art exhibitions, community festivals

Probably the best arts festival in the country!

Oil painting by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of empty fireplace entitled Tintean Treigthe 15

It’s true what they say – the Boyle Arts Festival is a real gem of a festival with great music and art, and a special emphasis on small, intimate events in the various historical buildings of Boyle, Co. Roscommon.

Now in its 28th year, this festival has a well deserved reputation for being one of the best local celebrations of the Arts in this country.

Of course, there’s plenty of drama, poetry, storytelling, singers’ evenings and street performances and there’s a great mix of workshops and children’s programmes as well; there’s local art exhibitions, pop-up galleries and craft trails utilising the vacant premises and there’s just a wonderful community spirit in the town – but my main interest this year is in the art exhibition at King House – because I was invited to show one of my Tinteán Tréigthe paintings there (see above).

the crowd at King House Boyle Arts Festival. photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

Minister for Arts and Culture at the Boyle Arts Festival

the crowds at Boyle Arts Festival. Photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

This year, the theme (and title) is: Facing West and it brings together established and emerging artists in a great array of painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography and drawing. Over 100 artists! The exhibition was curated by Paul McKenna and was officially opened last Thursday by Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. (yes, one wonders about that title alright)

Anyway, it was great to be there and, as you can see from the photos, I wasn’t the only one enjoying the occasion!

http://www.eoinmaclochlainn.com/

http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

https://www.boylearts.com/boyle-civic-collection/

Concerning the Other, Irish art

Who is the Other?

portrait by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of Charlotte Fien

I was watching the film “Basquiat” about the street artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and his fraught collaboration with Andy Warhol, a leading figure in the American art world of the last century.

Both of them worked in turn on the same canvas and I remember Warhol was quite miffed when Basquiat painted a big sloppy red mark over a carefully painted section by Warhol. Ah well, I suppose that’s what can happen when one is collaborating with others.

And we’ve been at it ourselves. “Concerning the Other” is an art project that involves 10 artists working together over each other’s work. All of the artists started off with one image and passed it on to the next artist to work on – and the whole process continued until each artist had worked over all ten images. We’re nearly finished now – we’ve all reached stage 10.

Yes, and I added a portrait that I’d painted of Charlotte Fien (see above) to the collage. This collage had started off with a profile of Kate Murphy’s daughter but then some of the following artists introduced references to the Nazis and to various eugenics programmes. So, if you’re wondering who Charlotte Fien is, she is a young English woman with Down syndrome who delivered a moving speech to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations in March this year.

Concerning the Other final collage Eoin Mac Lochlainn

The artists involved with “Concerning the Other” were: James Hanley RHA, Brian Fay, Claire Halpin, Joanna Kidney, Gail Ritchie, Miriam McConnon, Kate Murphy, Ben Readman, Susanne Wawra and myself, and the project was curated by Olivier Cornet, Claire Halpin and me.

The final ten artworks along with a selected number of ‘in-between’ images will be exhibited at the Olivier Cornet Gallery in September 2017. The exhibition entitled: Concerning the Other will also feature individual works by the participating artists.

It will be officially opened on Sunday 10th of September by Patrick T. Murphy, Director of the RHA Gallagher Gallery.

There’s a lot more information about the project on our Facebook page at:

https://www.facebook.com/ConcerningtheOther/

http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

http://www.eoinmaclochlainn.com/

And of course, your comments are always welcome here!

 

artists, Creative Writing

Stories on the wind

Photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of Montbretia in Connemara

Crocosmia is the official name for that exuberant roadside flower that blooms all over the west of Ireland. (We call it Feileastram in Irish, or Montbretia).  It actually comes from southern and eastern Africa but it has adapted impressively to our misty shores and it now flourishes in the hedgerows adding a luxurious splash of orange colour to the verdant Irish countryside .

Crocosmia is also the name of a group of writers and poets who are seeking asylum here in Ireland.

Today I want to tell you about a collaborative art project between the artist Clodagh Emoe and the poets of Crocosmia. It all started in the garden of the Spirasi Centre – Spirasi is the intercultural NGO that works with refugees, asylum seekers and disadvantaged migrant groups in Ireland.

on the boardwalk, Dublin city centre
Audio work by Clodagh Emoe on the boardwalk, Dublin City Centre  (photo Clodagh Emoe)

A weekly gardening session led to the creation of a shared space of equality and a mutually supportive environment. Storytelling developed naturally in this environment and this led to a series of audio works that were subsequently transmitted on the river Liffey, the Lee, the Corrib and the Barrow.

The audio works were sited in specific places along the rivers, on bridges and boardwalks, ‘in-between’ places evoking the precarious situation of each of the writers. Voices in Croatian, French, Kinyarwanda, Luganada and Urdu could be heard on the wind, revealing the hidden narrative of the asylum seekers’ stories.

The Plurality of Existence in the Infinite Expanse of Space and Time

The project was also presented at Visual, the Centre for Contemporary Art in Carlow and then, just recently, a beautiful collection of poems was launched in the Pearse Street Library in Dublin. The poems are complemented by drawings which show the various contours of the countries wherein they are set, the empty linear forms perhaps echoing the experience of the asylum seeker “disconnected from their homeland.”

“I believe that art offers an alternate perspective”, writes Clodagh Emoe, “one that allows us to re-imagine our world. In re-imagining our world, we question the status quo, opening up the possibility of embracing difference.”

As I’ve written before – in these days of global conflict, mounting racism and intolerance, artists can lead the way in promoting diversity and showing concern for minorities.

http://www.clodaghemoe.com/

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

http://www.eoinmaclochlainn.com/

http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

http://spirasi.ie/about/

 

art exhibitions, community festivals

A most special place

water colour painting of Ben Bulben by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

Well, you probably know already that County Sligo is the most beautiful and interesting county in all of Ireland.

And you probably know about the poet W.B. Yeats and his connections with Sligo, about the lake water lapping around the isle of Inishfree, about bare Benbulben’s head and about the clouds bundling high over Knocknarea…

And then there’s the mysterious megalithic sites of Carrowmore, Carrowkeel and Creevykeel. There’s Queen Maeve’s tomb and the place where the unfortunate Diarmuid was killed by a wild boar…

There’s the holy wells, the secret valleys, the shady woodlands and glorious beaches; there’s the heart-warming new film entitled: Halal Daddy and much, much more…

Well, luckily for me, I’m taking a trip up there soon – for the Cairde Arts festival.

This is a festival that has been going from strength to strength since its inception and the Cairde open-submission exhibition, now in its fourth year, is my main reason for visiting this particular time.

Oil painting by eoin Mac Lochlainn of empty fireplace Tinteán Tréigthe 29

This year the exhibition is entitled: The Model presents Cairde Visual because it has expanded once again and moved into the Model, one of Ireland’s leading centres for contemporary art. The selection panel was Patrick Murphy, Mark Garry, Barra Cassidy, Emer Mc Garry and Lorna Watkins.

There is a wide range of subjects and media from national and international artists and I’m delighted to reveal that my own painting entitled: Tinteán Tréigthe no. 29 (seen above) has been selected for inclusion this year.

The exhibition continues until the 6th of August.

http://cairdefestival.com/

http://www.eoinmaclochlainn.com/

http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

PS: if, by any chance, you think that there’s a more beautiful or more interesting county, then by all means, let me know and drop me a comment 🙂