There is a mixed bag feeling about the summer art on show in Dungarvan in the selection of work. The Old Market House Arts Centre has a themed show Irish Lights about the lighthouse heritage. The contrasts are like the weather – unsettled. I liked the delicate watercolour work of Esther Heffernan especially POOLBEG LIGHTHOUSE and the wonderful colour sense of Kate Hodman especially SUNSET AT HOOK with its orange sky, chocolate clouds and dark rich landscape and frothy sea.
John Eagle’s dark chunky brooding work and fine photography catches the dismal weather. Maeve Doherty has two atmospheric pieces of HOOK HEAD and a tranquil DUNCANNON.
Bridget Hynes Roche had some excellent dramatic batik work but it was the vibrant and no doubt digitised work of Laura Gibney that pleased me most with TOWER OF HOOK and YOUGHAL LIGHTHOUSE.
In Seomra De Paor, the Stradbally photographer Ciaran Foley impressed with his digitised images and his plain BEAUTY OF AGE featuring a rusty petrol pump was excellent.
It was like a real Summer’s day in Ring at the Joan Clancy Gallery and I do admire the way this bijou gallery adds so much to the tourist trail in this area and to give over her space to recent work by young graduates may make poor commercial sense but it shows a great sense of commitment to emerging artists and to some new trends in painting.
Over half of the work was untitled and dogged by those academic, artists starements full of guff about post-Cartesian positives vis a vis post Neitzchean reductivism.
Some work was spoiled by those drips and dribbles and wedges of Finan’s almost white AN ALTERNATIVE TO PACKING with its architectural structure.
Holly Dungan from Wexford had two fine miniatures in ink and crayon. Gemma Branigan had a clever LET SLEEPING DOGS LIKE that explored a faded paint-peeling wooden hut. Sinead Hehir had some excellent oils on canvas about water falling over rocks but her use of shiny surfaces against matt did not impress all that much.
Rayleen Clancy had three pieces TRANSIENCE OF LIFE in a style of life beginning some sort of tadpole spawn little people or at worst, lava lamp wallpaper.
While in Dungarvan I enjoyed an excellent lunch in the recently re-opened Merry’s Bar and Restaurant.