While the large prints by Gottfried Helnwein attract the publicity and controversy for the Fringe Festival still running in Waterford, there is a lot more to see and experience. I saw Helnwein’s work in Kilkenny some years ago and it created a similar buzz but every time I pass down the Quay the girl’s face on Hall’s Flour Mill, captivates and intrigues me and it has opened up a refreshing debate about art in public places. It is releasing creative work from rooms and galleries and saying enjoy or be puzzled or even annoyed.
Manifesto is showing the heads exhibition by Birmingham artist, John Ringerlee and while some might mention so resemblance to Le Broque’s famous Irish writers faces, there is a powerful layered presence in the much de-cluttered Manifesto, inner room. A video on a good quality flat screen shows aspects of Kingerlee’s detailed layering of oil paint to create emerging images. Once you get beyond the narrative voice claiming that Kingerlee re-configures the grammar and meaning of painting, there is so much to like of the work of an artist who lived and painted in West Cork for five years in the eighties without any facilities, electricity or modern comfort. Much of his work is done by palette-knife and the tortured expressions on some heads is chilling.
Some of his text and collage work doesn’t satisfy too much anymore as it has been poorly imitated by graphic design students and teachers. A big work RAVAGES OF TIME is just superb and becomes the focal point in the space.
Now that The Salvage Shop is gone into memory, Manifesto has taken on the repository and emporium of dreams made art. On a bright Saturday morning, I didn’t want to leave it.
In the main shop area you will find some good studies by Mary Grehan IN THE APPEARANCE OF MAN, splendid aspects of Dunmore East by Vittorio Cirefice. James Lawlor’s work still has a beautiful magic, especially IN SYMPHONY. Equally, Fran McCann has an excellent EIGHT MUSICIANS and Robin Atkinson has a darling FITZGERALD’S FIELD LEAMYBRIEN.
Manifesto will host a solo show by Marian Park artist Barry Fitzpatrick soon. He paints disturbing monochrome subliminal images of what appears to be the souls of people passing from life into an afterlife. The intensity of this work will make the paintings very collectible.