16 Apr. 2017

Sean Larkin - New Studio Artist Profile

What is your practice?

Fine Art Painting.

How did you come to rent a studio at The Model?

The Model is recognized as one of Ireland’s leading contemporary arts centers, and as such presents itself as a stimulating cultural site which offers a range of supports and opportunities for collaboration with fellow artists as well as potential projects with high artistic and educational merit. The Artist Studios at the Model makes it a site of artistic production and an opportunity to present work to interested audiences, which I see as vitally important. Networking opportunities with other arts professionals is equally important to artists so when a Studio became available in early 2016, I couldn’t resist the opportunity.

How does it feel to have the space to work?

What excites me most about the space when I walk over the threshold into the studio is the feeling yes, this is where I want to be – this is the space I want to be in, which is very empowering. I can see my residency in the Model as a catalyst for continuing creative inquiry, creative practice and related research loosely based on cultural signposts.

What are you plans for the future?

What challenges me most about contemporary practice in painting is that it is about change itself, never still, and its capacity for reinventing itself as cultural sign posts is both exciting and surprising given to enormous impact of new media and technologies.

My immediate plan is to sift through the material I have been collecting over the past year and produce a body of work – which will result in an exhibition in the not too distant future while also looking at networking opportunities with other arts professionals.

Could you tell us a little of your background?

I live and work in Sligo. I was educated at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) Dublin & graduated in 1973. I was the former Head of School of Creative Arts at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) in Dun Laoghaire from 2005 to 2012. I worked at senior management level in the Institutes of Technology sector from 1978 until I retired in 2012. I represented the Institutes of Technology sector, Ireland (IOTI) as Chair of the Working Group on Practice – based Research in the Arts, an advisory group established by the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) with support from the Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB). I was HETAC external examiner /assessor in Fine Art on a variety of assessment and programme validation panels for the Sector.

I was Head of Department of Art and Design at IADT from 1998 to 2004 and previous to this post was Head of the Department of Humanities at IT Sligo. During this period I was the HETAC nominee on the Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) on the senior cycle Curriculum in Schools Committee. I maintained a link with professional art practice with work represented in public and private and public collections including the Arts Council Collection, Ireland. 

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

3 Apr. 2017

Arts and Health Check Up, Check In 2017

This day-long programme, featuring presentations by some of the leading figures working in arts and health in Ireland and the UK, is for healthcare professionals, arts practitioners and anyone interested in learning more about this exciting field. Check Up Check In 2017 is organised by www.artsandhealth.ie (Waterford Healing Arts Trust) and Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts, with local partner the Arts Initiative in Mental Health – a programme of the Mental Health Services Sligo Leitrim. The event is supported by the Arts Council, Sligo County Council Arts Service, HSE North West Health Promotion and The Model. Further details and booking information from www.artsandhealth.ie / 051 842664. The fee for the full day, including lunch, is €20.

Check Up Check In 2017 provides an opportunity for those working and interested in arts and health to share their experiences, exchange ideas and support and inspire each other in their practice. The exciting line-up of guest speakers from the arts sector and healthcare in Ireland and the UK includes Patrick Fox, director of the UK agency Heart of Glass, award-winning artist and theatre maker Mark Storor, Dr Regina McQuillan, palliative medicine consultant at St Francis Hospice in Dublin and artist and filmmaker Marie Brett. Arts and health projects to be showcased on the day will include a 12-year inter-generational project in the UK, a photographic project in a nursing home in County Galway, a community based arts and wellbeing programme and open studio in County Kildare and a theatre project in a palliative care setting in Dublin.

Arts and health programmes comprise a range of arts experiences, presented in healthcare settings, for the benefit of health service users, healthcare staff and artists. This expanding field of work fosters creativity, wellbeing and access to the arts and is based on partnership between the artists, arts organisations and those working in healthcare and/or the wider community. Further information about all aspects of arts and health work, including case studies, is available on www.artsandhealth.ie

Additional info:
Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) brings arts experiences to the bedsides of patients at University Hospital Waterford and other healthcare settings. WHAT supports the development of arts and health in Ireland and manages the national website www.artsandhealth.ie
Create is the national development agency for collaborative arts and provides advice and support services to artists and arts organisations working collaboratively with communities in social and community contexts. www.create-ireland.ie
The Arts Initiative in Mental Health (AIMH) is a programme of the Mental Health Services Sligo-Leitrim . AIMH aims to engage artists and service users in interesting and meaningful art-making, make visible arts and health work both within the mental health setting and publicly, where appropriate, and increase access to the arts by service users and healthcare professionals.

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The Model

30 Mar. 2017

My Pick - Alexandra Hopf

This painting, ‘Singing the Minstrel Boy’ by Jack. B Yeats has triggered my ongoing fascination with the stage. I have been fascinated with it since I was a child. My mother was a trained circus performer and I can remember very vividly my first theatre performance. Ever since then, the stage has been is a magical place for me. Everything on stage is born out of the darkness; daytime, nighttime, sounds, changing settings, action, still stand, smoke in the backlight, smells from the dusty curtain, a bang from a revolver, false hair, forgotten texts and the ghosts of the past that become visible.

The stage is an interesting subject for a painting. A framed fiction itself, the stage is framed once again by the painting, therefore it is an image contained within an image. Yeats’ depiction in this painting of that moment within a staged performance is uncanny. The uncanniness of the moment is echoed in the actresses pale face. Maybe the light conditions were not perfect, maybe the make up was over dramatic, and so she comes across as a ghost… the ghost of an actress that has to perform over and over again, caught in the moment and doomed to perform forever. At the same time the audience were also doomed to watch that performance over again and again, pretending to see it anew.

For me, what Yeats has captured in ‘Singing the Minstrel Boy’ is the essence of both those who perform and those who consume. In the scenario of this painting, we as viewers are also integrated into the image, with those who watch us, watching others watch.

“The Night” – An exhibition by Alexandra Hopf is on display at the Model until the 16. Apr. 2017

“Singing the Minstrel Boy”(1923) by Jack B. Yeats is currently featured in “Lives” a Model exhibition in The Niland Gallery. “Lives” will be on display until 01. Oct. 2017.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

15 Mar. 2017

Daniel Bannon talks volunteering with Rebecca Kennedy

To highlight volunteerism in Sligo during it’s year as The European Volunteer Capital for 2017, Rebecca Kennedy talks to Daniel Bannon, a volunteer at The Model.

“I choose to volunteer in The Model because I had finished a degree in Music technology in Tralee, Kerry and I was looking to help out in an arts center where I could make use of the theatre. What I enjoy about volunteering at The Model is that the team here is made up of really good people.“

Mr. Bannon tells us about the fast-paced work environment at The Model.

“You learn something new everyday so I get a lot out of it. I meet new people and it’s an opportunity to network.”

“My favorite memory of working in The Model was doing the sound engineering for ‘Beneath the Air’, last October. That was the first gig I worked on at The Model and after it finished I had a great buzz. It was really exciting. I knew a lot of theory about sound engineering from my degree but having the opportunity to practically apply that meant that I gained some really great experience.“

“I will continue to volunteer in The Model and I would recommend volunteering here to anyone remotely interested in the Arts. Spending your time at The Model presents the opportunity to learn new skills, get practical experience and meet like-minded people.“

If you are interested in joining the volunteer team at The Model please contact getininvolved@themodel.ie

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

8 Mar. 2017

Noel Corr talks volunteering with Rebecca Kennedy

Noel Corr is undeniably one of the longest serving and dedicated members of The Model’s Volunteer team. Every Wednesday Noel rises early to take the bus from his hometown in Bundoran, Co. Donegal to Sligo Town to donate his time as a Gallery invigilator.

Noel tells us why he volunteers and why he thinks others should too!

“I started volunteering at The Model about seven and a half years ago on the 25th of May, 2010. I’ve always been interested in art, now and again I would go to Dublin, to the National Gallery. I used to come here to The Model every Wednesday anyway. I came for the art and the café! For me, it’s a day out.”

“I volunteer from 10am – 2pm. There’s a nice atmosphere in the galleries. What I really like is that I meet a lot of different people. Later in the year, during the summer season, you meet Europeans, Americans & Australians… I’ve met so many over the years and I’ve made friends with a couple of them. I picked The Model because it is a peaceful place to come to, you know you can relax.”

“I will probably stay here. I come to Sligo every Wednesday anyway, 12 months of the year. So I’m going to keep volunteering as long as I’m still alive!”

“Volunteering would be good for anyone at college who may want to do something during the summer months. But anyone who’s interested in art could volunteer here. Coming to the Model, there’s a lot that you learn about the arts and the art world… and it’s a great place to be, I get on with everyone. They’re just a nice bunch of staff here and that’s important. You can come here and have a laugh and a joke & that’s just as important as anything else!”

If you are interested in joining the Volunteer team at The Model please contact getinvolved@themodel.ie

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

23 Feb. 2017

Reconstructing Memory Masterclass: A Review

Clea van der Grijn’s Reconstructing Memory is the culmination of three years hard work. The exhibition is multi-disciplinary featuring paintings, installations, sculptures & photography. It’s the result of the artist’s stay in Sayulita, a jungle encased village in the heart of the Mexican jungle. Considering the prolific nature of the show at hand, it is interesting to wonder what a masterclass hosted by the artist would entail. In other words, what can a group learn in one day of an exhibition that took the artist over three years, multiple mediums and one heck of a move to create?

Quite a lot, as it turns out.

The class commences at 10.30 am in the education room at The Model. Van der Grijn begins with a short talk, explaining the conception and creation of Reconstructing Memory. Then comes a tour of Reconstructing Memory packed with lesser-known facts about the exhibition. After our tour, the real work begins. As an exercise in the art of beading skulls, a traditional folk art in Mexico, we are asked to pick symbols from a sheet that van der Grijn hands us. These symbols serve a dual purpose, they provide the intrinsic designs that adorn the skulls and tell the story of the person the individual the skull has been decorated for.

The symbols are not for the faint hearted. They are complex patterns that need to be beaded & glued to the skull with great care. Of course, half of us find this fact out after we have chosen the hardest, most detail heavy symbols. The skulls are polystyrene and the first step in the decoration process is to create a base. Seeing as the students in the master class had long since waved goodbye to childhood, it would be fair to presume that coating the skulls with crepe paper and P.V.A. would be a tedious chore. But far from it, creating the base with sticky, messy glue is more fun than you can imagine. Toddlers really do have the life of it.

After the bases are created the skulls are left to air dry, we pick from a mountain of supplies. There are tiny beads, shiny buttons, crepe papers, fake flowers & an abundance of markers to help us tell our stories. When the skulls are ready, so begins the challenge of decorating. Van der Grijn has brought along a real beaded skull as an example and your dear correspondent catches more then one nervous glance in its direction as the class unfolds.

Indeed, the Mexican skull is so skillfully and beautifully decorated that it feels more Fine Art than Folk Art. And ours are proving more difficult than we predicted, the beads are difficult to control and the glue is temperamental. Looking down and the cranium in my grasp is a sad affair, with its paper-Mache surface & drawn on nostrils, it feels less Fine Art & more Art Attack. But the Masterclass is enjoyable nonetheless. The shared mood is relaxed and the conversation careens naturally from topic to topic like the bends in a lazy river. “You must take yourself seriously as an artist,” van der Grijn tells us. It is not her only tit bit of advice but the one she says in her most vigor.

The rest of the class is spent finishing our skulls but only beginning our stories. I would highly recommend a master class to anyone interested in a particular exhibition. Not only will you learn a new skill, it is also a chance to get to know the artist behind the work, and perhaps learn to see the exhibition from their point of view.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

25 Jan. 2017

The Art of Drawing with Michael Wann - A short note

31st of January – 7th March 2017

2.30 – 4.30pm Advanced

€120 six week course

“Wann’s work is imbued with feeling and memories of the experience of being in the places he draws so skillfully” – Brenda Moore-McCann, Irish Arts Review.

Michael Wann, a celebrated Sligo-based artist will be holding ‘The Art of Drawing with Michael Wann’ a 6 week master class course in The Model, Sligo. The drawing classes commence on the 31st of January and will come to a close on the 7th of March. Michael Wann’s classes have long been a fixture of The Model’s programme as Michael provides his students with excellent expertise, a new skill-set and positive encouragement to explore your artistic side.

Why you should take Michael class?

That’s a fair question. We would not expect you to take classes from an instructor with no credentials, the same way you wouldn’t take etiquette lessons from Trump. Luckily Michael has a long list of achievements and experience to put your mind at ease. Here are just some of the honours and accolades Michael has garnered along his journey of artistic exploration:

Since graduating from the Sligo Institute of Technology in 2003, Wann has exhibited continuously in numerous solo and group shows. In 2004, his work was selected for the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) Annual Exhibition. He won the AXA Insurance Drawing Prize at the RHA Annual in 2006 and was an invited artist to the Exhibition in 2009. He also had a solo exhibition “Humble Remains,” at the RHA’s Ashford Gallery in 2009. Other prizes followed in 2010 when his work was selected by Hughie O’Donoghue for the Tom Caldwell Drawing Prize at the Royal Ulster Academy’s Annual Exhibition. Wann was also awarded the Sean Keating Prize and Silver Medal at last year’s 186th Annual at the Royal Hibernian Academy & has the honor of being invited back to the R.H.A. this year.

His work is held in both private and public collections in Ireland and Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Who should take “The Art of Drawing by Michael Wann?

Another great question. Wann’s classes are aimed at any one with a basic level of drawing experience, however if you are a complete beginner and passionate about learning to draw, this class is definitely for you. On what the class entails, Wann remarked, “The class aims to encourage participants to enjoy the act of observing and drawing in an easy going and informal atmosphere.”

The classes could also be a perfect gift for a creative friend or family member. Give the gift of artistic confidence and send a loved one to Wann’s classes, where they will up their skill level in the safe hands of a talented & highly experienced artist.

How to sign up:

To book a place on “The Art of Drawing” you can contact Michael directly on: 087 9303528 or email: studio@michaelwann.com

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

13 Jan. 2017

New spring cinema programme with Sligo Film Society

The Model Cinema which runs in partnership with Sligo Film Society – one of the longest running in the country – returns this January to it’s usual Thursday evening slot with a packed programme of the latest and best in international and independent film.

The spring season opens on Thursday 12 January with the Polish/French drama ‘The Innocents’, set in a Warsaw convent just months after the end of WWII, a young French Red Cross doctor is approached to assist a group of nuns in a distressing state. Directed and written by veteran filmmaker Anne Fontaine, the film forms part a strong sub-stream in the programme of work by women or featuring leading female stories. Following ‘The Innocents’ is Irish comedy/drama ‘A Date for Mad Mary’ starring up-and-coming actor Seana Kerslake in the title role and Mia Hansen Løve’s “Things to Come”, whose lead actor Isabelle Huppert had a bumper year in 2016 and was recently a winner at the Golden Globes.

There are further highlights from big-name directors such as Ken Loach’s Palme D’Or winner ‘I, Daniel Blake’ from Cannes; Jim Jarmusch made a return to our screens with two films last year, the latter of these ‘Paterson’ is presented in the new programme starring hot property Adam Driver; Kenneth Lonergan also made a return with ‘Manchester by the Sea’ and is currently snapping up award nominations in this period known as the Hollywood silly season. Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, whose work has been shown previously at The Model, also feature this season with ‘The Unknown Girl’, which revels in a striking performance from lead Adèle Haenel. Andrea Arnold’s epic road movie ‘American Honey’ just fresh off the festival circuit brings an energetic number to the programme about a tale of rag-tag bunch of teen magazine hustlers trouping across the American mid-west.

At the other end of the scale, much notice has been bestowed on breakout film ‘The Childhood of the Leader’ from first-time director Brady Corbett. Based on a short story by Jean Paul Sarte it is the chilling story of the makings of a fascist leader, set amidst the backdrop of the Versaille Treaty negotiations. The spectre of war features in two further films Aleksander Sokurov’s fiction/documentary hybrid ‘Fancofonia’ which revisits the Louvre in Nazi occupied France and true story ‘The Fencer’, a redemptive account of Endel Nelis, a champion fencer forced to flee from Russian secret police who becomes a teacher and father-figure to traumatised students – mostly war orphans – at a remote Estonia school.

Fans of comedy will not be disappointed either, quirky foster-father and son tale ‘The Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ is big-hearted and full of magic and rounding off the programme is Spanish family drama cum road movie caper ‘The Olive Tree’ which will bring the season to a close on 13th April.

All screenings commence at 8pm and The Gallery Café is open beforehand serving small plates, wine and hot drinks. Individual tickets for each film are available from Sligo Film Society prior to each film or alternatively a full season pass can also be purchased. See our cinema page for more details http://themodel.ie/film

Full Spring programme listing:

The Innocents | 12 Jan.
A Date for Mad Mary | 19 Jan.
Things to Come | 26 Jan.
I, Daniel Blake | 2 Feb.
Paterson | 9 Feb.
The Childhood of a Leader | 16 Feb.
The Hunt for the Wilderpeople | 23 Feb.
The Unknown Girl | 2 Mar.
Hell or High Water | 9 Mar.
The Fencer | 16 Mar.
American Honey | 23 Mar.
Francofonia | 30 Mar.
Manchester by the Sea | 6 Apr.
The Olive Tree | 13 Apr.

Posted By

Edel Doherty

11 Jan. 2017

Graphite & Easel: A review

Graphite and Easel is a life-drawing classes led by Artist Emma Stroude. It takes place in The Model on Fridays at 10.30 am. To resurrect whatever waning artistic talent I may have left, I decided to give Emma’s class a go. Life drawing for some is the most essential of all artistic practices. It trains its students in a variety of skills like shape and form, space, line, colour and texture, components that are crucial for any artist’s repertoire. Because I haven’t been to a life-drawing class in quite some time, I am a little too eager and I arrive at Emma’s class at 10 on the dot. Thank god, she’s already in the education room with a friend, setting the stage.

“So, who’s the model?” I ask, secretly hoping for a woman because men are impossibly boring to draw (they’re just a couple of straight lines with a lumpy bit after all).

“You’re getting the best model,” Emma’s friend informs me.

“Who’s that then?”

“Me!” she tells me.

The class starts to fill up around 10.15 so any newcomers interested in attending Graphite & Easel are advised to arrive that little bit earlier. There’s a pretty big crowd but there’s plenty of easels to go around. Emma takes to the middle of the class to give us the low-down on the schedule. We are to do a series of warm-up sketches to get us moving, then our model will pose for longer periods of time followed by a short break.

“No problem,” I think, “Sure, I’ll be a little bit rusty but I can shake that off in the preliminaries.”

Oh, how wrong I was. During the warm-up poses I can’t quite believe how good I am not. In fact, some sort of clinical separation between body and mind seems to be at play here. My brain knows what it perceives and what it would like but my hand refuses to oblige. When did my fingers become sausages? Why can’t I draw? Who has done this to me?

Our Model seems to be switching poses with rapid speed. I glance around at my classmates to find that I seem to be the only one breaking a sweat. The other students are as calm and focused at Buddhist monks. Am I the only one who believes that our Model is not so much posing as vogueing?
It turns out I am. And that’s because I’m out of practice. I stumble upon this conclusion when we have a short intermission and Emma encourages us to take a waltz around and view each other’s work. When I take my turn around the room I discover that although I may have struggled, my classmates had no such issues. All levels are welcome at Graphite & Easel, and every group is represented here. From shy beginners to the very the intimidating masters, we are all accounted for but the overall standard of work at Graphite & Easel is excellent.

So much so that your dear correspondent took one look at her neighbour’s haunting charcoals drawings and fled the room, rather then having to stick around and justify the glorified stick-woman I’d managed. I took solace in the café and chatted to others from the group. Everyone was friendly and the atmosphere is one of goodwill and encouragement. When our break is over, we filed back into the education room; I was ready for round two. It’s easier than the first half, partly because I’ve warmed up and partly because I left my massive ego at the door.

Graphite & Easel takes place in The Model on Fridays from 20 Jan.
10.30am – 1pm, €10 per session.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

3 Jan. 2017

2016 - The Education round-up

2016 has been a great year for The Model, with a kaleidoscope of art and cultural events taking place in the beautiful surroundings of The Model throughout the year. People of all ages have been attending our exciting mix of events and projects, ranging from music to film, artist talks, seminars, children’s workshops, an exciting teenage programme, supported by Sligo Credit Union and a number of unique community-engagement and education projects. With education and community projects leading the way, Punc 1×1, The Model’s new primary schools outreach programme and Sligo Global Kitchen have without a doubt been the hits of 2016.

Sligo Global Kitchen is a community art project engaging residents of Globe House (the region’s direct provision centre for asylum seekers) in an amazing culinary and cultural experience. Led by locally-based artist Anna Spearman. Sligo Global Kitchen uses the social relations of food and art to engage residents of Globe House in a meaningful cultural exchange with Sligo’s communities. Experiencing the best of multi-cultural cuisine, the whole concept is based on the principle of hospitality, a cornerstone of Irish culture and values, which is equally important in other cultures. Sligo Global Kitchen is a gesture of solidarity to people living in direct provision in this town and it’s a celebration of the commonality that the every day rituals of cooking and food brings to Sligo. As Sligo is becoming a more diverse and multi-cultural society, the communal table at the heart of Global Kitchen is a fantastic vehicle for enriching Sligo’s cultural life. Sligo Global Kitchen meet monthly at The Model and also appear in pop up venues throughout the county.

Meanwhile in Sligo’s primary schools, a ground-breaking project has been unfolding throughout the county. Punc 1×1, an acronym meaning Pop-Up Niland Collection is a major outreach schools’ programme taking place in the academic year 2016/2017. Children and their communities from all over Sligo are encountering original artworks in their schools. The Model education team have been busy visiting schools throughout the county as this pop up exhibition rolls out, one art work at a time in ten participating schools. The brainchild of curator Jobst Graeves, this project will eventually touch every child in the county in the next seven years. The positive impact of this project has already seen numbers of school visits to The Model more than double in the last few months. And if the schools can’t come to The Model, distance often being a barrier to participation, The Model will come to the schools. The project is inspirational and will continue to make waves across the county in 2017, culminating in an final exhibition of all the artworks in The Model in June, 2017 to mark the end of the first year of this dynamic educational schools programmme.
The Model has been delighted to have received funding to support Punc 1×1 and Sligo Global Kitchen from The Community Foundation for Ireland,. A long-term commitment from the foundation has resourced The Model in a way that has allowed us to think outside the box and to take steps in ways we woudn’t have been able to imagine without this support.

Our aim this year was to continue to engage everyone in the North West in exciting art projects, from the very small to the very tall – to make, create and experience art. No matter what age you are, no matter what level of experience you have, The Model aims to always be a place for everyone. The Model is not just a space, but an art and cultural experience that can touch you, in many ways. The Model will continue to deliver programmes into 2017 that we hope will bring joy and learning to all who participate and attend events at The Model. The Model receives core funding from the Sligo County Council and the Arts Council of Ireland.

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