The John Clancy Gallery in Ring seems to do a lot of promotion for the area as well as for her artists. This summer the Wilde About Art hitches onto slender evidence that Oscar Wilde as a child spent some summers in Dungarvan around 1859. Factual or not, it is a novel example of cultural tourism and at the opening The Bay at Helvick was windy and wild, with the waters reflecting a host of moods. I drove through two thunder showers to reach the gallery.
In the entrance, Andrea Jameson has a dinky grey study from a beach in Abbeyside that catches one of the areas many moods.
Centre piece in an off-centre location is a beautiful Paul Flynn mixed media The Sands Of Time using all 52 pages of Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol with a pink and beige, striking portrait of Oscar with great pools for eyes. The canvas is lightly dusted with sand from a Dublin beach the Wildes used as well as their beach from the Jameson printing.
John Cullinan has several quirky Wildgan pieces and his Wilde Muse features his accurate brush sweeps but I was puzzled by the little pink appendage. Rayleen Clancy has a clever set of four Stephen’s Green studies that could be hung any of four ways up. At under €200 each these were a bargain indeed.
But the work that sang in my heart was two Blawnin Clancy paintings The Giant’s Garden in pomegranate colours and an amazing translucent Beyond Boundaries that caught so well the quality of wonder in some of his children’s stories. A tree stretched out like tendrils of memory and imagination and the path to the sea or the horizon was a will-o-the-wisp trace leading to another internal place of contentment.
There is also work from Arthur Manderson, Olive Watkins, Ross Stewart, Sinead Ni Chionaola, Katarzyna Gajewska and Donna McNamara.
Gallery opens 11-5 daily until July 19th.