Since the demise of the Dye House Gallery, the Bridge/Mary Street area has lost a little bit of artistic interest but the new Mary Street Gallery is a fresh new open-to-the-street space that will attract an audience and a clientele. The area has a buzz about it with the futuristic clean lines of the Brewery and the wonderful smell of hops, the traditional severity of the Dominican with its statues overlooking the street and the attractive Tax and Revenue building with its avant garde frontage, the Yankeee drown of thorns, the spikes to impale defaulters and the glass lighting arrangement in its foyer.
The open traditional space of Mary Street Gallery will enhance the buzz. This space is run by, mother and son team, Mary and Robbie O’Halloran. Robbie is a working artist and Mary has the commercial acumen to form an interesting partnership that artists and public will enjoy.
For its opening show, aptly titled OPENHOUSE, they have selected eight contemporary artists and while this creates a sense of a little something for everybody, they are taking a fresh modern approach that will enable them to test the market and hopefully establish favourites and create a start for an emerging talent.
I liked Waterford-born photographer Michael Durand with his tones of green representing the baize surface of a snooker table with the faint imprint of cue and balls. Cora Cummins (Dublin) has a beautiful PARK TREES, a minimal etching with cold yellow and crisp trees. CHESS PLAYER, a photo by Paul Kelly, is excellent but his work was recently shown at Garter Lane.
I was puzzled by the visual imagery of Paul Doran’s oil on linen and the work of Fiona McDonald, Michael Canning and Thomas Brezing is more about technique than visual appeal.
The O’Halloran’s have great plans for a Christmas show, a New Year’s print show and a possible one-woman show by a local artist.
In storage at the rear I enjoyed a brilliant blast of a painting NEW WORLD DAWNING by Karen Ebbs, exciting prints by Wexford print maker Pauline Macey and was wowed by miniatures of a road-trip by Clare Scott, who has such a theatrical style for a striking image. I also liked Rod Coyne’s abstract landscape and Stephen Vaughan’s abstract prints.