ART EXHIBITIONS IN TOWN

Today there was a bit of a whirlwind blowing through town, at least for us as we wanted to attend openings of three separate Art Exhibitions, one of which above showed the works of Maurice Henderson.  Maurice, an old mate of Ian’s had sent him the invitation, and I was lucky to be invited along.  I have been following Maurice’s work too for a decade or two and have always enjoyed his use of colour.  I was very impressed with his current work, and the above photo is of my favourite painting, makes me think of a bluebell carpet in among trees in early spring.  The exhibition is called:  ‘Light and Atmosphere. It runs for another 9 days.

Second opening was later on in the evening.  I went on my own to this.  A great exhibition called: West Meets West – showing work from three artists from Cornwall.  Phillip Booth, Matthew Lanyon, and Tony Lattimer.  The above large painting is by Matthew Lanyon and it is my favourite, it immediately had a strong affect on me and just gave me such a good feeling.  The widow of Matthew, a lovely lady, told me that this is one of the early works of Matthew.  Very sadly Matthew passed away recently.  Top sculpture above left I was also quite impressed with, very colourful and clever use of wood and metal.  The artist, Philip Booth explained about his work to me which was very enlightening, his primal inspiration is the landscape of Cornwall, and in the case of the sculpture above it was the rocky shore along the coast.  As I have been out of circulation in Skibbereen’s Art world, I am only getting back into the swing of things and was happy that while I was scanning the room for familiar faces several new people just started to talk with me, it felt good and we had interesting conversations.  One of such conversations was with a woman called Anastasia, also an artist, an amazingly inspiring woman.  I also finally got to meet fellow wordpress bloggers Finola and Robert of https://roaringwaterjournal.com.  It was like meeting old friends as I follow there blog closely.  Very nice.

The last opening of the night was at the smaller but nevertheless lovely Art Gallery in North Street in town.  A young woman, Tara Laubach’s work was also a revelation, beautiful works of soft colours, with lots of expressions of emotion.  I need to go back to get a closer look as there were so many people that it was difficult to get a good look tonight.  The exhibition is called ‘Fiery little Ashes – a Cinderella story’.  Much enjoyed the reading by the young artist.

And finally we were treated to poems by two different poets, these were short but good and they wrapped up an evening of culture in this small town in West Cork perfectly.

Afterwards I discovered that there was also a new exhibition in one of my favourite Galleries, the Catherine Hammond Gallery in Bridge street, which I missed the opening of today, but no doubt will visit during the week.

I think that I am finding my feet again in West Cork, saw a lot of lovely people today and interacted with them, always a good grounding method when you have been away for a long time, feel at home again even if it took me the best of two months.

DELIGHTS OF ART AND YOUNG MINDS

Last week there was the yearly Art Festival in our town of Skibbereen. It is getting better every year, and what nicer way to explore it than with my two growing grandchildren, who are little artists in their own way, and they take an intelligent interest in art.

So we set off on our exploration of some of the exhibitions, and there were many, they were held all over the town. We did not strictly stick to the Art Trail, we started off at the Uillinn Art Centre where we wanted to see the work of John Kelly. There were his beautiful landscapes, which were scrutinised by our young artists, including technique and paint finishes.  Our main interest though was Kelly’s group of paintings which he produced during his stay in Antarctica, and on his way there in 2013. The wall was covered with these works, large and small, the whole collection told us his story of that journey, and the girls were quite impressed. I wanted them to take away this idea of telling a story in a collection of small paintings. Later in the day we were going to get paints and boards to try our hands on this idea.
Some of Kelly’s other works did get some comments, even some raised eyebrows.
The paintings in Catherine Hammond’s Gallery got much approval, and favourites were picked, this exhibition was called ‘Contemporary Realism’. A little Gallery further along in Bridge Street was really interesting, at least for me it was, and the girls took it in their stride too. Vauney Strahan’s works were an education for me and I had to look her up on Google, I do like her art very much, here is a link to her profile; http://www.saatchiart.com/vauneystrahan
Least interesting to the young minds was the Old Bottling Plant where we saw works by Angela Flowers, though some of Angela’s works were fabulous.  And the exhibition by Paul Cialis, ‘Saints and Sinners’ did not even get a look into, which was just as well, because it was a little beyond their age group.

We were all three getting tired, taking in a lot of visual stimulation can use up energy fast! So we just popped into one last exhibit, a re-creation of a shop of the early twentieth century, the girls loved it, they were looking all over it. It showed them a example of shopping before the supermarkets started.

We went home after buying the art materials, and we started to paint, after a pizza meal, and lots of banter with Ian. Both grandchildren gave a very individual interpretation to what they saw during the day; my 9 year old painted a beautiful image of a horse, incorporating colours and combinations she noticed today, and my 8 year old painted an ice scene with penguins after John Kelly’s paintings.  It is very nice to be able to share the love of art with my grandchildren, and lovely to see young minds at work, and hearing their opinions on what they observe.


Paintings also exhibited were by Karen Billings, and earlier on in the week I attended an excellent event called ‘Dark Matter’, Greg Sholette in conversation with Katherine Waugh. The topic was ‘What’s missing in art and politics in an enterprise culture’. Enjoyed a lot.


The Souvenir Shop


Works by the two girls

PLANTING PRIMROSES AND A DOLLS PICNIC

Today I was on granny duty and two of my grandchildren came and we all had a great time. Ruben helped me with planting out primroses which he really loved doing, the whole room, and himself were covered with earth, but so what! Then it was time for Alice to collect all my old vintage dolls and give them a picnic, Ruben was also enthusiastic about this, they played for a long while at this, after which we all went to the garden centre to pick up more seeds and enjoy playing with the dogs there. Then it was time to read, and read, my voice is not great after all this, hoarse as hell! But did not quite finish Roald Dahl’s ‘George’s marvellous medicine’. At around six o’clock I drove them both home again. Though I am wrecked, we did have a very special day.
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A MILD WINTER’S EVENING

Today has been very mild (around 6 degrees Celsius, with sunshine, and a little drizzle this afternoon. I was able to go out and give some attention to the garden. There were a few Kale that still needed planting out, so I did that, and discovered that the soil is improving, it has become more crumbly, though in places still very wet. Well I mulched a bit around the newly planted Kale. Took in some bamboo sticks that were still sticking in the soil, and checked how the garlic are doing. I also still harvested some beetroot which is nice and fat. There were two Robins in the garden with me, coming quite close to pick some creatures out of the soil. This evening we were treated to an amazing sunset once again, which I’d like to share with everyone.
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