Review: Municipal Art Shows

The Chris O’Brien Shanahan show, Dreamcatcher, at the Index Gallery, is an excellent mixed media event in a busy space. Work that draws on similarities between places like Australia and Fenor, gives the casual viewer an experience of the dot style of Aboriginal art in three studies, DREAMING BENEATH THE WILLOW, with its chalky tree and rich dot pastels.

Natural patterns attract Shanahan’s attention and that is evident in skylines and boglands as in FENOR WEAVE. A beautiful photographic book reproduces a most varied study of Fenor Bog – a book that just cries out for a publisher to bring the work to a larger audience.

The contrasts in two TRAMORE SKYLINES catch, not only the dreams and possibilities of summer, but the colder resonances of winter in a favourite place.

GOING INTO THE ISLAND is a site specific central space featuring a pattern of stones and shells that is invitingly tactile and to reposition a stone would not wreck the universe. This piece has grades of detail and subtle earth tones.

Cordula Hansen

At Greyfriars Gallery, the miniature and abstract quality of Cordula Hansen’s work, Past : Present Touch : Don’t Touch, shows such a contrast of styles. Her fragile exploration of art, archaeology and artefacts has a shyness and preciousness of fine art. She invites people to add a bit to TOUCH – a felt and thread piece – yet, you would be loathe to as if some delicate tracery would be destroyed.

The work has a quietness, after the Big Statements of Helnwein and the Starkness of Tony Ryan, and yet this shows a space where some thought has gone into the programming of exhibitions.

Hansen’s work is thoughtful and oblique and asks the viewer to consider the found-art impact of human-made as against nature-made.

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