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Friday 13 December 2019

On the trail of art in Wexford town and Rosslare

Belief in Self by Bernadette Doolan at the Creative Hub
Belief in Self by Bernadette Doolan at the Creative Hub

Maria Pepper

Wex-Art-19 is an exhibition trail of professional artists showing their work in galleries around Wexford during the Opera Festival.

Among the exhibitors are the abstract artists Serena Caulfield and Hanneke van Ryswyk who are hosting a joint show at 7, Slaney Street.

Serena studied at Gorey School of Art and the Wexford School of Art and Design at IT Carlow before receiving a Travel/Training Award from Wexford County Council to attend Norwich University College of Arts where she obtained a Master's Degree in Fine Art.

She returned from the UK in 2012 to set up a small art space and studio, the Sweet Shop Gallery in Rosslare. She has exhibited widely and her work is in Wexford County Council's permanent collection.

Hanneke van Ryswyk has been living in Ireland since 2011. Her work has been exhibited in six Irish solo shows and has also been selected for the annual Royal Hibernian Acadmey for five consecutive years.

She has exhibited in the UK and Australia and has been awarded artistic residencies in Ireland and Sweden.

Her current work focuses on the geological evidence of our imprint on land and sea and the influence of climate change. She paints imagined glacial and volcanic forms - icebergs, islands, mountains and the sea.

Also on the Wex-Art trail are four artists at the Creative Hub - Olivia O' Dwyer, Kate Murphy, Tonia Kehoe and Ciaran Bowen.

Tonia Kehoe graduated in 2004 with a BA in Fine Art from Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork and went on to obtain a Master's Degree in 2014. Her work has been shown in many group exhibitions and solo shows and is included in collections at the Office of Public Works, Cork Opera House, Dublin and Cork City Councils and Wexford County Council.

Olivia O'Dwyer studied at Limerick School of Art and Design. She has exhibited widely and some of her work is in another Opera Festival exhibition 'From the Mountain' at Wexford County Council and Wexford Arts Centre.

Olivia focuses on the rhythm, pattern and repetition of motifs in painting with her pieces evolving through a process of addition and erasure until a balance is achieved.

A graduate of the Wexford School of Art and Design, Ciaran Bowen is interested in the materiality of paint and how it can be manipulated to its limits through a series of processes. By combining the paint with industrial materials such as Ester foam, silicone, household paint and glue, he allows the surface to defy the constraints of traditional painting and the four corner canvas.

Kate Murphy is a graduate in Fine Art and Sculpture from the National College of Art and Design and represented Ireland at Artisterium, Georgia's International Contemporary Art Exhibition in 2013. She is among the artists representing Ireland in the Imago Mundi International Project. Her work is in the collections of the Office of Public Works, the Bank of Ireland, Wicklow County Council and in private collections.

Artist, musician and writer Helen Gaynor also has an exhibition in the Creative Hub as part of Wex-Art. Helen is a graduate of the National College of Art and Design whose art practice is primarily in painting with forays into musical improvisation, mixed media and language, particularly poetry.

She creates abstracted pieces and landscape-based work with the occasional presence of the human figure, in stylised form.

She has exhibited at the RHA, the Hallward in Dublin, Boyle Arts Festival and at the West Wales Arts Centre in Fishguard.

The title of her Festival exhibition is Fugues and Preludes to celebrate the time of year.

Music and art are combined in a joint Wex-Art exhibition in Slaney Street by artists Anne Marie Martin and Liam O' Rourke.

Viewers are invited to experience a large triptych called Unfolding Traces 1, 11 and 111 by Anne Marie in tandem with a selection of recorded music including Arvo Part's Spiegel Im Spiegel; Gavin Bryars' the Sinking of the Titanic/Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet; Philip Glass's Wichita Sutra Vortex; Gorecki's Symphony No 3 and Eluvium's Prelude for Time Feelers.

Anne Marie's practice revolves around painting, photography and printmaking, sometimes with the addition of sculptural elements.

Liam O' Rourke, a graduate of Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Dublin Institute of Technology, is an abstract artist who works from a studio in Glynn where his subjects are the fields and skies around him. He has had several solo exhibitions and his work has featured in group shows including Green Acres Gallery.

Winner of the Irish News Award 2018 at the Royal Ulster Academy exhibition in Belfast, Bernadette Doolan is exhibiting at the Creative Hub during the Festival.

Earlier this year, she was selected for the Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Exhibition, the UK's only public collection of self-portraits by British and Irish Artists, representing the best of 20th century and contemporary self-portraiture.

Bernadette explores the fragility of identity in the context of childhood, depicting strengths and vulnerabilities.

Another Wex-Art-19 artist is Caroline Ward who is exhibiting with the celebrated sculptor Michael Quane RHA in Kelly's Hotel in Rosslare.

Caroline's rise has been meteoric as she took to painting relatively late after previously working in a bank. Her last exhibition in Kelly's was a huge success. She is masterful in her hyper-realistic depictions of still-life objects and interiors. Her work is imbued with the poetry of silence and has been described as the stabilisation of transience.

Michael Quane is one of Ireland's most acclaimed contemporary sculptors, known for his works in polished marble and Kilkenny limestone. His traditional stone-carving skills are used to produce figures, both real and imaginary which combine strength and grace with a touch of quirky humour. A member of Aosdána, he was elected a full member of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 2014.

Wexford People

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