists, by artists, is the Backwater Artists Studio in Cork City. Celebrating 30 years of nurturing and encouraging artists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. From painting to printing to photography to sculpture, drawing and ceramics and more! Over 400 artists have passed through theirs doors and continue to expand and enrich their deserved reputation. Both are leading examples of artists co-operatives that have succeeded in remaining relevant in a changing society.
Stop by, have a look! Next stop….the ‘C’ word…