Making It (March -April 2018)
The2018 exhibition programme at the Blue Egg Gallery, Wexford opened on Tuesday 20th March with MAKING IT. This group show features the work of the 12 final year students from the Ceramics Skills Course run by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. They are: Keith Clucas, Chris Crawford, Elaine Garvey, Francis Lloyd Jones, Katrin Maier, David McComiskey, Hannah McDonnell, Roisin O'Connor, Etaoin O'Reilly, Jin O'Sullivan, Louise Robinson and Natasha Swan.
In addition to a range of functional ware, each member of the group is showing Easter egg cups.
The guest speaker was the artist Mary Ruth Walsh from New Ross who described in her inimitable style the work of each of the twelve makers, noting the differences in their approach.
The exhibition will run until 5th May.
Blue Egg Gallery, 22A John’s Gate Street, Wexford
Photos show work by Natasha Swan and Chris Crawford.
Bravura: A musical passage requiring exceptional agility and technical skill
A show of daring or brilliance
Bold and brave
BRAVURA happens each year at the Blue Egg Gallery Wexford to coincide with the Wexford Opera Festival. BRAVURA 2017 celebrates the work of makers from Ireland, the UK, Germany and the USA, curated by Mary Gallagher. The exhibition opened officially at noon on Saturday 21st October and ran until 5th November 2017. The guest speaker was Eithne Scallan, local historian and writer.
BRAVURA 2017 featured work by some artists who are exhibiting in the gallery for the first time including Alan Meredith whose fumed oak vessels capture beautifully the organic properties of the material married with the precise geometry of the lathe. Shown here for the first time also was the beautifully patterned bowls in Parian porcelain by Anne Butler and the striking ceramic bowls, bottles and wall pieces by Sarah Jenkins inspired by her love of landscape. The exhibition also featured some wonderful vessels by Mike Byrne along with a small series of his prints, and the beautiful vessels by Christiane Wilhelm whose work featured in the very first exhibition in the gallery.
Earlier in 2017, I showed some work by the American artist Stephen Yusko. For those of you who missed that show this was a chance to see his stunning forged metal and glass houses.
For the past two years jewellery by Inga Reed, the Kilkenny based jeweller, has been part of the BRAVURA exhibition. For this year’s exhibition Inga created a small series of necklaces in semi-precious stones.
Photos: Green and black bowl by Christiane Wilhelm and Eclipse patterned bowl by Anne Butler.
"NATURE, IS WHAT WE SEE"* (September-October)
"Nature, is what we see” celebrated the natural world which surrounds and inspires us daily, if we take the time to stop and look. The exhibition was opened by Cornelia McCarthy who has worked with creative enterprises and cultural projects for nearly thirty years, many of them in the crafts sector.
Artists Mark Campden and Lorna Donlon apply their view of nature as they see it to their chosen medium to create beautiful ceramics and woven creations. Mark's fine lusterware and majolica earthenware featuring fish, birds and plants evoke a sense of awe, wonder and levity. In her woven tapestries, created especially for this exhibition, Lorna celebrated the everyday in nature, the ordinary features that we sometimes take for granted - bramble, feather, leaf, stone, soil, sky, song. Another facet of the inspiration for this work is the power of “fragments” to suggest the bigger picture.
The work of these two artists draws one in for a closer look to appreciate their skill and the subtle detail of their work.
The exhibition ran from 16th September to 13th October, 2017.
*“Nature, is what we see” is the title of an Emily Dickinson poem.
Photos show work by Mark Campden and Lorna Donlon.
ABOUT THE HOUSE (June-July 2017)
The starting point for this exhibition was the lingering image of Rowena Brown’s houses which I first saw at Ceramic Art London in 2015. Their still and solid shape embodied the comforting and universal symbol of the house/home while raku firing gave their broken textured surfaces a sense of reminiscence tinged with loss.
In this exhibition a number of artists explored the image of the house through their own medium: Fran Brosnan, Rowena Brown, Cathy Burke and Maria Connolly in clay, Stephen Yusko in metal and Mary Ruth Walsh in print and drawing. This exhibition ran from Saturday 17th June to Saturday 15th July.
Photos show work by Maria Connelly and Rowena Brown.
JUGS (May-June 2017)
This exhibition featured a feast of jugs in clay and glass by about 30 makers from Ireland. It was curated by Hilary Morley and Mary Gallagher. The exhibition opened on Saturday 13th May and ran until Saturday 10th June. It then moved to Cambridge’s in Galway city for the annual arts festival (17th – 30th July).
Photos show work by Etain Hickey and Jerpoint Glass.
Verve captured perfectly the zest, intensity and sparkle of this exhibition. It featured the work of four artists, all of whom are interested in exploring colour, pattern and texture in their work. The textile artist Angela Forte made a series of hand-woven tapestries especially for this exhibition which sang of her joy in colour and pattern. Circles, roads and stars are fixed in the weave and spoke vividly of a lifetime of journeys and contemplation.
Vivid colour and strong shapes are also obvious in the work of the other artists, all creating three-dimensional work in different mediums. Gráinne Watts created wonderful, daringly coloured and patterned ceramic pieces that will seduce you. Cecilia Moore used a variety of materials in her practice. The pieces in this exhibition were intriguing, patinated vessels in silver and copper based metals, made using the technique of “raising”. Texture and colour are also central to the work of Paula Stokes. Her off-centre glass vessels captured colour in a very concentrated form; this is further enhanced by the sandblasted finish which give them an unexpected softness.
This exhibition opened officially at the Blue Egg Gallery, John’s Gate Street, Wexford on Saturday 8th April 2017 at noon; the guest speaker was architect, Angela Rolfe. The exhibition continued until Saturday 6th May.
Photos show work by Angela Forte and Paula Stokes.