News 1988

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Ulster Art in the 80s

RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin

2 - 29 October 1988

True Blues, The Birches, Portadown, silver gelatin print, toners and gouache, 58cms x 48cms, 1988 ©Victor Sloan

The Irish Association, founded in 1938, to promote cultural, economic and social relations between the peoples of this island, North and South, is taking advantage of its Golden Jubilee Year to organise a festival of Ulster Arts in Dublin this Autumn. With so much concentration on political differences and tensions with their violent and destructive consequences, the Association through it proper to focus for once on the creative achievement of Ulster in music, literature, theatre, crafts, painting and sculpture.

Among its Jubilee events the Irish Association takes special pride in presenting this major exhibition of Northern Art organised by the Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast, at the RHA Gallagher Gallery , Ely Place, Dublin. The GPA Exhibition of Ulster Art in the 80s, illustrates very powerfully the role of the Irish Association in enabling Irish people in the South to encounter and understand their fellow Irish in the North. The mutually inflicted wounds of the past have frequently kept us apart and hostile to one another. Yet mutually endured suffering can also make us more accessible to one another. Artists are called to expose and explore the realms of human suffering and joy. As they explore they reveal the depths and sources of such human experiences. Beyond their exploration of suffering, artists exercise a healing and binding influence which enriches the wider community, in this case the wider Irish community, North and South.

The Irish Association, is very grateful to Dr Jamshid Mirfenderesky of the Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast, to Mr Tom Ryan and the RHA Gallagher Gallery and to the Guinness Peat Aviation Company who with Co-Operation North have so happily combined to enable people in Dublin and the South share in these exploring, healing and celebrating works of Ulster Artists.

Professor Edna McDonagh, Vice-President, Irish Association.

Participating artists: Anne Carlisle, David Crone, Diarmuid Delargy, Fergus Delargy, Micky Donnelly, Felim Egan, Graham Gingles, Elizabeth Magill, Clement McAleer, Jack Packenham, Dermot Seymour, Bob Sloan, Victor Sloan, Una Walker, Martin Wedge and Gordon Woods.

Organised for the Golden Jubilee of the Irish Association for cultural, economic and social relations 1938-1988.

The Irish Association
120 Harberton Park, Belfast
N. Ireland


RHA Gallagher Gallery
15 Ely Place, Dublin 2
Tel: 353 1 661 2558
Fax: 353 1 661 0762


Selected Images

Riverside Studios, London, England.

27 April - 22 May 1988

No Surrender, silver gelatin print, toners, gouache, 128cms x 170cms, 1988 ©Victor Sloan

As part of Riverside’s A Sense of Ireland ‘88, we present eight artists who deal with resonant images in different ways and using entirely different media.

Vivienne Dick is an experimental film-maker using 8mm and 16mm film; Alanna O’Kelly creates combined installations and performances; Paul Graham’s deadpan colour photographs contrast with Victor Sloan’s large scale treated monochrome photographic works. Mickey Donnelly paints both large scale oils and smaller watercolours, while Brian Cronin is a professional illustrator working for well known magazines like Time and Rolling Stone. Poet Paul Durcan makes his contribution in the catalogue published to coincide with the exhibition. Art historian Joan Fowler will give a talk on related issues on Sunday 15 May at 5pm. Admission free.

SELECTED IMAGES was curated at Riverside’s invitation by Declan McGonagle of the Orchard Gallery, Derry, working with artist James Coleman.

A 32pp catalogue with 8 colour and 12 b&w plates and an introduction by Declan McGonagle and James Coleman will be for sale at a special exhibition price of £4.50.

Exhibition sponsored by Sealink British Ferries and the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Ireland.


People at Work

Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin

6 - 22 December 1988

Turf, The Birches, Portadown, silver gelatin print, toners and gouache, 58cms x 48cms, 1988 ©Victor Sloan

Each artist in this show has responded in his/her own individual way to the central theme which is the contribution of workers to the development of Irish society. It is clear that the artists recognised the difference between people working and people at work. The artists have looked in different ways, at the terms and conditions of people at work, concentrating on their individuality, their activity, their consciousness, their creativity, and their rewards, often finding different levels of rewards.

Some artists have responded positively and some negatively to the conditions under which people work. In some cases these conditions are located within the factory gates and in others the wider vista of society predominates.

The collaboration between the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the artists’ organisation, the Association of Artists in Ireland (members of the Irish Transport and General Workers, Union) marks the growing and important expression of the reality of working class culture in Ireland.

The present economic system offers only two choices – high art or manipulated mass media, commercial culture. The artists in this exhibition have forced a wedge between these two extremes and revealed what was always there. That is the living, breathing and productive life of the working class which produces its own images of culture, not hidden away in galleries or packaged for television, but allowed to find its own feet at the centre of working class life – the workspace.

Mounting this exhibition both inside and outside the mainstream of art galleries, in union halls, libraries, schools, trade union centres for the unemployed and during union conferences will make the artists’ work available to a wider audience.

Exhibiting artists are: Marie Barrett, Oisin Breathnach, John Carson, Pauline Cummins, Micky Donnelly, Rita Duffy, Gerry Gleason, Patricia Hurl, Michael Lyons, Brian Maguire, Danny McCarthy, Colin McGookin, Michael O’Dea, Alanna O’Kelly, Mick O’Kelly, Ger O’Leary, Geraldine O’Reilly, Jack Packenham and Victor Sloan

Temple Bar Gallery & Studios
5 - 9 Temple Bar
Dublin 2
Phone +353 (0)1 671 0073
Fax +353 (0)1 677 7527

Gallery Opening Hours:
Tuesday to Saturday: 11am - 6pm
Thursday: 11am - 7pm

Office Opening Hours:
Monday - Friday 10:00 - 6:00

Temple Bar Gallery & Studios is grant aided by An Chomhairle EalaĆ­on / The Arts Council

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