The search for gold… in a bookshop?

painting by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of W.B.Yeats

You can see in the photo above, a large painting of the poet William Butler Yeats that I finished recently. You know of course that it’s the 150th anniversary of his birth this year and there’s a lot happening in Ireland to celebrate it.

Now, regular readers will know that I am a member of the Tondo artists’ collective but did you know that Tondo will be taking part in these poetic celebrations? Yes indeed, the years are flying by but the members of Tondo have met regularly since 2007 to discuss their work and to explore current issues in contemporary art. We believe that exhibiting outside the gallery setting brings a new impetus to our work and forces us to continually look afresh at our art practice and to explore and experiment with alternative methods and materials.

In the past, Tondo has exhibited in many alternative spaces, including a lighthouse, a railway station, a public park and a small crate; we’ve also exhibited in The National Gallery of Ireland. Now we’ve joined forces with Olivier Cornet for a special project to celebrate Yeats – in the window of Hodges Figgis bookshop in Dublin. As Olivier says: he has curated exhibitions in interesting places over the years, from the smallest theatre to the tiniest gallery space but he’s never curated in a window before… but then, it’s no ordinary window, it’s about 3 metres high and 4 metres wide! (see below)

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of Hodges Figgis Window, Dublin

And Olivier is nothing if not enthusiastic. He is continually coming up with new ways to bring art to a wider audience. This exhibition will be entitled: “Byzantium” and it will be on view from the 29th of May until the 9th of June. The artists included are Eve Parnell, Gerard Cox and – myself and Yanny Petters (both of us represented by the Olivier Cornet Gallery).

PS:  if you were wondering – yes – that’s my studio up there but no, I don’t have my dinners there, the saucepan is what I use to wash brushes; the apple pictures were originally meant for an exhibition about Moore Street; the drawings on cardboard are there since last year and the little “What I’ve seen” painting on the right has since been reworked for the Summer group show at the Olivier Cornet Gallery, opening on the 7th of June in Parnell Square (more about that next week).


  1. I enjoyed reading this, and I like the portrait. What really grabbed me was the photo. There is something about the composition, all that space, the wonderful concentrations of colour from the apples, and that suggestive pot on the stool. I think it reminds me of some of Elizabeth Blackadder’s more spacious compositions. Anyway, it inspires me. If I ever do use it as a basis for a painting, I’ll let you know and ask permission to post it. Sarah


    • Of course, I’d be delighted, Sarah, if you were to use it as a basis for a painting. As I say, I’m just back from the West and I have a lot of catching up to do. I look forward to reading your latest few posts about painting – they’re always very interesting. thanks for your comments, eoin


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