Monday, July 16, 2012

Galleries, both online and offline

I have just updated my Studio on Art Fortune, all you need to do enter my name in the Search field and click on my name under Studio when it comes up. You'll have seen the images before, but maybe not the comments.

Also, I had an interesting time at the art galleries in Dublin city centre last Friday. I managed to get to six different ones in a couple of hours, just to get a feel of the places and of the activity in them.

My first stop was the Gallery at Number 6, South Anne Street, Dublin 2. It was a beautiful space, with beautiful work, and I spent a few minutes looking around before getting into conversation with the lady working there. I had never heard of this place, and was astonished at the quality of the work on display, and the variety. There were some truly INCREDIBLE still life pieces there, paintings that were astonishingly photorealistic, and some wonderful expressive pieces of various styles, also three-dimensional. It really is a treasure trove and I was wondering how I hadn't heard of it before. Apparently they have been getting work done on their website and it isn't quite finished yet, and but they are indeed on Facebook. This gallery is in a prime location, smack-bang in the middle of the city centre, and just up the street from the Gotham Café, so really there's no excuse not to pop in and look around.

The next place I went to was the Solomon Gallery, which is all one level, but the works were really cleverly hung. Your eye was taken by this superb painting of a boathouse - for the life of me I can't remember the name of the artist - hanging in the middle at the rear of the premises. And you noticed other works after that, but that painting definitely had pride of place. Sounds weird, but it shimmered, the subject matter was very mundane, but there was something slightly otherworldly about it. I noticed many sculptures also, and I wasn't the only visitor, there were two ladies present who seemed very interested in some of the sculptures. What I also noticed was that the lady working there was tipping away on her computer and took a phone call while I was there - so there was lots of activity going on also, and they have a Facebook presence.

After that I walked through the Westbury Mall and found the Balla Bán Art Gallery in there. The first thing I thought was that for such a tiny gallery - it's literally 3 metres by one and a half metres at the most - it has a HUGE Facebook presence. Seriously, you're not going to be bringing massive busloads of tours to this place, but then you don't need to. At the time of writing their website seems to be down, but their Facebook page never sleeps ... They do a lot of limited edition prints of original drawings and paintings, which is a nice way of building up an inexpensive collection. I had a nice chat with Lucie Pacovská, who was working there at the time.

Then it was over to Jorgensen Fine Art on Hibernian Way. I liked the paintings very much, but I was particularly taken with a fantastic cast bronze sculpture of a deer (I think) with this huge curling horns - that must have been a difficult one of cast, but it was stunning. The artist really caught the spirit and energy of the animal, and I wish I could remember the artist's name. They seemed to be in the process of hanging odd pieces, but I didn't ask or engage in conversation because they seemed busy - she was tapping away at the computer and answering the phone, he was doing the hanging and arranging of the works. But I would like to talk to them at some point. I liked the space and the vibe in the place.

My next stop was Sol Art, and these guys I have been in touch with before because they used to do these touring exhibitions around Ireland, in which they'd set up an Art Fair of local artworks in one of the hotels close to or in the main cities, and I showed with them in the Radisson Blu just outside of Limerick City. Their premises in Dublin is one of these magnificent Georgian buildings with high ceilings, ornate fireplaces, amazing decorative plaster (stucco?) work on the ceilings, this alone has a certain wow factor to it, and it is a great setting for art. The rooms are huge, I'd nearly fit my entire house (admittedly mine is not a large house) into one of them. Upstairs there was another exhibition space where some photography was shown, and while I'm a huge admirer of photography, I'm not sure that this was the best setting, as you really need works with a certain va-va-voom wow factor to compete with the rooms in the building. (I'm pretty sure my paintings could do this - well, the big ones, anyway.) Sol Art also have a Facebook page, and the work there was varied and interesting.

I hadn't done this in a while, gone into a gallery, so it was something of a sensory saturation (try saying that 3 times really fast) for me, and now I'm itching to pick up a paintbrush. 

No comments: