23 Jun. 2016

Elizabeth Price: A short note

Elizabeth Price has had quite an eclectic career. During her student days, the Yorkshire born artist fronted the indie band “Tululah gosh.” The band, which achieved notoriety in the U.K. and U.S., disbanded in 1988, two years after Price left. Their sound was a hybrid of post-punk meets sweetheart vocals in an audible homage to the girl bands of the late 50’s/60’s. Price then went on to study sculpture in the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford and the Royal College of Art, London. In 2012 she won the Turner Prize for her solo exhibition, ‘Here’, at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. Upon winning the Prize, Price made an impassioned speech about the degradation of art education in Britain.

Price’s work is the creation of immersive video installations, which feature a diverse mixture of historical materials, archival documents, digital animation, photographs and samples from pop music. Price’s installations are time-consuming productions, often taking over a year to complete as she regularly revisits old works to re-create and update versions. Price’s installations are created with the intention of being viewed by the audience in a gallery so the experience of the installations can be all consuming.

“The Woolworths Choir of 1979” (2012) is a film installation, which comprises three distinct sections; the first examines the choral architecture of churches and the examination of what the word “chorus” derives from. The second concentrates on coordinated dance routines performed by pop groups and backing singers; (a recurring theme in Price’s work, since her days in Tuluah gosh) and the third focuses on archive footage from the notorious fire at the Woolworths department store in Manchester in 1979. The video, combined with the text that appears on-screen is reminiscent of the aesthetics of advertising and propaganda, lending the piece the seductive undertone of ritual and desire. The footage of people in Price’s pieces is never directly filmed; they are scoured from across the Internet and archives of newsrooms.

Physical gestures recur throughout the film, and parallels are drawn between the movements of a woman hand waving from a window of Woolworths as she awaits rescue and those of the dancers and singers, twisting and moving their arms for musical emphasis. The hand gestures; the clapping, clicking, waving and dancing become the point of assembly presented in The Woolworths Choir of 1979. When combined with the recurring sounds, music and digital graphics, the effect is that of a dissonant, evocative chorus, which floats somewhere between social history and fantasy.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

10 Jun. 2016

Congratulations Matthew Jones

Matthew Jones is a Woodturner based in Rivertown, Co. Sligo. In December 2016, Matthew was kind enough to donate some of his work to our Gala, which we held to raise funds for The Model. In this Video, Matthew discusses the opportunities that arose after he donated to The Model.

Matthew was selected as a Regional Winner in the Etsy Awards UK & Ireland. His shop “Matt Jones Turning” has been awarded the best in Ireland. As part of the prize his work will be displayed at this years TENT London at the London Design Festival. Matthew’s work is available to buy in The Model shop.

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Rebecca Kennedy

9 Jun. 2016

My Pick- Noel Corr

I picked “Mountain view” (1946) by Jack B. Yeats because Benbulbin is in the background. I climb Benbulbin a couple of times a year with some German friends. I like Benbulbin because it’s an interesting mountain. When you’re up there it’s so quiet and peaceful and you can see the whole of Sligo right around. When you stand on top of the mountain, you’re standing like a giant.

Benbulbin is famous in Sligo and I love the style of the painting, especially the old windows. It’s the old windows of years ago and you can still find them in older houses. Those windows collected moss and fallen leaves, they were the kind of windows that were around when I was a child.

I like the colours, in the painting Benbulbin is blue but when you look at it today it’s green, when “Mountain window” was painted it was overcast. When the weather changes and you can see, Benbulbin becomes a different colour.
The mountain is almost red in the sunset. I like that Jack B. Yeats captured that change of colour. It’s the type of thing you would only appreciate if you were a local.

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Rebecca Kennedy

1 Jun. 2016

A gift for a gift

The Model, like many other Irish art institutions, could not survive without the generous donations we receive from you, our patrons. As a thank you for the kindness and generosity you have bestowed on us, we would like to offer a small gift in return.

In October 2010, Artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov exhibited an installation at The Model entitled Angelology. The Kabakovs are amongst the world’s foremost living artists. Their work is included in the collections of MoMA in New York and the Tate Modern in London.

The exhibition was an eclectic mixture of paintings, drawings, models and sculptural structures. There were many of the fantastical elements present in Angelology that the Kabakovs are famed for; a childlike sense of wonder, naiveté and a desire to represent humanity for humanity. To accompany Angelology, The Model published this gorgeous little book of the same title. The book features a print of “Alternative History of Art CH. Rosenthal The Wings” on the cover. It is a catalogue of the exhibition but also a representation of the visual history of angels. Essays by both Seamus Kealy and Rod Megham touch upon topics like the Kabahov’s fantastical work and the iconic and anthropological antiquity of angels.

Thanks to your donations, The Model has hosted some of the world’s most prestigious artists and will continue to do so. Because we appreciate your support, we would like to gift Angelology to any patron who donates €10 or more. Please remember that when you donate to The Model, you not only supporting the gallery but the community of artists that teach and work here, the artistic culture of the West Coast of Ireland and the community at large.

Thank you for your ongoing support.
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Rebecca Kennedy

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24 May 2016

My Pick- Steve Wickham

My favorite Jack B. Yeats here in The Model is “Sailor home from the Sea.” It was painted in 1912. It’s oil on panel. It’s quite a small little painting, probably about 14 inches by 10 inches. It depicts a red bearded man with a sailor’s cap, a white neck scarf and a black suit with a bright red waistband. He’s got one hand in his pocket (holding on to his money?) and one hand with a little glass of whiskey raised to the sky.

Under his left arm there is a glimpse of the ocean behind him and all around are thatched cottages. He’s standing on the road with a white sky behind him. He’s got an amazing red beard; He looks like Luke Kelly from the Dubliners. There is a great glint in his eye. He’s obviously pleased to be home, raising a toast to heaven.

I love the spirit of the clean lines that Jack uses here. He usually uses a lot of blurred lines, it seems to me he was a very fast painter. There’s something considered about this painting, he reaches something in it, that for me is almost perfection. He’s in time with the rest of his contemporaries in 1912.

It’s an earlier work of his, before he gets to the much looser freestyle we associate with Jack B Yeats. It’s probably one of his last tight paintings; it’s a bit like his cartoons. What I like is that there’s less anguish in it. It seems to be a happy man painting this. This painting captures something that I love.

Being a musician, I know what this guy feels. You go away from home for a long time and then you come back delighted to be home. It’s that happiness Jack has captured here.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

24 May 2016

Studio+ ‘Coney’

On Saturday the 14th of May, artists; Aideen Connelly, Medbh Gillard, Diane Roemer, Emma Stroude and Lorna Watkins and the film maker Carola Gotta, met in The Model Black Box to watch the ‘Coney’ documentary and discuss their work and it’s evolution since their residency project in 2014. This fabulous event was chaired by The Model’s Education Curator Marie Louise Blaney and hosted by artist and educator Chelsea Canavan.

‘Coney’ was a residency project developed by five artists as a result of going to The Model’s Graphite and Easel Group. Each artist in their own way had reached a point in their life and career where they were on the cusp of new path. The journey to that new path was Coney, the work, a culmination of five days of dedication to purely working through the experience of being on an island residency. With so many forces at play it was amazing to hear and talk of the different yet similar experiences of each artist whilst on the island. The work and the experience that created it leant itself to a beautiful exhibition and period of great growth for each individual.

This project seemed to grow and take on legs of it’s own, as all good things do, and it progressed itself into a group exhibition in The Hyde Bridge Gallery and was eventually brought into The Model for a delightful afternoon of insight into artist practice, experience, energy and evolution. After the discussion everyone headed up to the ‘Studio 4’ here in The Model for an Open Studio hosted by artist Lorna Watkins.

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Zoe Dunne

15 May 2016

Sean Lynch – Adventure: Capital – A Note

On the 9th of April we opened Sean Lynch’s new show Adventure: Capital. On the day of the grand opening, Sean Lynch was kind enough to take the staff on a tour of his ambitious exhibition. The following note is comprised from a number of sources: the written materials from the exhibitions, notes from the tour and answers from the succession of questions we barraged Sean with at the end of his address. This note was originally written for the staff here at The Model, who could not attend the tour but on further examination we thought that some of the details cultivated were too good not to share. This note will take you through each of the gallery spaces that the exhibition is situated. Since Adventure: Capital is individually configured for each venue it is displayed in, this note is exclusively for its residence in The Model. Sean Lynch’s Adventure: Capital is coming to a close on the 12th of June so be sure to drop by before it’s too late.

Gallery A

In 2011, Sean Lynch began making artwork celebrating the oeuvre of stone-carving Irish brothers James and John O’Shea. Little is known of the brothers’ background. Villages in both Kilkenny and Cork claim them, but no formal evidence exists to verify these claims. Whether or not they were formally trained is another mystery surrounding the brothers. Sometime during the 1850’s they arrived in Dublin as fully formed virtuoso carvers, where they completed ostentatious sculptures on the new building at Trinity College.

The brothers were also commissioned to carve the building of the Alliance Francaise, Kildare Street, Dublin. The image of the stone carving depicts three monkeys, and is documented in the slideshow. Sean Lynch found these characters to be of particular significance in examining the otherness of the brother’s work: “the monkeys are amazing characters, untainted by Victorian culture.”

The brothers then travelled to Oxford where they were commissioned to work on the New Museum of Natural History. It was said that the O’Sheas were the most economically aware carvers in Britain as they did not carry out preparatory sketches or models of their work before commencement. Therefore, establishments that hired the brothers did not have to compensate them for their prep-work. Instead, the O’Sheas carved from sight, fetching plants from the botanic gardens, which they brought to their scaffold to copy directly from life.

Surprisingly, stone-carving was not considered to be an art form, but a working class tradition. In Oxford the brothers were paid the equivalent of 18 euro a day, but they did have complete freedom to do as they pleased. Their early work illustrated in the slideshow, which depicts monkeys, birds, owls, snakes, squirrels and foxes. As the old classical world was abandoned for the principles of Gothic revival which favoured artisan freedom, the brothers turned to playful innovation.

Unfortunately, in 1859 the brothers’ innovation caused a stir in Oxford when they carved monkeys on a window on a building façade. Darwin’s theory of evolution was considered a radical idea and the monkeys could be viewed as Oxford’s endorsement of the theory. They were pressured to change the carvings and the brothers did, changing the roughly blocked monkeys into cats. According to local legend, the O’Sheas were dismissed from the project and returned the following day and changed the carving again, changing the cats into wise old owls and parrots, direct caricatures of the officials that censored their work at Oxford university.

When the brothers were dismissed from Oxford they roamed to find work in Manchester and Dublin, where they were well revered. The O’Sheas’ carvings are still visible in Oxford today but they are neglected from the discourse on the public realm and the role of the individual within it.
As for the significance of the monkeys being replaced by cats due to censorship, there may be a link worth noting. In the legend of the Keshcorran, king cats are monstrous animals that are found at caves in Co. Sligo and Roscommon. They are said to be the guardians of ‘The Hellmouth gates of Ireland’. Considering this context, by carving cats onto the buildings at Oxford University, the O’Sheas were communicating that this place was truly hell on earth.

During the tour, Lynch remarked of the brothers’ work: “At what point is something so far removed from what you were trying to represent that it becomes grotesque?”
The O’Sheas hold great significance for Lynch, who admires both their humour and their style, which became less restricted at they developed their oeuvre. They were lower-class carvers whom were never recognized as artists. The common thread that weaves together Adventure: Capital is the remedying of this invisibility.

Gallery B

The installation of bricks in gallery B tells a twin narrative. A similar pile of brinks was acquired by the Tate from an artist’s studio posthumously. The Tate paid seven thousand pounds for the bricks, and was highly criticized for misuse of taxpayer money by The Daily Mail. Local legend tells the story of the night of March 5th, 2008 in Waterford where a local, stumbling on his way from the pub happened across a roundabout. The individual, who has never been identified, took the bricks from the roundabout and piled them into the tower shape we see gallery A. A backpacker who happened across the scene took a picture of the pile and sent it to the local paper, who believed it was an interesting public art piece. The pile of bricks was soon hailed as a ground-breaking public art piece by newspapers across the world – including The Daily Mail that was full of praise for the mystery artist.

Sean Lynch remarked that he found this a particularly humorous example of how the lineage of art history can change. What was once criticized as an abuse of taxpayer funding was considered to be a seminal piece of art, in the span of about thirty years.

Gallery C

This installation is a combination of sculptures and prints. Remarking on the mix of sculptures, plastic fruit and print Sean lynch said “imagine that these guys are in a flat share. Some of them are friends and others aren’t. There is a certain amount of friction between them.” On view are the sculptures of the river gods symbolic of abundance, flow, the horns of plenty, and wealth. The plastic fruit also adds to this the idea of abundance, but plastic fruit does not decay, it is forever lasting. Remarking on the presence of the fruit, Lynch told us of families in both Italy and London that are the world’s foremost plastic fruit producers. The fact that the fruit is hand painted and is highly realistic made the artist question again, what constitutes fine art? Who decides what narrative will be told in the lineage of fine art? The fruits are works of art but realistically they will never be thought of fine art. “They’re never going to make it into ‘The Irish Times’ are they?”
He also remarked that during the Venice Biennale where he represented Ireland he consciously choose to exclude potatoes from the plume of plastic fruit. This is an artist who does not pander to stereotypes!

The reproduction of the prints (1927) located in the middle of the gallery C also have an interesting tale to tell. Boris Artzybasheff, a Ukrainian immigrant that worked as an illustrator in the United States, was commissioned to illustrate Irish mystic Ella Young’s accounts of the Goban Soar. The prints may seem unusual, but that could be due to Artzybasheff having never been to Ireland. He simply read Young’s account from The wonder-smith and his son: A tale from the golden childhood of the world and drew from the story. Artzybasheff went on to achieve success as an illustrator, securing commissions from Pan Am and Shell. He also frequently illustrated the cover of Time Magazine. Today he is largely forgotten and his estate has become what’s known as an ‘orphan estate’.

The cursing stone is also a replication used to echo the story of the controversial removal of cursing stones from their island home in Inishmurray, Co. Sligo by the office of public works. The cursing stone were later replaced by replications against public opposition. The island was said to be home to a ‘treasure trove of history and folklore.’

A small model of John Burke’s modernist sculpture Uniflow (1988) is also on display. The original sculpture was commissioned as a piece of public art by Cork city council but was soon removed from its original location (on the corner of a housing estate in Cork city) due to complaints by local residents. Apparently, locals protested the piece as it had become a meeting spot for underage drinkers and had too many sharp edges. Uniflow was moved to a council depot where it lay abandoned. When John Burke passed away it is said that his final wish was granted. He was buried standing up with his arse facing Cork.

Gallery D

A seventeen minute video plays in gallery D. Sean Lynch said that he often fools people into believing that it is only ten minutes in length, ‘just to get them in the door.’ This film navigates the limits of allegory, weaving together the unsung heroes exhibited in the Adventure: Capital to render the boundaries between fact and fiction, history and folklore.

10 May 2016

featherheads & dreamers

featherheads & dreamers – an overview

The 22nd of April was a balmy, pleasant Friday evening. It was the kind of weather that might inspire one to meet with old friends, enjoy a glass of wine and perhaps recite a verse or two. For the folks here at The Model, home of The Niland Collection we were preparing for just such an affair with wine destined to play a major role for the night in question. featherheads & dreamers a night of spoken word, performance and visual art kicked off in our theatre a 7pm.

Sound artist John Daly opened the event, treating us all to an immersive mixture of live guitar performance augmented with effects, delay, glitch and looping in combination with real-time field recordings. John even created a unique live work for featherheads & dreamers. It’s not often that you can bluster that an event has it’s own exclusive soundtrack, now is it?

Then our event curator and resident heartthrob, the esteemed Patrick Curley took to the stage. He delivered his opening remarks and gave his audience an interesting insight into how featherheads & dreamers came to fruition with all the commanding stage presence and masculine grace you would expect from a well-seasoned actor. Mr. Curley envisioned the event as a representation of Ireland’s underground artists and poets in the shadow of the rising, a hundred years on. The inspiration for the event’s title came from the great diversity of both regional and local press coverage during the 1916 Rising. The message propounded was largely the same; the Rising was wrong-headed, irresponsible, unrepresentative and dangerous. The ‘Wicklow People” remarked that the Rising was committed by men who were no more than ‘featherheads & dreamers.’

The highlights of the night included but were not limited to:

• A hilarious overview of how “hidden channels”, Sligo’s only e-zine came in to being by Donal Adam’s, the art director behind the zine.

• Adam O’ Rouke’s performance of his series of his poems previously published in various literary journals including The Moth.

• Award-winning poet, spoken word artist, and All Ireland Slam Champion Stephen Murphy’s spoken word performance.

• A powerful reading by writer and director, Sorcha Fox.

• An exclusive reading of new material by “Pond’ author, Claire Louise Bennett.

• The cabernet sauvignon that Laura served in The Gallery Café.

The performances were engaging and thought provoking juxtaposed against a striking backdrop of visual art from David Fahey, James Kelly, Ciaran Og Arnold and Dominic Corrigan. The final act came courtesy from one of our very own, Teresa Galvin is a singer-songwriter based in Sligo who often finds spare time in her busy schedule to volunteer here in The Model. Teresa was accompanied by Fionnuala Kennedy on double bass and Stephanie Pawula on percussion. The Teresa Galvin trio delivered a riveting performance, heightening the sense of celebration that was carefully transplanted to Lillie’s wine bar once featherheads & dreamers bid all a goodnight.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

19 Apr. 2016

Welcome to The Model shop, the home of crafty goodness.

Here at The Model we like to think we are famous for a number of things:

1) Housing the Niland collection
2) Our contemporary art programme
3) Our diverse music and events calendar
4) Our international film series in partnership with the Sligo film society
5) Housing a café that serves the best coffee in the west
6) Remaining terribly modest at all times

But apart from our better known attributes we are also home to a smaller, more modest collection. Located just beyond the atrium by the front desk is our Model shop, where you can purchase pieces made by local artists, writers and musicians (think Etsy but less virtual, more reality). The Model shop boosts a variety of makers, the majority of whom hail from the made in Sligo craft trail. Artisans like Matt Jones, Martina Hamilton, Ana Faye and Rachel Quinn have kindly agreed to display in our shop so as you can imagine the standard is high. But wait, we hear you cry, why does a contemporary arts centre sell work by local artisans?

Well, the answer is simple. Here at The Model we believe in supporting our local artists with just as much enthusiasm and vigour that we reserve for internationally celebrated artists. We believe in art that engages and interacts with the local community too, that’s why we launched our series “Meet the makers.” M.T.M. is the brainchild of our front of house manager Imelda Ryan-Jones. As part of the series one of our makers from The Model shop sets up a mini-studio in the atrium every Saturday at 3pm to demonstrate how they make their work. So you, the public, have a chance to interact with a real live artist in their natural habitat. There are only three artists left on the series so make sure to stop by. Wood turner Colm Brennan, shrawl maker Nichola Mac Evilly and artist Leonora Neary are lined up to show us all how their work comes to life.

The Model shop also boosts a fine selection of art books. Whether its catalogues, specialist books on Yeats or science fiction anthologies, The Model shop has something to please even the most obscure of tastes. We also sell postcards of J.B. Yeats paintings ready and waiting to be siphoned off as last minute father’s day gifts. So fret no more about finding the perfect gifts for weddings, birthdays, house-warmings or holidays, The Model shop has something for everyone.

Buy local-Support Local

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Rebecca Kennedy

29 Jan. 2016

Interview with artist Bart Lodewijks.

Please see this video by grammar student Fiachra Gallagher Lawson, featuring an interview with artist Bart Lodewijks at The Model on his residency at The Model in 2015.

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