The exhibition of new paintings by the Red kettle Theatre Company Artistic Director, Ben Hennessy, is a must see, must experience, show that pursues an Irish Myth with an impressive range of views of the artistic process. This powerful explosion of directed creativity at Greyfriars Municipal Gallery, is far from a series of notes or trial runs towards a glorious centre piece LIR. The work gathers and focuses the mind on the often diffusive process of art making in a way that sucks you into the colour and texture of the painting in oils and mixed media.
The centrepiece on the ground floor, LIR, is about transformation and emotion, about telling a simple story in paint and pastels, but the impact is powerful and dramatic. Surrounding it is an elemental explosion of colour and single-mindedness. Swan Storm erupts; From The Blue bewitches with beauty; Aodh, Conn, Fiachra, Fionnuala is an intermingling of four swan bodies, four necks and four slashes of yellow/orange beaks.
I was wowed by To Red, a beautiful red, black, yellow swoop of emotion and slash of energy and Magic Bird with its apparent central egg image is a salvo to joy.
Ben Hennessy celebrates in colour and his accuracy to establish the difference between blackberry black and black-jack toffee black, is an achievement of Dylan Thomas proportions.
Upstairs the big, bold and dramatic Morrigan is powerful and the four-part Clann Lir will take wings into your heart. Last year I saw Ben Hennessy’s design for the National Folk Theatre’s production of Clann Lir in Siamsa Tire in Tralee and in Greyfriars I had the chance to relive, to re-experience, that wonderful folktale.
The exhibition flies, soars and stays on the walls until 29th February.