I don’t think that Waterford County Council in Dungarvan value enough the asset to the county that is the Old Market House Arts Centre. Once again, visitors have no list of work to read. There was a time, at opening nights, when there would be a line of local authority figures, some with chains of office, and the space is a one-woman operation.
Yet, that one person, Assumpta Nugent, has time and again chosen and selected a wonderful mix of art and crafts that a town should be more proud of. Central to the attraction, this time, is the impressive portraiture by Gerry Harrington. The big paintings stare at you, such is their accuracy.
You have to go and see this Dungarvan-based artist for the detail of his portraits. Hannah Quirke has life and warmth and there is many a story in the worn face of Study Of A Man. But watch out for the large, almost monotones, of Kitty. Go up close to it and it has a 3D quality and slowly step back and you will experience a revelation. Amazing work.
Harrington also, has some muted pastoral studies of Co. Waterford.
But it is the variety, over two floors, that adds to the impact of this venue’s attractiveness. Swine Flu warnings or not, there is an antiseptic lotion available at the entrance desk. Luke Lawnicki’s pig paintings are fun, especially Happy Pigs. Across the street, in the excellent Merry’s Bar and Restaurant, these pigs are a focal and talking point too.
I loved the airy sense to Springtime by Bridget Hynes Roche and the colourful pastiche of Lucia Cullinane Garcha. Mary Foley has some fine studies of clouds in autumnal fields and Esther Heffernan has good commercial work on view also.
Upstairs, in Seomra De Paor, Martine Finucane catches the eye with a blue and yellow study, Mooring Dungarvan. Jim Lawn has two beautiful Colour Of The Wind to make your visit to Dungarvan special.