21 Jan. 2015

Behinds the Scenes of I Believe In You

Install for Mark Clare I Believe in You is underway this week and we’re super excited about Opening Night this Saturday! Do you ever wonder what goes one “behind the scenes” of an installation? Here’s a sneak preview of the exhibition. Mark, who is artist in residence this week answers a few of my questions about his work.

EF: How long have you been working as a professional artist?
MC: I graduated from my undergraduate in 1992 and have been working as a professional artist since then.

EF: Who and what inspires you?
MC: I wouldn’t even know where to start! Meeting and interacting with people is the driving force behind what I do really.

EF: What influenced the exhibition ‘I Believe in You’?
MC: ‘I Believe in You’ is a combination of work produced over the last 7 years. Much of the work has been produced while participating on Artist residency programs both nationally and internationally. ARPs have played an important role in the development of my practice over the last twenty years.

EF: What are your impressions of The Model as an art gallery?

MC: The Model is an incredible venue. I am quite amazed at its size when you consider its location but its record speaks for itself. It has had hosted some exciting artists and offers the local community easy and more importantly free access to an incredible variety of both contemporary and historical Art work alongside a variety of other events that it programs.

Find out more about Mark’s creative practice at the opening of I Believe In You this Saturday 24th January at 5pm. From 6pm there will be a public talk with Mark Clare followed by an opening reception at 7pm.

Posted By

Erin Fox

15 Jan. 2015

Deep Connection to The Model


“I feel a deep connection to The Model and its doings for as long as I have been making drawings”

The Art of Drawing with Michael Wann returns next month and I had the chance to sit down with Michael and discuss his class, his own art, his influences and his relationship with The Model.

EF: Describe The Art of Drawing

MW: The Art of Drawing is a six-week course running at The Model Sligo, which aims to introduce basic drawing skills to both beginners and people who have experience with drawing. The beginners course introduces participants to basic observational skills, including contour drawing, blind contour drawing and positive and negative space, and proceeds into a more sophisticated knowledge of the uses of charcoal. It covers the basic principles of still life, portraiture, and compositional landscape. The class aims to encourage participants to enjoy the act of observing and drawing in an easy going and informal atmosphere, and instructs on how our brains interpret all the visual stimuli that surround us. The advanced class was originally structured to enable people who had completed the beginner course to pursue further exploration and interest in drawing. It has developed however into a vibrant and free flowing ‘drawing session’, where participants pursue their own interests within drawing, feeding off each other as much as on the one-on-one teaching and mentoring that I provide. This is a most exciting thing to see unfold, where people find their own love of drawing, and use the full afternoon to pursue, develop and explore their interests (mainly in landscape and portraiture) in a relaxed and open atmosphere without the formal constraints of a strictly structured class environment.

EF: What is your connection with The Model?

MW: My Diploma show in 1992 was hosted by The Model Arts Centre, as it was then, and following that I was invited to exhibit in a group show alongside artists I had long admired, such as Sean McSweeney, Barrie Cooke, Alice Maher, Patrick Hall, amongst others. I taught a drawing class here from 1996 to 1998, and when I returned to Sligo I.T. as a mature student in 2003 to get my Bachelor in Fine Art, our final show was again hosted by the newly refurbished Model Niland. I’ve been resident in Studio5 here at the Model Sligo since 2009.
I CAN say I feel a deep connection to the Model and its doings for as long as I have been making drawings.

EF: Where have you exhibited?

MW: My work has been accepted at the Royal Hibernian Academy’s Annual Exhibition since 2003. And in 2006, I was awarded the AXA Insurance Drawing Prize, again at the RHA. In 2010 one of my large-scale drawings was selected by Hughie O’Donoghue for the Tom Caldwell Drawing Award and the innugural Rowel Friers Trophy at the Royal Ulster Academy’s Annual Exhibition. I have had solo shows at Sligo Art Gallery, Linenhall Arts Centre, The Ashford Gallery at the RHA, Draiocht, Dublin, The Model, Sligo, The Cross Gallery, Dublin and Solstice Arts Centre, Navan. I regularly show in group shows with the Catherine Hammond Gallery, West Cork, Greenacres, Wexford, The Mullan Gallery, Belfast and the Hamilton Gallery, Sligo.

EF: When is your next exhibition, and where?

MW: I am involved in a group exhibition for the Yeats 150 year celebration, which is being exhibited here in Sligo at the Hamilton Gallery and then travels to Madrid. And as mentioned my work can be seen at various galleries in a group context around the country. I recently showed a series of large-scale works on paper at the Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, and am currently further developing that series in studio. The artist’s lot is a fine balance between the making of work in studio and finding the time to promote that work and to apply to galleries and institutes to have it exhibited.

EF: What inspires your work?

MW: My work is almost entirely drawing-based and is driven by a fascination with themes of landscape, geography, time, memory and personal history. Using landscape as metaphor, the work engages with notions of weather and time, of a landscape in a state of flux, and of how memory of ‘place’ informs the mark-making process. I make large-scale charcoal drawings of landscapes that aim to engage with a personal dialogue of an incomplete or unreliable memory, as well as more intimate small-scale studies of the dereliction of habitation.
There is an immediacy to drawing that cannot be found in most forms of painting. Within the chosen medium of charcoal and wash there exists a wide and versatile imperfection of process, providing a vast monochrome palette of made marks, as well as the erasure of those same marks. It is in the smudge and drip and simple dirt of the medium that there exists both vital and flawed elements of mark-making, where the spontaneous and accidental become of equal importance to that of the rational and intentional. Process here can be interpreted as a meditative search for where these varying marks converge in the making of a landscape. In recent years I have become interested in portraiture, and completed a series of 24 self portraits entitled ‘Self-Assembly’, which was exhibited at The Model Sligo in April of 2014.

EF: How does this reflect on your workshops?

MW: I’m not all that sure, except to say that I teach in a very informal manner, encouraging people to find out for themselves the simple joy of drawing. It is gratifying to witness people developing their own keen interest in, say, landscape; in watching and teaching and pushing gently I’m often reminded of my own obsession with drawing. And further, I often find myself returning to my studio directly after a class and looking at my own work and seeing or questioning where it might improve. In watching students experiment with drawing, watching them excavate all the varying facets of it, I am sometimes reminded of techniques that I’ve forgotten or simply stopped using.
So it seems that while the workshops are providing an opportunity for people to learn and experience the act of charcoal mark-making, they also inform or vaguely re-invigorate my own work in some vital kind of way.

EF: How has the Model influenced your art?

MW: I’m vaguely wary of that word ‘influence’. But I can say, particularly since moving into Studio5 in 2009, that working alongside other artists and curators (not to mention the staff here) has enriched and inspired my experience of making work. For years I worked in relative isolation from my home in north Sligo, and developed an unhealthy feeling of being marginalised in my work. In working within The Model’s structure, it is easier and natural to communicate and exchange ideas with other artists both nationally and internationally.

I’ve had the opportunity on three separate occasions to showcase new work here at the Model, and this fact alone has certainly driven me to ‘up my game’ in the making of new work. And ‘The Art of Drawing’ being included in The Model’s Education programme is an immensely gratifying and pleasing thing to experience.

There is a wide and diverse progamme of contemporary exhibition and installation here at The Model Sligo, as well as the ongoing display of the Niland Collection. It’s a strange and inspiring notion in the knowledge that I can go downstairs whenever it pleases me, and within moments find myself immersed in the bright turmoil of a Jack Yeats painting or the odd calm of a Paul Henry. Or further, and more challengingly, find myself baffled and grappling to comprehend some inexplicable contemporary installation. It brings new thought and new weather to my own studio experience, and seems vital and enriching.

The Art of Drawing with Michael Wann begins again on Tuesday 03 February. To book a place in the workshop email mw@michaelwann.com

Posted By

Erin Fox

Related Programming

23 Dec. 2014

Opening Hours at The Model over Christmas

Opening hours at The Model over the holidays:

We are open all days except public holidays: Dec 25, 26 and Jan 1.
We are open 10 am – 2 pm on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.

If you’re still looking for some stocking fillers – check out our expanded Model Shop featuring craft pieces from the Made In Sligo Craft Collective, Art Books and more: http://bit.ly/1w4viqE

Wishing you a very happy Christmas and all the very best for the New Year.

The Model

Posted By

Denise Rushe

13 Dec. 2014

Creative Gift Ideas from The Model this Christmas

If you have visited The Model recently you may have noticed that our shop has expanded; over the last few weeks we have been adding a new line of craft pieces from the Made in Sligo craft collective. You’ll find ceramics from Rachel Quinn and Lynda Gault, horse-hair pottery from Ian Carty, prints and cushions from Subadesigns, jewellery by Martina Hamilton and woodturned vessels by Matt Jones.

We also have a brilliant collection of art books from our very own Niland Collection book, to Patrick Hall, Duncan Campbell, Susan Hiller and Kids’ Own’s Virtually There. For the month of December we are offering a 20% discount on all books. Browse our online shop here, or visit our shop here at The Model before Christmas.

The Niland Collection
The Model proudly presents its very own Niland Collection Catalogue. The publication, which is dedicated to Nora Niland, contains specially commissioned texts on key works in this remarkable collection accompanied by full colour reproductions. Buy Online

Posted By

The Model Sligo

13 Dec. 2014

Christmas at The Model

Shelter from the cold and spend a relaxing afternoon at The Model where you can browse our exhibitions, do a spot of Christmas shopping in the bookshop and enjoy some seasonal treats in the festive surroundings of The Gallery Cafe!

We have a variety of gift ideas available in our bookshop and for the month of December we are offering a 20% discount on all books. Treat yourself and/or a loved one to The Niland Collection a beautiful catalogue containing specially commissioned texts on key works from the collection accompanied by full colour reproductions. We have many more books, film and music available including the Sligo Musicians Calendar 2015.

You can also shop for ceramics by Rachel Quinn and Lynda Gault, jewellery by Martina Hamilton, Made in Sligo Inisfree pens from Colm Breenan, horsehair pottery from Ian Carty, prints and cushions from Subadesigns and woodturned vessels by Matt Jones.

Catch our current exhibitions while they’re still here! _Into the Field _ and _Odey Curbelo Selects _ continue until January 11. An education pack on Into the Field is available for children at reception and gallery tours of the exhibitions take place every Saturday at 2pm.
Reminisce on Christmas memories in the cosy atmosphere of the foyer and share your favourite memory on a snowflake at the Christmas Memory Desk.

Round up your day with a delicious glass of mulled wine and homemade mince pies; just few of the many delicious snacks and beverages served by The Gallery Cafe every day.
We also have family activities lined up at the weekends as part of The Model’s first Christmas Cracker. You can find out more about the Christmas Cracker here

Posted By

Erin Fox

9 Dec. 2014

Indulge all your senses this Christmas!

We all have our favourite thing about Christmas trees, whether it’s the twinkling lights, the shiny ornaments, the fresh pine smell or even the prickly feel of the pine needles. All of these are appreciated through vision, smell and touch. But what about sound? Visitors to The Model can experience the wonder of the Christmas tree through the sense of hearing with Steve Wickham’s soundscape tree this weekend at The Model. Steve describes his tree as “a witty antidote to the normal noise of the ubiquitous worn out Christmas pop songs heard everywhere over the holidays. A prechristmas trip to the deep lair of Santa and his Elves.” This definitely sounds like a tree worth coming to see or rather hear!

Steve’s soundscape tree will be on display in the foyer with the rest of The Model’s trees adorned with the handmade decorations from last weekend’s Christmas Cracker workshop. The Model’s Christmas Cracker is a new initiative focusing on families and creativity launched in early December. Join us this weekend and every weekend through 27 December. For more details visit http://themodel.ie/music/the-models-christmas-cracker

Posted By

Erin Fox

18 Nov. 2014

The Big Draw: Wild and fiery Red

Artist Kate Wilson invited ‘Wild and fiery Red’ to the colourful Big Draw last week as a galloping horse:

Everybody galloped over painted valleys and hills and warmed ourselves with a fire dance around a red circle of fiery red, orange and yellow.
Kate Wilson.

These environments were all created in collaboration with the artist through painting, movement, storytelling, making and dance. Join Kate Wilson next week and build a giant golden castle for the Queen of Colours, whose toes are tickled pinky gold by the colour yellow! The castle will be an
immersive golden sensory experience for all to enjoy.


The autumn Big Draws brings parents and toddlers on a journey through a rainbow of colour over seven weeks, interlacing mixing paint, with stories, dance and explorative play in fun and imaginative ways.

The Big Draw with artist Kate Wilson is for children and their parents, every Wednesday at The Model. Booking is essential.

Posted By

Marie Louise Blaney

13 Nov. 2014

[Studio+] Let's Talk About Art!

As part of Studio+, artist Hari MacMillan was artist-in-residence at The Model last week. Whilst in the Studio+ open studio, the artist listened to Cyndi Lauper’s track Time after Time, whilst cutting out backs and fronts of Time magazine, which made for interesting and quirky collages, bringing together incongruous subjects in the one image – such as President Putin and
former Spice girl Victoria Beckham – who accidently collide on the same collaged image – or, as the artist said – is it ever really an accident?

After a few days of art-making in The Model’s open studio, on Thursday Hari MacMillan invited the public and local students to a talk where she discussed the many layers to her practice. The slowed down pace of the talk, aided by tea and cakes from The Model cafe provided an informal space for both artist and participants to think and talk about art.

Studio+ is funded by Co-operation with Northern Ireland Funding Scheme

Posted By

Marie Louise Blaney

11 Nov. 2014

Graphite and Easel Exhibition at The Dock this month

The Model’s life drawing group, Graphite & Easel, are working in collaboration with The Dock’s life drawing group. We are exhibiting at The Dock during November and as part of the Studio+ series of events at The Model during the month of December.

We have developed an exhibit which examines the activity of drawing from life and reflects our own practice. The process of developing work for exhibition has provided us with the opportunity to really tease apart what it is that actually happens in our weekly sessions and why it is that we are all so fascinated and compelled to draw the human body.

Our installation consists of three elements:

- a conversation between models and practitioners on the practice of life drawing – a series of dynamic collaborative drawings made in session – an audio recording of the sounds of a session

It promises an interesting visual and aural experience combined with personal insights. We would like to think it will provoke thought on this valuable contemporary practice.

If you’re interested in participating in the Graphite & Easel weekly life drawing sessions email emmastroude@gmail.com

Photography Andy Parsons 2014

Posted By

Andy Parsons

11 Nov. 2014

The Big Draw sets The Model on Fire!

Last week children and their parents were once again invited on a magical journey of creativity and art-making with artist Kate Wilson. Story-telling, performance, movement, painting, drawing and song were all part of this enchanting creative experience. Each week a different colour is explored.

Through this immersive interactive workshop, participants, both big and small, joined the artist in bringing to life the well-loved story The Queen of Colours.

The Big Draw continues at The Models on Wednesday mornings until Wednesday December 10th.

Next Page

Posted By

Maire Louise Blaney