Posts Tagged ‘artist’

19th of February, a day full of exciting events in Droichead

January 27, 2011

It is still January, but in Droichead we are already very excited about the 19th of February. Not only because from then the evenings will finally start to stretch again, but mostly because we are delighted to present 2 high quality film events on that day: Wishful Thinking and 140. Wishful Thinking will particularly be interesting for artists and art lovers in the town. 140 is a true gem by local director Frank Kelly, so just come and see what talent we have right here in Drogheda. Did I mention that both events are FREE?

Wishful Thinking is a curated programme of artists’ film, bringing together a selection of 16mm films by contemporary international artists: Luke Fowler, Jaki Irvine, Ursula Mayer, Rosalind Nashashibi, Roman Ondak, João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, Deborah Stratman, and Moira Tierney.

Borrowing its title from the common phrase to describe an optimistic and ever hopeful outlook, Wishful Thinking presents artists’ films that look beyond the surfaces and circumstances of the world as we find it. Whether by casting into the future, back to the past, or by re-approaching things that are all too familiar, the selected artists employ the particular characteristics of 16mm film to reshape our experiences of time through moving images.

One of the selected artists, Jaki Irvine, is based in Ireland, living and working in Dublin. Her works in film and video, whether in single-screen format or in more complex multi-screen installations, weave together enticing, though ultimately elusive narratives in which image, voice-over and musical score variously overlap, coalesce and diverge. These languid explorations of human interaction with the natural world, the built environment, and with other humans are suffused with a melancholic lyricism and leavened by a dark, dreamlike humour.

140 is the new film by director Frank Kelly, who lives and works in Drogheda. Frank was born in 1977 in Drogheda and studied Animation Production in Ballyfermot College of Further Education. His first film, Emily’s Song, which he co-wrote/directed/produced, was screened at over 30 International Film Festivals and received various awards.

His latest film 140 went into première on 10/10/10 in the Irish Film Institute in Dublin. 140 filmmakers in 140 locations around the world shot 140 seconds each on June 21st 2009, in 23 countries on 5 continents, simultaneously, capturing the same moment around the planet. This film is a true gem and Droichead is delighted to be showing it.


Image Gallery – In Tribute to the Life of Teddy Doyle

December 14, 2010

The exhibition In tribute to the Life of Teddy Doyle has been a great success so far. If you haven’t had a chance to see the work yet, do take some time when in town to go over to our gallery in Stockwell Street and have a look.  Since the event scheduled for the opening night had to be cancelled due to severe weather conditions, the planned performances will be going ahead on the closing night, which is the 5th of January. All are welcome to experience some live music, poetry, performance and view the wonderful pieces of art on display.

In tribute to the life of Teddy Doyle

November 25, 2010

Droichead is very excited about the upcoming exhibition ‘In tribute to the life of Teddy Doyle’ which will be opened on Wednesday the first of December from 8pm. The opening night will be a vibrant night full of entertainment, performance, music and of course… ART. The show will include some of his beautiful pieces as well as the works of 20 other artists based in the Drogheda area.

Teddy Doyle trained at the National College of Art and Design in the 1950s and worked as a scenic artist for more than 30 years. He was known around the town and beyond as a fantastic scenic painter, mastering water colours and always about on wonderful trips painting the scenery of the Boyne Valley, very often together with his great friend Liam O’Broin.

It was as an artist that he is best known in this part of the world, but he was also active in the cultural world as a stage manager, an actor, a puppeteer.

He worked on many major productions. His film credits include My Left Foot, which was made at Ardmore Studios in Wicklow. He stage-managed the Maureen Potter pantomimes from 1966-72 and he was also a fixture in Dublin’s Irish language theatre An Damer. Teddy was also an Executive Committee member of Irish Actors Equity and he formed the first union section to represent set designers. Teddy was also a master puppeteer who toured England with a marionette show for four years. There were many strings to his artistry. And these are only a few of the many things Teddy Doyle was involved in in the art and cultural scene of Ireland and beyond.

We are looking forward to the exhibition and hope to welcome you as well. ‘In tribute to the life of Teddy Doyle’ is on from the 1st of December 2010 until the 5th of January 2011.

Life drawing sessions in Droichead Arts Centre

November 9, 2010

Droichead is delighted to offer a series of 3 evening life drawing sessions in Barlow House. Droichead wants to engage the visual arts community aiming to arise a renewed interest in life drawing which could be further developed when successful.

These are life drawing sessions intended for artists who already have basic drawing skills. The classes do not provide a tutor, they only facilitate the model. They are intended to allow participants to draw a professional life drawing model and to practice their drawing skills. The sessions will focus on giving the participants the opportunity to draw and experiment through their own choice of medium, size and material.

Easels & drawing boards will be provided. Bring your own drawing materials. Tea & biscuits are included in the price.

Practical information

Dates: 17/11; 24/11; 1/12
Time: 7-9pm
Venue: Barlow House
Price: €26 for the 3 sessions; subscription and payment in advance required

Interested? Please ring our box office in Barlow House for more information or to subscribe on 041/9833946.

Interview with artist Magnhild Opdøl

October 20, 2010

Until the End - By Magnhild Opdøl

When did you first realise that you are an artist?
Making art is my job, so I guess since I started exhibiting about ten years ago. I have my BA and MFA from NCAD in Dublin, and previous to that I studied visual art at Nordiska Konstskolan for two years in Finland, and before that a year of Art History in Trondheim, Norway. So I guess the road to become an artist working full time has been in the cards for a long time.

Could you tell us some more about your art work?
I love drawing, sculpting, paintings and a lot of other media within visual art. My work is inspired by life, tales, adventures, media, news and art. Even though I use drawing for a lot of my work at the moment, I often let the idea decide the media I choose.

Could you explain the importance of the death theme your work incorporates?
I think death is something a lot of people are afraid of thinking and talking about. I am not one of them, and I think dead animals are very beautiful. I’m interested in the process of de-composing, not only in animals, but all materials. I also like to work with the story before the drawing, using parts of reality in the installation.

Drawing and sculpture seem to be essential to your work. Could you explain the importance of these mediums to you?
The last couple of years I’ve been interested in drawing. I like the history of it, the preciseness and beauty of pencil on paper. Sculptures are also great, using objects as part of the storytelling.

Where does your fascination for taxidermy originate?
I am not really fascinated by taxidermy, I just really like animals and how I can use them in my work. I use taxidermy as a sculptural material. An animal can tell a lot about people too.

I see a delicate balance between darkness and beauty in your work. What’s the importance of each aspect to you?
Beauty is a way into the dark elements. It is the technique that is beautiful, and the image maybe, but I always try to talk about something more serious in my work, whatever that might be. I also use a lot of humour.

Your drawings are very detailed and it must take a while to make them. How long do you work on one drawing on average?
From one week to over a month, depending on how many layers I do, and how big it is.

What feeds your inspiration for your art work?
“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just go to work.”  (Quote by Philip Roth)

Which other artists, both historically and contemporary, do you value highly?
There are a lot of artists of course. I like people who work a lot, that, you could say inspires me. When I see other artists putting a lot of effort and time into their practice it makes me want to work more. I like art with a sense of humour, and good ideas. Metsu who is being shown in the National Gallery at the moment is great, really elaborate and lots of fun details. As for contemporary art I can mention Matias Faldbakken, a fantastic artist from my home country Norway. If I were a teenager, I would have posters of him on my bedroom walls.

Magnhild Opdøl also has a blog giving more information about past, present and future project:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Until the end – Magnhild Opdøl

October 8, 2010

Droichead is delighted to present its new exhibition ‘Until the end’ by artist Magnhild Opdøl. The opening night is scheduled for Wednesday the 13th of October at 7.30pm. All are welcome.

Magnhild will exhibit a beautiful series of delicate drawings accompanied with some sculptures. The main body of her recent work is an investigation into the nature of death. Everything has its’ time, after death all that remains is documentation or the memory of the person, the place or object. In the past year the work has dealt with the idea of the end as the beginning, giving a new lineage to the images and objects that are created, where the past stops a new story begins.

Curious what you can expect from this exhibition? Have a look at the slide show below, but mainly make your way to the exhibition. The show runs from the 13th of October until the 20th of November.

Keep an eye on this blog for an interview with the artist next week.

Interview with James Hays

September 23, 2010

It is always great to talk to the artist himself after seeing an exhibition in order to get an insight in the work from a first-hand perspective.  And so it happened that I met artist James Hays for a chat about his current exhibition in the Arts Centre. I have to say, I am very impressed with the installation.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The installation piece consists of 3 elements: the sculptures, the projection and the sound. What is the importance and relevance of each element in the piece?

All three aspects are equally important. It is the totality of the piece that makes it work for me.

The sculptures originate from a reaction to a slight hangover of bronze casts I developed after working as a bronze caster for more than 7 years. As part of the process of carrying out bronze sculptures, a wax mould is made in order to be able to cast the bronze piece. In that process, wax is always seen as an intermediate. It is never seen as a medium to work with on its own. This has always intrigued me and that is why I made most sculptures in wax, looking up at a bronze one.

The video has no narrative or story. It is solely used for the light as opposed to the darkness of the room and the sculptures. It functions as a backdrop, with clear formal similarities and references to the sculptures.

The sound was extremely difficult to capture. I aimed to get the industrial grinding sound of the wind farm. But it turned out to be very hard to isolate that sound from the noise of the wind and other background noises interfering with this. A wind farm seems to be quite a serene place to most people, but when standing closely, it is actually extremely loud and grinding. I wanted to play with the industrial nature of this grinding sound as opposed to the serene idea most people have about wind farms.

Do you think it is important that art has a message for its audience?

I find it important that my work is intellectually underpinned. It also needs to display a level of integrity that is in line with my own personal beliefs. For this piece one of the important things is the contradiction between ecological and sculptural matters which can clearly be found in wind turbines.

I also see a reference in this installation to the famous Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus? Has this story be off influence for the piece?

Myth of Daedalus and Icarus in Greek mythology

Daedalus was an ingenious Greek inventor. However, he was expelled from Athens after killing his nephew for surpassing his inventive genius. He was sent to Crete where he served King Minos and Queen Pasiphae.

The queen requested Daedalus to build a cow for her to hide in so she could mate with a beautiful bull that was given to her husband by Poseidon, god of the sea. The union of the bull and Pasiphae produced the Minotaur, a creature with a man’s body and a bull’s head.

King Minos asked Daedalus to build a labyrinth for the Minotaur. It was a large complicated maze which was almost impossible to escape. After discovering that Daedalus made the cow for his wife, King Minos punished him and his son Icarus by locking them up in the labyrinth. To escape, Daedalus used his inventive skills and created wings to fly away with for him and his son. The wings were made out of twine, feathers and wax. The two were able to get airborne and fly out of their maze prison. Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too high, because the heat of the sun would melt the wax, nor too low, because the foam of the sea would soak the feathers. Icarus got reckless and soared too near to the sun so that the wings melted as his father had predicted. The boy plunged to his death into the sea south of the island Samos. The sea was then called the Icarian Sea.

This story was certainly an important reference for me when making the work, especially the part where Icarus is being told not to fly closer to the sun. As human beings we are constantly told not to be doing certain things, but we still do them. This really fascinates me. For example we’re told that the oil stocks will run out and that we should be sourcing renewable energy, yet we all mostly keep doing what we’re doing until it’ll be too late.

Also important in this story is the element of trying to be something that you’re not. Icarus was convinced he could fly as good as a real bird so he got reckless. I played with that idea by making the bronze sculpture. The bronze plane is the image of what the wax planes want to be and according to the process within the craft of making bronze sculptures also should become. They’re looking up to him, they’re in line to become just like him, but never will be. They are trying to be something they are not, just like human beings also tend to take on this attitude. We are always striving for more and better, looking up to people e.g. celebrities. That embodies a certain arrogance, just like Icarus was too haughty and confident not to listen to his father Daedalus.

I can clearly see military references in the set-up of this exhibition such as the sculptures in formation, the colour of the planes. Where does this interest originate?

When I was doing a residency in the US in 2008, I was lucky to get the opportunity to visit AMARC (American Air force Maintenance and Regeneration Centre), which is an enormous air force base in the desert where redundant planes are stored. I have always been interested in planes and the idea of conflict they generate. Ever since 9/11 the plane has become a symbol for fear in addition to being a symbol for travel.  The planes used in this exhibition are black which incorporates a military reference. At the same time the airline itself is not military. It could easily be a Ryanair plane for example. The black colour is obtained by mixing engine oil into the wax.

The Pylons the planes are positioned on also remind me of oil rigs and oil fields.

Yes, that is intertwined into the work as well.

Could you tell me some more about the opposition of light versus darkness in this installation?

The light is to be found in the wind farms. They function as a form of salvation to our modern society because they’re a type of green, sustainable energy consumption. Peak oil on the other hand is a self-defeating process. However, the production and maintenance of wind farms entail big costs. The other price to pay is the visual cost. I love the look of the wind turbines, but they interfere with the natural environment and the landscape.

Could you tell me some more about the environmental message this piece incorporates?

I always thought I was not a very green person, but recently I realised that a certain environmental concern keeps coming to the surface in my installations. Industrial versus ecological is a contrast that tends to keep coming back in my work in combination with the aspect of conflict.

What feeds your inspiration for your art work?

The role of a contemporary artist is ever changing. What I find important is diligence, conceptual underpinning and the fact that ideas are more important than the execution. The ‘what’ is more important than the ‘how’.

Personally, I don’t feel bound to a tradition. I usually think of an idea and then I find the best way to execute it. An idea can come to me any time really, in the shower for example. All the travelling I’ve done also inevitably filters through in my work.

I work from the head mostly. When I have an idea, I rent a studio space, I make the work and then I leave again. I learned that way of working through my experience from working for the artist Anish Kapoor and a couple of other artists I used to assist. You only get to that stage when having a certain level of experience. Very often making art work is about gaining experience by getting it wrong quite a lot of times. But sometimes you just have to trust yourself and your artistic abilities. This installation for example was only assembled for the first time when setting up the exhibition two days before the actual opening night. I had never seen the final result with all its components included until the final set up in the exhibition space and I’m still wondering whether I am fully happy with it.

Which other artists, both historically and contemporary, do you value highly?

Gelitin, a group of contemporary performance artists based in Vienna; John Bock, a sculptor based in Berlin; minimal artist Richard Serra; Irish sculptor John Gibbons and the Brazilian artist Cildo Meireles.

‘Looking into the light of dark matters…’ by James Hays

August 30, 2010

‘Looking into the light of dark matters’ is the title of the exhibition by James Hays which opens in Droichead Arts Centre on Friday the 3rd of September at 6.30pm. The show runs until the 4th of October. All are welcome on the opening day, which really is the perfect event to go to after a lovely Sunday morning brunch.

Irish Artist James Hayes studied Fine Art in Ireland, the UK and in North Spain. His work mainly consists of installations and sculptural pieces. He has exhibited widely across Ireland, the UK and the US. ‘Looking into the light of dark matters’ is a new large scale multimedia installation created especially for his exhibition in Droichead Arts Centre.

His work aims to explore aspects of environmental conflict and trends in environmental energy production and consumption. It also serves to explore Hayes’s continuous use of the humble object in his practice, the continuous investigation and play with materials and their counter point opposites and with complementary processes of a traditional and non-traditional nature that make up his works and assist in defining his sculptural language.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


August 17, 2010

I barely dare to acknowledge, but the summer is coming to an end and we are very busy finalising our autumn programme. We have plenty of exciting events lined up, when re-opening our doors after a 3 week summer break. A selection from our September programme, and there is a lot more to come…

We have a fantastic new exhibition ‘Looking into the light of dark matters…’ lined up with installation work by the artist James Hays, opening on Friday the 3rd of September. ‘Looking into the light of dark matters…’ is a new large-scale multimedia installation created for Droichead Arts Centre. The work consists of numerous wax and bronze casts of iconic objects, which run, in co –ordination with a multi-screen digital video projection twinned with additional digital sound components.

Psycho Spaghetti

On the 16th of September we have the brilliant comedy Psycho Spaghetti programmed. This comedy by Ger Carey’s is written specifically for teenagers. It’s a hilarious one-man show which attempts to answer the age-old question:  “Just what is going on inside the teenage brain?” The show is 100 minutes of laugh-out-loud comedy aimed at getting teenagers to laugh at themselves and view themselves as part of a bigger picture. The show is perfect for Transition Year students, LCA, Youth Reach and even grown-ups!

On the 24th of September we are celebrating Culture Night. Droichead Arts Centre is delighted to be taking part in the first culture night celebration in Drogheda. Culture night began as a small Dublin event organised in Temple bar in 2006, and this year is spreading to towns around Ireland. Droichead will team up with Highlanes Gallery, The Barbican, Calipo Theatre Co., Upstate Theatre Project, Droichead Youth Theatre and Nexus Arts to present a wonderful line up of exhibitions, music, poetry, film, theatre and open studios.  All events will run from 6pm -10pm unless stated otherwise. A programme schedule will be released on our website closer to the date.

The ‘Early Bird catches the Deal’ is our motto this season so booking early is recommended. For info and tickets go to our website or contact our box office on 041 9833946.

News from the art world: Farewell Louise Bourgeois

June 1, 2010

Sad news from the art world was to be found in the New York Times this morning: Louise Bourgeois, influential sculptor, dies at 98

Louise Bourgeois was born in France, but lived most of her life in New York, where she worked as a visual artist up until a week before her death. Working hard all her life, she only received recognition in the art world and from the wider public at the age of 70. She is best known for her large sculptures of spiders, her fabric sculptures and drawings.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.