I’m glad I was at the Old Market House Arts Centre, Dungarvan, for the opening of Gretta Falvey’s first solo exhibition – PATTERNS. She has that wonderful facility of layering textures of mostly discarded items to create not just fertile memories but to see laid out on a gallery floor shirt collars into the most fascinating patterns.
She describes her work as mixed media and installations as she uses objects from daily life to transform the mundane into the beautiful. And as you puzzle and marvel at the almost obsessive arrangements of shirts, fabric, broken china, dresses, buttons, shells and no doubt secrets, you enter into memories, stories being retold of lives lived and lives lost. There is a lifetime of Sunday best white shirts arranged into a fable of fabric, a fabric of the past.
TARGET is tightly wound strips of fabric that looks like an archery target but in its intense and compulsive detail, there is a past rescued and made new again – a rearrangement of found things to and show and be the possibility of art and art making.
The cracked delph in FORTY PIECE SERVICE is wonderful to look at and the contrast of black tape against white china is powerful and evocative.
Upstairs in Seomra De Paor, the sense of threads is again so obvious a connection in the fine black ink lines of Pippa Sweeney’s show A MEANDER IN BEIJING. The room is decorated with memorabilia the artist brought back from a stay in China and here again this artist makes the mundane beautiful and interesting and a fine contrast to the other work downstairs. Sweeney uses china ornaments, musical instruments, bottles, boxes, shelving, ornate chairs, stools, an elaborately carved wooden screen, some fearsome kites and a chest of drawers to recreate a home she must have been very happy in. The detail in her work is impressive.
Both exhibitions run until 8th March.