Concerning the Other, Curating

Would you like to join the Inner Circle?

Dear Reader, I haven’t done this before but – could I possibly ask you for a favour? Can you help me please with an art project entitled: “Concerning the Other”

(Before I go any further, I’d just like to thank some wonderful people who, straight away, lent us their support as soon as we put out the call.  It is really heartening to see such generosity of spirit. You know who ye are, folks… extra special people, thank you again!)

“Concerning the Other” is a project in which ten artists are working together to produce one hundred pieces of art. Each of us has produced a first image which we will soon be emailing on to the next artist in the group. He or she will work over it and then email it on to the next artist – until all ten artists have worked on all ten pieces.

“Words cannot…” by Eoin Mac Lochlainn – 80 x 90cm, oil on canvas, 2008
“Words cannot…” by Eoin Mac Lochlainn – 80 x 90cm, oil on canvas, 2008

Why would we do this? Well, we were thinking that in these times of mounting racism and intolerance, artists can take a lead in promoting diversity and solidarity – by showing concern for minorities instead of adding to the frenzy of hate.

So we’ll be going over each other’s work. I reckon that’ll be a challenge in itself. We’d better be sure to take the others into account… but of course, that’s what it’s all about.

And where do you come in? Well, if you could sponsor us, we’d really appreciate it. We’ll be printing out the final pieces for an exhibition in September and that’s the main cost of the project. If you could give us €10, that would be brilliant (but of course, you can give more if you wish)

Painting by Eoin Mac Lochlainn entitled "Home", 66 x 86cm oil on canvas, 2011
Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness – ‘Home’ by Eoin Mac Lochlainn – 66 x 86cm, oil on canvas, 2011

This is a “crowd funding” project. It’s being facilitated by Fund it, at https://fundit.ie/project/activity/concerning-the-other

It’s all about people “pledging” money to fund the project. Only if the goal of €1500 in pledges is reached will anyone be paying out. But when you pledge money, there are various “rewards” that you will receive.

You’ll get to see the ‘behind the scenes’ story of how the works of art are developing each week. There’ll be a special Private View for Funders before the official launch of the exhibition. Special discounts too, depending on how much you pledge…

You can read all about it on our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ConcerningtheOther/

So that’s my story. I’m one of the curators of this project. Olivier Cornet and Claire Halpin are the other two. It’d be lovely if you could join us in the “inner circle” of the project. Please, please click on the Fund it link below and register today. You can do it anonymously if you wish – but maybe, you might let me know if you do?  And can I say in advance:  thanks a million!

https://fundit.ie/project/activity/concerning-the-other

http://www.eoinmaclochlainn.com/

http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

art exhibitions, community festivals

Irish Portraits

unfinished sketch of Richard Allen by Dave Gleeson
Sketch of Richard Allen by Dave Gleeson

There’s a lot happening at the Harold’s Cross Community Festival this week but I’ll just tell you today about the show that I’m curating as part of it.

It’s an exhibition of portraits by local artist Dave Gleeson. (That’s one of his drawings above). He makes these meticulous, finely crafted drawings in graphite and pastel that must take an age to complete. Each piece is carefully composed using various references to tell the story of the sitter.

But the drawing above is unfinished (I unceremoniously wrested it out of his grasp for this blog post) because I wanted to show you Richard Allen, the celebrated Quaker and philanthropist who was born in 1803 at 201, Harold’s Cross Road, Dublin (seen below).  It’s in a terrible state at the moment but the good news is that it has finally been agreed to fix it up.

Photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of Quaker house in Harold's Cross, Dublin

The theme of the festival this year is diversity and inclusion. There was a great lecture about the Quakers on Tuesday evening. I’ll tell you – those Quakers got themselves into an awful lot of trouble down through the centuries for many reasons. For instance, they believed in equal status for men and women; they believed in everyone being equal in the eyes of God; they refused to pay tithes to the Anglican church; they refused to take an oath of allegiance to any monarch. I tell you: the more I hear, the more I like them!

But Richard Allen was active in movements for prison reform, the abolition of the death penalty and more particularly, for the abolition of slavery. In 1840 he attended the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London, the other Irish delegates being Daniel O’Connell and Richard Robert Madden. His friends included the freed slave Frederick Douglass, the temperance campaigner Fr. Theobald Mathew, the philanthropist Dr. Barnardo and the composer Thomas Moore.

And did I mention that he also raised £20,000 to help victims of the Irish Famine? His concern for the other was second to none.

His portrait can be seen alongside portraits of various Irish personalities from the literary and musical world at La Galerie Impromptu in Harold’s Cross until Sunday, the 14th of May. Well worth a visit!

http://davegleeson.net/

http://www.eoinmaclochlainn.com/

http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

http://www.patrickcomerford.com/2015/08/an-important-house-in-harolds-cross.html

And, speaking of “Concern for the Other”, there was an innovative new art project launched this week that you might like. I’ll tell you more about it next week but in the meantime, you could check out:

https://fundit.ie/project/funders/concerning-the-other

 

Irish art, sculpture

Are you wondering what to do next?

I’ve spent the last two days clearing out the studio (it’s now in a worse mess than before) but it’ll be better tomorrow, hopefully.

It’s not a bad thing to do. You can get totally overwhelmed by the detritus of old projects and the bits and pieces ‘that might possibly be useful some day’, and this burgeoning clutter can have a detrimental effect on your mood as well on your workspace.

Progress? 6" x 6" metal grid, shadow, 2004 artwork by Eoin Mac Lochlainn
Progress?   6″ x 6″ metal grid, shadow, 2004

You see, for the most part, you’re on your own in this space, working away at something – unlike any “normal people’s work. Yes, it’s a strange occupation. I remember once the late Tony O’Malley said to me: “Painting is a mystery, like poetry… you have to listen. It’s available to you, as long as you don’t presume…”

Still, you sometimes stand there alone, wondering what to do next.

But as I was clearing, I came across this piece of wire (see above). I made that back in 2004 and it was exhibited in 6×6 for Ireland at the Central Academy of Fine Art in China (organised by James Ryan of the 411 Gallery, Hangzhou).

Yes, of course, it’s just a bit of ould wire but I like to think of it as a 3-dimensional drawing. It was referring to all those building projects that were underway back then. It had no colour, increasing the effect of the cold inhumanity of it all.

I was incorporating those grids into a lot of the work back then.  Below is another one, a more hopeful one, I suppose.  Breaking free from the grid. The shadows and the different sources of light were an important element in these works.

Birdsong, 6" x 6", oil on canvas, metal grid, shadow, 2005 artwork by Eoin Mac Lochlainn
Birdsong, 6″ x 6″, oil on canvas, metal grid, shadow, 2005

So, if you’re wondering what to do next – why not have a rummage in the attic, or in the shed.  You just never know what you might find or what new direction it might lead you. (Don’t throw anything out) and, if you happen to come across something interesting… maybe you’ll let me know about it?

http://www.eoinmaclochlainn.com/

http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing, China

 

art exhibitions, Art musings

The most important Art in Ireland, this year?

painting of empty fireplace by Eoin Mac Lochlainn
“Tinteán Tréigthe no.30”, 50 x 50cm, oil on canvas, 2017

Well, of course I’m delighted that my painting (above) got accepted into the annual exhibition of the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) but I came across something recently on the internet that put a bit of a damper on my scamper.

I’m not sure anyway, if it’s a good thing for artists to be taking part in competitions. Isn’t it hard enough to produce something worthwhile without having to put yourself through the stress of anticipation, disappointment, resentment, jealousy etc – just for the temporary thrill of the odd conquest…

But there you go, they had 2450 entries to the RHA this year and only 321 pieces got selected. (That’s just under 13% of the entries)

But now, I’m going to show you some wonderful pieces of art – and they’re not from the RHA. It’s hard to believe it but all these pieces below are from the Texaco Children’s Art Competition. (I got these images from the Irish Times website and you can see more of them heregreat photos by Nick Bradshaw).

The artists below range in age from 7 to 15 years old. Boy, oh boy – wait until they start submitting to the RHA!

Rachel Glynn and a drawing of her Grandad for Texaco children's art competition
Rachel Glynn and a drawing of her Grandad. Photos by Nick Bradshaw
Nicole Forster with a portrait of her Dad for the Texaco Children's art competition. Photos Nick Bradshaw
Nicole Forster with a portrait of her Dad. Photos by Nick Bradshaw
Niall Dalton with his painting of Anne's dog, Molly. Photo by Nick Bradshaw
Niall Dalton with his painting of Anne’s dog, Molly. Photo by Nick Bradshaw
Amy Zhao with her Self-portrait for the Texaco Children's art competition. Photos by Nick Bradshaw
Amy Zhao with her Self-portrait. Photos by Nick Bradshaw
Ava Henson with her Self-portrait for the Texaco Children's art competition. Photos by Nick Bradshaw
Ava Henson with her Self-portrait. Photos by Nick Bradshaw

http://www.eoinmaclochlainn.com/

http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

The Irish Times

Nick Bradshaw

Irish art, Nature

At least the Swallows are still returning…

watercolour sketches of swallows by Eoin Mac Lochlainn
a page from last year’s notebook

Yes, I’m well aware that the world is now officially in a state of complete ‘chassis’ but I’m going to ignore that for the moment and tell you instead about what happened at the weekend.

Even better, to describe it more elegantly, I’ll quote from Gearrscéalta an Phiarsaigh, the short stories of Patrick Pearse. It’s in Irish but I’ve added my own (loose) translation below…

Cluineadh go tobainn glór nár cluineadh san áit le tuilleadh agus leathbhliain. Glór beag bídeach. Glór fann fíorbhinn. Ceiliúr mear meidhreach, agus é neamhchosúil le h-aon cheiliúr eile dá dtagann ó ghob éin. Le luas lasrach thiomáin toirt bheag dhubh aneas. Í ag eiteall go h-ard san aer. Dhá sciathán leathna laidre uirthi. Déanamh gabhláin ar a h-eireaball. Í ag gearradh na slí roimpi mar shaighead a chaithfí as bogha. D’ísligh sí go tobann, thiontaigh sí, d’éirigh arís, d’ísligh is thiontaigh arís. Ansin rinne sí caol díreach ar Eoghainín, í ag labhairt in ard a gutha…

Translation:   Suddenly a sound was heard that hadn’t been heard in the place for over half a year. A tiny, twittering voice. A stray, puresweet voice. A joyful celebratory birdsong, like no other. At the speed of lightning, a tiny speck appeared from the south, flying high above the land. Wings spread wide. Forked tail. Slicing through the air like an arrow from a bow. She dived suddenly, she turned and rose again. She dived and turned again. She made straight for Eoghainín, joyfully, joyfully…

And I’ve added a tiny clip from my short film “Ar theacht an tSamhraidh” to celebrate the return of the swallows. If you can’t see it immediately below this, you need to click into the actual blog…

That piece of music was by Davy Spillane, by the way.   Slán go fóill,  Bye for now, eoin

http://www.eoinmaclochlainn.com/

http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

“Ar theacht an tSamhraidh” – the 9 minute version

Historic, Irish art

Quiet determination

oil painting of Padraig Pearse by Eoin Mac Lochlainn
An Piarsach, le Eoin Mac Lochlainn 90 x 120cm, oil on canvas, 2016

Quiet determination – I think that’s what he had.  He was passionate about the Irish language, Irish history and culture, the Irish way of life.

He saw what the English education system was doing, trying to stamp out any indigenous cultures, and produce obedient servants of the British Empire.

“I thank the goodness and the grace that on my birth has smiled and made me in this Christian age, a happy English child” – this was the prayer in Irish National School readers, before 1916.  This was the attitude that he rebelled against – and was determined to change.

Photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of Pearse's Cottage, Ros Muc
Pearse’s Cottage, Ros Muc

Patrick Pearse had a cottage in Ros Muc and last year at Easter, Fionnuala and I went over there to join in the local commemorations of the Easter Rising.

We heard many stories about Pearse from people in the area, people whose grandparents might’ve met him long ago. There were fond memories of him.

People remembered him as a quiet man who visited the area regularly. They described how he would sit with them, late into the night, listening to their stories, endeavouring to learn everything about their way of life, and discussing and developing ideas for a better future for Ireland. Éire saor agus Éire Gaelach.

They appreciated his interest and he inspired them with his dedication.

If you read his short stories (that were based around Ros Muc) you can see how much he loved the place and the people. That was why we wanted to be in Ros Muc for Easter last year, to remember him and to commemorate the Easter Rising, one hundred years later.

Photo by eoin Mac Lochlainn of Raidió na Gaeltachta inside Pearse's Cottage, Rosmuc at Easter 2016
Raidió na Gaeltachta inside Pearse’s Cottage, Ros Muc at Easter 2016

Raidió na Gaeltachta was there to record the occasion. They all crowded into Pearse’s Cottage to interview the locals. The man you see talking in the centre, above is Frank Ó Máille. Pearse stayed in his father’s house, the first time he ever visited Ros Muc. (an Teach gorm – ach níl sé gorm níos mó, faraor). His father met Pearse at Maam Cross railway station and brought him in his sidecar to Ros Muc.

I wanted to create something special to mark that special year. While I was working on an art project there, I created a short film entitled: Ar theacht an tSamhraidh. With my brother Fearghas, we projected it onto the gable end of the cottage, as you can see in the video below this paragraph. (If you can’t see it straight away, you need to click into the actual blog) An raibh an Piarsach féin ann an oíche úd, meas tú, agus an bheirt againn ag seasamh le chéile, i gcoim na h-oíche?

The painting of Patrick Pearse, which appears in the film, is hanging in the Olivier Cornet Gallery in Dublin at the moment. The gallery will be open over the Easter weekend – Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  (that man never stops!)

You can see more about the Ros Muc project at the first link below.

https://emacl.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/clandestine-projection-in-connemara/

http://www.eoinmaclochlainn.com/

http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

 

Nature, photography

What’s the best Birthday present you ever got?

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of apple blossom

Yes, well some years ago, I got a present of a tree for my birthday – an apple tree – and every year, around this time, those delicate pink and white flowers open up to greet the sunshiny days of Spring.

“Efflorescence”, that’s the word to describe our little tree ‘in the state of flowering’ and that’s what’s happening right now in our suburban garden.

Later on, of course, the wind and the rain will come howling down from the Kimmage Crossroads and tear at the branches and send the petals flurrying and swirling into the air until only the pluckiest and the stubbornist of the buds will remain to develop and grow into lovely green and rosy apples.

In Celtic tradition, the apple tree was a symbol of purity, wholeness and fertility. They say that applewood was burned by the druids in various fertility rites. The apples were highly valued because they would keep over the long winter months.

But for me, the apple tree is a reminder of the rhythms of nature and of the cycle of life. Rotha Mór an tSaoil. Isn’t it amazing, when you see the tree in winter, to think that in a few short months, it will be completely transformed from bare branches to an abundant mass of flowers – and then again – to sagging branches, laden with luxurious fruit!

I have a series of apple paintings which I return to from time to time. (Here’s one of them below). But they have to be real apples, the sweet juicy ones. Did you ever get a nicer gift?

small oil painting of Halloween Apple by Eoin Mac Lochlainn
Halloween-Apple-no.2, 20 x 20cm, oil on canvas

http://www.eoinmaclochlainn.com/

http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

https://store.irishseedsavers.ie/Organic_Fruit_Trees_s/42.htm