Monday 14 October 2019

All sorts of art to make you think

THE STONEBRIDGE Gallery plays host to some really unique and wonderful pieces of art for the duration of the festival. Perhaps one of the most notable would be the surreal pop art of Wexford artist Johnny Murphy, aka N.E. Lewshun. Johnny was a winner of the JFK Dunbrody Festival of Art in 2010 and it is not hard to see why his work stands out.

The main thing that comes across upon looking at them is that there is something dark and disturbing and yet at the same time very appealing about them. The work both unsettles and draws the viewer in simultaneously. The artist's mission statement is that he aims to ' ask a question of the viewer'. He describes each piece as a 'culmination of inner journeys deep into the self ' and aims to ' enter the realm of potential and give it presence'.

Each piece is accompanied by a short verse which again emphasises the dark nature of the work but at the same time really draws the viewer in. In many ways there is something inspirational in the work of Johnny Murphy, something which is captured perfectly by the man himself when he says 'We are all creative souls; we need only to find our medium and outlet.'

Young artist Sarah O'Connor's work is incredibly detailed and encapsulating. The work on display included a mask, which depicted a distorted face with a long tongue with pieces of glass sticking out of it.

The dark nature of the piece, combined with the fantastic attention to detail, really reaches out.

Sarah is a member of a newly formed group of emerging artists known as 'An Eclectic Vision' who's roots began in the Faculty of Art and Design on the Wexford Campus of IT Carlow. The group cover a variety of different genres including painting, sculpture, performance art, photography, film and digital media and are definitely something to watch out for at the Festival for years to come.

An artist who's work was immediately evident on walking into the Stonebridge Gallery, was Jenny Watkins.

This was partly due to the size of the work, with the biggest piece measuring 240 x 144 centimetres. However this is not the only reason it catches the eye. According to the artist, the work is 'inspired by unexpected potential that arises after the rejection of discarded objects.'

This element is extremely evident in Jenny's work. 'Car 2' is a beautiful piece which consists of a rusty old car set against the backdrop of vast green fields. The contrast of urban decay with rural replenishment provides you with something to think about.