The Weapons exhibition at the Garter Lane original gallery, by Blaise Smith, is more thought provoking by the objects painted than by the objects or weapons themselves. In a few images, the object is not so sharply painted and it is safe to assume that the work is taken from photographs. Most of the work is sideways on, and your thoughts might be that these images of weapons, military images, are about killing and destruction or instruments of peace-keeping, as in the grey UN personnel carrier. Context dominates.
But if you consider the oil on canvas, in the back room, of a group of soldiers with weapons as killers or potential killers, you get a different feeling. The portrait of a named Private in full battle or combat dress, poses a similar problem. And it is not just enough to take refuge in painterly comment and application of brushwork.
That problem is thankfully not present with the exhibition of Beauty And Truth in the theatre gallery where Smith and two other artists are on show.
Smith has more pastoral work of views and trees with a building and a silo. The trees seem very two-dimensional and blurred in detail.
John Hearne has some images of buildings and a quayside panorama but the work seems matt and flat, as if painted from photographs. His large Waterford is worth exploring for its past view and its detail.
Patrick Redmond has work of objects in oil and canvas, again with the impression of work painted from photographs. Boots attracted me as did Sleeping Boy and the 7up Bottle has a nostalgic dusty quality.
In a curious way these exhibitions are weighed down by their titles of Weapons, Beauty and Truth.