20 Jun. 2017

The Model is in Vogue (quite literally)

The Model is proud to announce that we have been featured in Vogue’s ‘Where The Vogue Editors Are Holidaying This Summer’ article. The article, which features Sligo alongside holiday havens like Italy, Ibiza and Greece, sees the Vogue U.K. team choose their top holiday destinations for 2017. Sligo was top pick for news editor Scarlett Conlon, who was lured to Yeats’ country by its cultural and artistic history, boutique shops, beaches and bustling restaurant scene.

Alongside The Model, Sligo businesses The Cat and The Moon, Breeogue Pottery, Liber and Mullaneys got an international shout out for their artisan merchandise. The Model was featured in the ‘Don’t leave without’ section and we couldn’t agree more. Visiting Yeats’ country without stopping by to see an original Yeats in our current exhibition Jack. B Yeats: Lives or taking in some contemporary art with Ronnie Hughes: Strange Attractors would be sacrilege!

The Model is also delighted to be able to contribute to the bustling restaurant scene that is luring international customers to Sligo’s pale, sandy shores. The Model Café is now open for business with a menu that offers a little more then local cuisine. Our new chef, Juan Sevilla Jimenez has intertwined elegant, simple dishes made with the finest local produce with a Mexican twist. So come on by and see for yourself why The Model is listed as a must see by Vogue!

To see the full article, click here

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

13 Jun. 2017

Interview with our new Café Chef Juan Sevilla Jimenez

The Model Café is open for business. So now is the perfect time to get to know the chef behind Sligo’s newest café. Juan Sevilla Jimenez is originally from Mexico but now calls Sligo home. We caught up with him to get the low-down on his grand plans for The Model Café.

How did you end up coming to Ireland?

I was living in New York. I was working in an Irish pub, where I had been working for four years. I used to be a bartender. I met my girlfriend there. She was the waitress. I met her the first year I worked there. We worked together for two years. Then we decided to move to Ireland. I know two Mexican guys who are in the same boat. They met Irish girls abroad and ended up moving to Ireland with them. Small world!

What was your first impression of The Model?

The first time I came to The Model was for a Baroque concert. My partner plays the flute and she is part of the group. She has been playing with the Baroque group for seven or eight years. When I walked into The Model and thought it was a really nice place: it’s really tranquil and light.

Where did you work before?

I worked in Fabbrica, the Italian restaurant on Rockwood Parade. I was the second chef there. It was really nice. The staff worked very well together but I decided to come to The Model because I was looking for a new opportunity and a new experience.

What’s your vision for The Model?

I have a lot of ideas. The atrium is a calm & beautiful, it would be a really nice place to have dinner! I’ve also got a lot of ideas for the menu. I would like to create more breakfast dishes and devote one day a week to serving Mexican dishes. A Mexican day could be great too!

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Rebecca Kennedy

8 Jun. 2017

The Model Cafe is open!

Foodies and caffeine addicts alike will be delighted to hear that The Model’s much-anticipated brand new café has opened. Taking pride of place in the heart of The Model atrium, The Model Café will make a fantastic addition to the bustling café scene in Sligo town. The menu at The Model Café is designed to showcase the finest of Sligo produce to reflect the unique flavor of the county, as well as interweaving a Mexican twist with local cuisine thanks to our fabulous chef Juan.

The Model Café caters to all your caffeine needs with all the usual suspects: strong Espressos, smooth lattes, indulgent hot chocolates as well as stocking a selection of refreshing herbal teas. To keep us happy during this unusual spell of warm weather (fingers crossed that it sticks around) The Model offers chilled soft drinks like San Pellegrino. For all you healthnuts out there, The Model Café also has a fine array of Vit-Hit to replenish and revive!

If you are stopping whilst out on a leisurely stroll or just out to enjoy a light brunch in the beautiful surroundings of The Model atrium, then the pastries selection is sure to put a smile of your face. The selection of delicacies includes savory croissants and delicious Danish swirls, all freshly baked and made with the finest ingredients. If it’s lunch you’re after then The Model Café has you covered. Featuring dishes like the The Mexican: spicy chorizo & crushed avocado, roasted peppers and tomato on a bed of lush mixed salad served in a wrap, ciabbatta or in a classic salad. The Model Café serves a menu of elegant, simple dishes with an exotic edge.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

7 Jun. 2017

Yeats Day and The LilyLolly Craftfest Event

Join us at The Model to celebrate Yeats Day and The LilyLolly Craftfest with two fantastic events:

Jack Yeats at The Model Lunch Time Tour, 1.30 pm, Tues. 13, Jun
Come and join us on Yeats Day for a walk through our current exhibitions: Jack B. Yeats; Lives and Ronnie Hughes: Strange Attractors.

Nora Niland Lecture, 7pm, Wed. 14, Jun.
‘One a Gazelle; the Eva Gore-Booth that Yeats never knew’ delivered by Professor Sean Golden.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

6 Jun. 2017

Ronnie Hughes; Strange Attactors - Educational Booklet

The education department has produced a beautiful and educational booklet for kids and parents to take along to Ronnie Hughes: Strange Attractors.

‘Using this guide, children and their parents can have hours of fun navigating the exhibition Strange Attractors by Ronnie Hughes. Engaging and interactive, this guide is packed with word searches, puzzles and drawing ideas to help you unlock clues to unraveling the meaning behind the many layers of colour and abstract patterns in the artist’s paintings. The children’s guide is free of charge and can be picked up at The Model reception.’_ – Marie Louise Blaney

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

5 Jun. 2017

Italian students enjoy their experience at The Model

One would be hard pushed to find a harder working set of individuals outside of the legion of volunteers and students whose commitment, talent and dedication, keep The Model ticking over, year round. The Model was recently lucky enough to play host to three Italian students who spent a fortnight of their Erasmus year in Sligo. The students: Martina Pensato, Anna Biferale and Desire Spigali came from Ladispoli, Lazlo, Italy to Ireland to gain experience in the tourism industry and improve their English. During their work experience, the girls learnt the inside business of what it takes to run a contemporary arts centre like The Model. Think Andy, Anne Hathaway’s much harassed character in ‘The Devil wears Prada’ and you’ve got the gist. Just kidding!

In the course of their stay, the student’s invigilated exhibitions, assisted at the front desk and even helped out in the marketing department, where their tech savvy skills were put to good use. Martina Pensato found this exposure to the inner workings of the art world the most valuable aspect of her experience in The Model: ‘I liked the work at the Model because I like to work with art,’ said Martina, ‘We were happy that we choose to work in The Model because we learned that a museum is not just a destination for a day trip, it has it’s own culture that is a way of life.’

Where Martina enjoyed the work, Anna Biferale was preferred the social aspect that being part of The Model entails. ‘The people of The Model are very kind. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the staff.’ Desire Spigali agreed. ‘The staff of The Model have made the two weeks of our Erasmus that we have spent in Sligo worth our while.’ The students also managed to teach us a thing or two. Several members of The Model staff are now fluent in multiple Italian curse words, which will come in handy, should we are to ever find ourselves offended in Italy.

The Model would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Martina Pensato, Anna Biferale and Desire Spigali for their hard work. We wish you the best of luck in your future!

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

2 Jun. 2017

Ronnie Hughes: Strange Attractors - Walk Through

Ronnie Hughes began his career as an artist after receiving an MA in Fine Art from the University of Ulster. Since then, Hughes has had numerous solo shows in Ireland and taken part in prestigious group shows in New York, Chicago, London and Germany. As an award-winning artist, Hughes has been the selected for highly sought residencies such as a one-year residency in New York, and three-month residencies at Banff Arts Center, Canada and Bemis Arts Center, Nebraska.

As part of a national tour that will see Hughes’ work travel to Limerick City Gallery and The Royal Hibernian Dublin, Hughes’ latest solo show has opened in The Model. ‘Strange Attractors’ is an exhibition of elegant abstracts. Hughes work is complex: registering everything from an existential longing to understand the world to theoretical psychics. Hughes’ work is also aesthetically pleasing, with blasts of clashing colour and kitschy geometrics reminiscent of late 1960’s American interior design.

The ‘Strange Attractors’ journey begins in gallery A. Gallery A houses some of Hughes, small scale more intimate works. Colour Mechanics, (2016) Klacto, (2016) and Polychrome (2016) are stand out pieces. The theory of using a confined small to showcase Hughes smaller works continues into Gallery B, which showcases dynamic pieces like Cascade (2017), Palette (2017) & Limbo (2017). Gallery C, D and East present Hughes’ larger, visually dominating works. The lofty spaces balances the larger pieces well, particularly Badass (2016) and Klikkak (2015), by setting them opposite other pieces, creating a confrontational effect between these strange attractors.

As well as painting, Hughes show offers a series of gouache drawings. The symmetry of line created within Propus I, Propus II and Propus III, located in Gallery C, are heavily reminiscent of infamous imagery of theoretical physics and science fiction, making the exhibition a very optically interesting experience. Hughes ‘Strange Attractors’ is not limited to geometrical forms. With the exhibition, strokes of loose, free-forming chaotic lines and shapes appear amongst more, formal structured shapes.

Ronnie Hughes: Strange Attractors will be on show in The Model until 22. Jun. 2017.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

31 May 2017

My Pick - Heike Thiele

As part of our My Pick series we asked Heike Thiele, Assistant Curator at The Model, to choose her favorite work and tell us why.

‘A Sunday Morning in Sligo’ is a watercolour that depicts a young man jumping from a mud bank to a pool below. A friend watches him from the pool as the young man is caught mid-jump, frozen in a fetal position. Onlookers watch the fun as young men splash about in the water, climb the mud bank and plummet once more to the water below.

I like this watercolour in particular because it has an immediacy that some of J.B. Yeats paintings sometimes lack as often they seem to be set on a stage.

‘Sunday Morning’ seems of vital importance, like it’s an experience from his life. The watercolor feels as though it is autobiographical. Maybe J.B. Yeats was swimming himself in the water watching another lad jump in and this is a memory.

I also like that the water is not the sea but that it’s a bit mucky. I find that it feels like a real summer experience and that it’s just gorgeous. I also like that it’s not fully formed and has very few visible outlines. It’s freer than other J.B. Yeats work. It’s really quite painterly and it’s less of a drawing.

‘A Sunday morning in Sligo,’(1898) 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

30 May 2017

Emer Mc Garry interviews Ronnie Hughes on Strange Attractors

The following text is the synthesis of a number of conversations between the artist Ronnie Hughes and curator Emer Mc Garry regarding his artistic practice.

EM: What is it that excites you about painting?

RH: That’s a very complex question but the obvious things are formal qualities – colour and shape, their relationship and how these are orchestrated to create sensations of pattern, movement and rhythm. I’m also very attuned to the sensuous qualities of paint and how a painting’s surface can hold or reveal a sense of how it was made i.e. the artist’s touch (or not). Allied to the content matter this is often a big factor in how we respond as viewers. Thirdly I like that a painting surface can often contain and reveal the history of its own making – time condensed, as it were.

EM: Can you expand on this idea of the visual compression of time?

RH: Well, bearing in mind that a painting may be over a number of months or even years, a work can often betray the physical evidence of this process in different way; accumulations of paint or, conversely, signs of attrition and sometimes by the sheer complexity of image parts. In my own work the process is one of trail, error and response and I’m interested in ‘finding’ the finished work. When a particular state doesn’t feel resolved I like to try to add another level that doesn’t completely obliterate what was there before. In other words I (usually) actively try this temporal sense into the painting or drawing.

EM: How do you title your work?

RH: Once the work is finished, and documented, I try to sit down and work out what the title it. I find this very difficult as I think titles are very important signifiers to not only how an artist thinks about that particular work, but perhaps the work in general. I like the title of to be poetic: I like it to situate the viewer in a particular area but, perhaps conversely, to open up possibilities of interpretation. It’s important not to suffocate the viewer. I usually use single word titles. Sometimes the word is used for its meaning, sometimes its sound. Occasionally I invent words. In practical sense it’s also important for me that I will see the painting in my mind’s eye when I hear the title.

EM: Can you talk about the combination of drawing and painting in your practice?

RH: For me drawing is central – painting is, in many ways, just drawing with paint (or an equivalent). It is important to me that there is a ‘drawing’ sensibility at work – I don’t this in a traditional sense but in a spirit of discovery – to ‘draw out’ or ‘draw forth’ – to wrest an idea, a form or an image from the ether. Contrary to much that I was taught at art school I discovered that this often times me slow down or work carefully, thoughtfully and methodically.

EM: You mentioned during our studio visit that you look at your work with a ‘quizzical eye.’ At other times you have referred to your work requiring ‘curious viewers.’ Is this kind of reflection or investigation intrinsic to your work?

RH: I think that art is at its most gripping when it both attracts and resists us – when it garners our attention but refuses to be submissive. I like the idea of making art that acts as a kind of conundrum – what is this I’m looking at? What is the pattern and why? What values are at work? How do I feel or what do I think?

EM: It is clear there is a stylistic diversity in your paintings. How do you achieve this and why is it important to you?

RH: An old teacher of mine (performance artist Alastair MacLennan) used to say that your thumb and forefinger look very different buy they belong to the same hand. I’m very resistant to the idea of ‘style’ – bearing in mind that this can be born our of habit or, more accurately, lazy research methods. I try to foster an experimental and creative approach and I’m happy for work to engender variety. That said it is one of the inescapable paradoxes of art-making that more, and longer, one labours then the more the work can be ‘tied up like a sausage’ (to quote de Kooning).

EM: You have said previously that what interests you most as a painter is plasticity. Can you expand on this idea?

RH: Simply put: I like the idea of malleability, of transformation – in materials, processes, configurations and ideas.

EM: Your work over the years has moved from representation to pure abstraction. Can you tell us more about this change and why it happened?

RH: Well first of all let me say I don’t believe in the concept of pure abstraction! There is always representation, allusion and suggestion. At one time I used to make work that used to recognisable images to try to eke out ideas or expressions about particular thematic issues. At a certain point I wondered what would happen if I emptied out the symbols and tried to work without reference to essentially linguistic ideas. I soon discovered that this was a folly as the world follows you into the work anyway. This freed me to just be in my work without worrying about steering it. So in a sense there was no real rupture in how I worked; a shift of emphasis perhaps.

EM: Is there a grammar and syntax to how you work out your paintings? How do you find a balance in your work that is coherent?

RH: I think most creative endeavours (art, writing, music, film et al.) are ultimately determined, or resolved, by grappling with problems of structure – organising parts into coherent whole. This fundamentally formal problem is, as you note, one of finding balance. Each new work creates a different, and complex, set of conditions to respond to and of course with the flow of time one presumes we respond differently too.

EM: There is a three-dimensionality to your finished paintings. Do you feel your painting practice ever slips into object-making? Why do you make paintings and not sculpture?

RH: I’m completely in the world of object making! I’m very conscious of making an actual thing as opposed to merely an image or illusion. Over the years I’ve made a number of works that would be considered as sculpture and I prefer to be described as an ‘artist’ rather than as a ‘painter’, but the simple fact is that I enjoy the minimal directness of painting and drawing. It’s about desire.

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The Model

23 May 2017

The Model presents Cairde Visual Submissions Open / Deadline June 12th

(Heidi Wickham, Emer Mc Garry, Tara Mc Gowan and Cormac O’Leary. Image by Barra Cassidy)

In 2013, a group of established Sligo based artists came together with Cairde Sligo Arts Festival with an aim to create a significant, international open submission exhibition for the North West. Cairde Visual was born and the first annual submission took place in The Hyde Bridge Gallery in 2014. The exhibition has, in a short space of time, become a much-anticipated feature in the arts festival’s programme and in the cultural calendar of the region, not to mention an increasingly important fixture for artists all over Ireland and abroad. The third annual exhibition in 2016 boasted over 70 artworks from local, national and international artists, featuring a great diversity of media.

The Model came on board as a collaborative partner in 2015, offering The Model Cara Award – a short-term residency in The Model’s artist studio. Recipients of the Model Cara award to date have been Helen Blake in 2015 and both Daniel Chester and Selma Makela in 2016.

The move of Cairde Visual to The Model for 2017 is an exciting development for all concerned. Director of Cairde Sligo Arts Festival, Tara McGowan, believes that the collaboration with The Model will further enhance the reputation of the annual exhibition. ‘We are delighted to collaborate with The Model as one of Ireland’s leading arts centres. The phenomenal growth and success of the exhibition over the past three years has lead to an increase each year in submissions. The Model’s beautiful gallery spaces will ensure that we can showcase selected works in the best possible way”.

Acting Director at The Model, Emer McGarry is equally looking forward to collaborating with Cairde Sligo Arts Festival on Cairde Visual. “Part of the core work of The Model is to offer opportunities for the development of professional artists. We are delighted to partner with Cairde Visual in 2017 and to extend the opportunity for local, national and international artists at all stages in their careers to submit work for consideration. We believe that we can bring our expertise and experience to the progression of this Sligo-based open submission exhibition”

Submissions are now being accepted for this year’s Cairde Visual. Guidelines and submission forms are available at www.cairdefestival.com and also at The Model reception desk. The deadline for receipt of applications is June 12th 2017.

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The Model