Culture Night in Laois, Friday 18th of September – with FREE EVENTS happening live and online across the county. Celebrate Culture Night in Laois. Live events include; An exhibition at The Gallery Laois Arthouse, Stradbally from 2pm – 8pm. At Fitzmaurice Place Plaza, Portlaoise – In celebration of Helen Roe from 8pm-11pm, view a looped video (10 min) projection that encapsulates and gives a fascinating insight into the life and work of Mountrath born, Helen Roe. Dunamaise Arts Centre, are showing a wonderful exhibition entitled ‘Children of the Free State’ by Annie Holland from 10am-11pm. Also see Live Portrait Painting with Blaise Smith from 6pm-9pm. In Mountmellick an outdoor performance by CCE Mountmellick on the steps of the Art Centre, Mountmellick from 4pm. All live events will run subject to Covid-19 restrictions. Go online to view an Eco Printing Workshop with Artist Angelina Foster and an Earth Art Workshop, with artist Aishling Hennessy, filmed earlier at Laois Arthouse. Or learn how to paint an eye with artist Rebecca Deegan live streamed from the Arthouse. Enjoy a series of Art Workshops from Mount Henry Arts Studios including a Plein Air Workshop with artist Mary Slevin and two childrens’ workshops titled: How To Make A Dinosour for ages 5-8 year and Creating Affirmation Cards for ages 9-12. View Laois Series: A Sense Of Place: a video featuring 26 young people including, Laois Youth Theatre, Laois Youth Dance Ensemble, Laois County Library Service, Music Generation Laois and young people interested in nature and biodiversity. Bringing Bacon Home from Heritage House Abbeyleix is a short film exploring the artist Francis Bacon’s time at Farmleigh House, Abbeyleix. For Music lovers see a short video ‘The Impossible Dream,’ a specially commissioned suite of music inspired by the life of Colonel James Fitzmaurice with musician and songwriter Martin Tourish in collaboration with Music Generation Trad Orchestra or Stepping through Irish Music with Emer Dunne with songs and music of old. All the online events are available from www.culturenight.ie from 4pm-12am. Chat through Irish, join Ciorcal Cainte ar Zoom from 6pm-7pm, from An Sean Chistin, Ballyfin, Portlaoise. To book in E: email@example.com with your request to join.
Coming soon to the Arthouse Musings of an Artful Life’ and exhibition of work by the Old School Collective; comprising of artists; Antoinette Breen , Mike Rafter , Kevin McCann and Liam Phelan. Opening on Thursday 7th May at 7pm, the work will be on display throughout the month of May. Visitors are welcome to view the wonderful selection of paintings, including still life, portraits and landscapes developed over the year by the group. Antoinette Breen, is a self taught Laois artist. Studied in N.C.A.D and D.L.I.A.D.T., she paints in oils and acrylics mostly. Antoinette has work in several collections in Ireland and abroad. Mike Rafter is a self taught artist from Castletown who works mainly in oils and prefers to paint out of doors in a loose alla prima style. Kevin McCann is a self taught artist, who works with oil paint, wood and ceramics. Most of his work includes people in some shape or form. Liam Phelan is a retired local businessman who has focussed more on his artwork since his retirement. His preferred medium is acrylic on canvas and his work includes landscapes, seascapes and local historic buildings. Having formed the Old School Art Collective the group meet regularly in Bloom HQ Mountrath.
The most recent exhibition at the Arthouse was a wonderful collection of works by Pakistani born artist Hina Khan. The exhibition was formally launched on Saturday 11th January by Miniser Charles Flanagan, Minister for Justice.
Previous exhibition on show was by Kildare based artist Cathy Whelan who specialises in ceramic artwork. titled “Losing Ground”.
Cathy’s work explores evolving ideas about the environment and highlights the intersection between humanity and nature. It serves to question the impact of human activity and the pressures we exert upon the natural world through a modern culture of excess.
Cathy is graduate of the National College of Art and Design and is currently in residence at Laois Arthouse. She has exhibited work in Gallery Zosimus Dublin, NCAD Window Gallery and as part of a Group show in Laois Arthouse.
The exhibition was opened by Wildlife Conservationist, Ricky Whelan. Ricky studied Zoology in NUIG He works with BirdWatch Ireland’s Conservation Team.
A free, illustrated talk by the National Gallery will take place at Laois Arthouse on Monday 17th June at 7pm. Titled Shaping Ireland: Landscapes in Irish Art, the talk will explore the exhibition: its timely topics, the works displayed and the powerful impact of humans on our environment.
Shaping Ireland: Landscapes in Irish Art is an exhibition spanning 250 years. On display in the National Gallery of Ireland from 13 April to 7 July, it explores the relationship between people and the natural world. Contact: 057 8664033/13 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to express interest in attending.
‘Painting the portrait from life’
The Laois Arthouse is delighted to welcome Una Sealy RHA for the annual summer arts programme for adults. In these two day workshops, Una Sealy led the participants through the process of painting a portrait from life; from planning the composition, through tonal under painting, to completed painting.
Una painted alongside the participants to demonstrate the various principles, and gave individual guidance according to each artist’s level of experience.
An exhibition of Una Sealy’s portraits and a selection of participants work is now displayed in the Laois Arthouse Gallery. The exhibition was opened by Sinéad Ó Reilly, Head of Local Arts and Participation at the Arts Council of Ireland.
Una Sealy RHA is an Irish artist based in North Co. Dublin. She paints domestic interiors, streetscape, landscape and portraiture. She paints from observation and often the compositions evolve organically, with elements appearing and disappearing before the final arrangement is arrived at. The works form a kind of visual autobiography. This exhibition of Una Sealy’s portraits showcases a personal selection of works depicting friends and family, shown together for the first time. Sealy works from life, and spends varying amounts of time with her sitters, from a single three hour sitting, to longer term projects requiring multiple sessions. This connection between artist and sitter is important to Sealy, as the resulting conversations inform the work, and contribute to a certain fluidity in the paint handling. The aim is that the resulting work somehow encapsulates time passing, as opposed to one static moment.
Further information from Muireann Ní Chonaill at, email@example.com +353 57 86 64109
‘Painting the portrait from life’
course A June 4, 5 Course B June 6, 7
Booking required: Places limited €60 per two day course
The Laois Arthouse is delighted to welcome Una Sealy RHA for the annual summer arts programme for adults.
Una Sealy RHA is an Irish artist based in North Co. Dublin. She paints domestic interiors, streetscape, landscape and portraiture. She paints from observation and often the compositions evolve organically, with elements appearing and disappearing before the final arrangement is arrived at. The works form a kind of visual autobiography.
In these two day workshops, Una Sealy will lead the participants through the process of painting a portrait from life; from planning the composition, through tonal under painting, to completed painting.
The workshop will begin with an introduction to the anatomy of the face, head and neck, which will help with the structure of the portrait, and then proceed with composing the piece.
Working in oils, we will look at colour mixing using a limited palette, effects of light, and the colour of the shadows. Warm/cool contrasts will be studied in order to increase the understanding of depicting 3 dimensions on the picture plane.
Una will paint alongside the participants to demonstrate the various principles, and will give individual guidance according to each artist’s level of experience.
An exhibition of Una Sealy’s portraits will be displayed in the Laois Arthouse gallery.
This exhibition of portraits showcases a personal selection of works depicting friends and family, shown together for the first time.
Sealy works from life, and spends varying amounts of time with her sitters, from a single three hour sitting, to longer term projects requiring multiple sessions.
This connection between artist and sitter is important to Sealy, as the resulting conversations inform the work, and contribute to a certain fluidity in the paint handling. The aim is that the resulting work somehow encapsulates time passing, as opposed to one static moment.
A selection of work undertaken by the participants during the courses will be shown also. This exhibition opens on Friday 7th June at 4pm.
Bookings for the courses can be made by paying a €30 deposit. Forms can be downloaded here Application form Una Sealy
Further information from Muireann Ní Chonaill at, firstname.lastname@example.org +353 57 86 64033/13.
Laois Arthouse in strabally will host a number of creative events for the month of May for the Laois Bealtaine Festival. These include: the launch of ‘Fiesta’ on Wednesday 1st of May. “Fiesta” is an exhibition by the Stradbally Active Retirement Group that will run for the month of May. Work on show will include a mix of paintings, still life and landscapes that the group have developed over the year.
Budding writers of an older age have the chance to take part in a series of creative writing workshops with writer Jean O’Brien. Running on Wednesdays 8th 15th, 22nd and 29th May at 11am at the Arthouse. “Have you got something to say; we grow, we age and along the way we gather knowledge, information, things happen, life happens and our story grows we should celebrate and record its highs and lows. The series of workshops is a chance for you to explore your stories, in a lively and friendly atmosphere whether through, prose or poetry or a mixture of both. Share work by other writers, write our own pieces and share them on the last week”.
Jean O’Brien is an award winning poet who has published five collections of poetry and is a regular contributor on Sunday Miscellany. She is a former writer in residence for Co. Laois and has many years experience in tutoring in places as diverse as the Irish Writers Centre, Prisons, Schools, Community groups and at degree level. She tutors in short story, memoire and poetry. Booking essential – Limited numbers – T: 057 8664033/13 or E: email@example.com
For anyone who would like to try pottery we have a lovely series of workshops called “Reconnect” running over three weeks, with resident ceramic artist Cathy Whelan. On Fridays 3rd, 10th and 17th May from 11.30am-1pm, these workshops will explore the therapeutic nature of clay through simple techniques and mindful movements. Create a unique piece of work in a creative and relaxed environment. Suitable for all levels, no previous experience is necessary. Participants are advised to bring an apronCathy Whelan is a Ceramic Artist and Educator. A graduate of the National College of Art and Design. Cathy’s work has been exhibited as part of a group show in Gallery Zozimus, Dublin and as part of a collaborative exhibition in NCAD.
Booking essential – Limited numbers – T: 057 8664033/13 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inviting emerging and professional artists to gather and share their practice.
Monthly, informal meetings will take place in the stimulating environment of the beautiful Laois Arthouse Gallery space, with the intention of developing a network of support for artists working in any discipline. A chance to discuss work, ideas and inspiration with fellow creatives for advice and feedback. The Laois Arthouse Collective aims to explore the potential for further opportunities, whether broadening the scope of your practice and making new connections, sharing knowledge, seeking assistance with funding applications, or taking part in exhibitions and residencies. Since its establishment in 2011, The Laois Arthouse has provided studio space to a succession of artists and, through its varied arts programme, continues to build this growing community.
Wednesday 27th March, 7 – 8.30 pm, Laois Arthouse, Stradbally
For more details contact T: 057 8664033/13 E: email@example.com
Curtain comes down on ‘Townscape’ exhibition
After a nine-month tour,the Laois Arthouse hosted the finale of the ‘Townscape’ exhibition, by Mary Burke, from January 15 to February 22. The event was opened on Saturday, January 26 at 3pm, by Justice and Equality Minister Charles Flanagan. A short film about the exhibition was screened, documenting local school children engaging with the exhibition under the direction of Curator,Jenny Papassotiriou and a keynote address by Professor Mary Corcoran.
‘Townscape’ opened in the Dunamaise Arts Centre in March 2018, with a seminar ‘A Dialogue with Architecture: Reinterpreting the Irish Town.’ It was exhibited over the summer at the Irish Architectural Archive, Merrion Square, Dublin 2, where a lunchtime series of talks ‘Town Talks’ took place. It then toured to Manyooth University and closed with a seminar at the library on the theme of the arts and community engagement.
Mary Burke is a critically acclaimed Irish artist whose life’s work up to this point dealt with painting suburban surroundings. On the invitation of Laois arts officer and curator Muireann Ní Chonaill, Mary visited Laois Arthouse to see if Stradbally, Co. Laois, would be suitable and appealing subject matter. She found it to be so and over a twelve-month period she visited twelve homes selected and ‘Townscape’ was born.
“The built environment has always been central to my work. Most of my work has been Dublin- situated. ‘Townscape’ has provided me with the opportunity to explore homes in the rural midland town of Stradbally,” said Mary.
Being a rural, planted town there were a great variety of homes from which to choose. Mary included paintings of Stradbally Hall, ancestral home of Tom, Gesa and the Cosby family, which is central to the story of the town. These days it is probably best known for the annual Electric Picnic festival.
Featured is one of the estate cottages in Court Square, built by the Cosby family for their workers in the early 1880s and now home to Mary Hegarty and Brian Flanagan. Also on Court Square is the home of Christine and James Hewitt.
On Main Street, the homes of undertakers John and Anne Lynch to the rear of their business and of Christine Mulhall and David Kennedy are included. The Parochial House, residence of Rev Jim O’Connell, the then parish priest, is featured. Also in ‘Townscape’ is John and Irene Delaney’s house in Brockley Park, a development designed by renowned architect Frank Gibney for Laois County Council in the 1950s and indicative of Gibney’s careful consideration of site, aspect and orientation.
Houses within the recently built estates of Cillbeg Manor belonging to Rita and Pat Scully and the late Siobhan and Sean Kane’s home in The Glebe are included. Further examples of modern abodes are those of John and Rachel Conway and Geraldine and Seán Delaney and the homes of Dick and Katie Dillon in Woodview, to the rear of Laois Arthouse which are also featured.
The involvement of sociologist Professor Mary Corcoran enriched the project. She documented what living in Stradbally means to the home owners. ‘Townscape’ brings sociology, the community and the arts into collaborative practice. Consisting of 18 paintings in oil pastel on canvas, ‘Townscape’ opened on May 8 in the Irish Architectural Archive.
All are welcome to the exhibition. A companion book ‘Townscape’, documenting the project, with essays by Mary Corcoran, Jenny Haughton and images of the paintings, is available for €10. Details from: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Reconnect” Pottery Workshop- On Friday 12th October and as part of Laois Connects programme, Laois Arthouse hosted a free workshop with ceramic artist Cathy Whelan. Working with clay is a natural way to connect with the present moment and alleviate stress. This workshop explored the therapeutic nature of clay through simple techniques and mindful movements. Participants created a unique piece of work in a creative and relaxed environment. Cathy Whelan is a Ceramic Artist and Educator. A graduate of the National College of Art and Design, Cathy’s practice explores behaviour and emotion. Her inspiration stems from areas areas of mental health and the natural world. Cathy’s work has been exhibited as part of a group show in Gallery Zozimus, Dublin and as part of a collaborative exhibition in NCAD.
A special exhibition to celebrate culture night titled “The Stradbally Six” opened recently at the Laois Arthouse Gallery, Stradbally . The exhibition title is based on how these six artists have come together to live and work in this creative space which historically was a courthouse and jail. The exhibition was officially launched by botanical artist Mary Dillon who recently facilitated a weeklong botanical art course at Laois Arthouse, as part of the Summer Arts Programme.
The exhibition includes selected work by resident artists who have sojourned recently or are currently in residence at the Arthouse Studios. The artists include; Maria O’Brien from Tipperary, Caroline Keane from Portlaoise, David Tully from Dublin, Jen Donnery from Laois, Eriko Yano from Japan and Cathy Whelan from Kildare. The exhibition will include a rich and varied mix of work include paintings, ceramics and film, by the artists who have utilised the creative space of the Arthouse to complete some of the work in the show.
Maria O’Brien – MFA 2010 and BA Fine Art, 2003 NCAD, Graduate Diploma in Art Education, 2005, LSAD. Themes in the work: ‘The starting point of my work is the figure in landscape. I paint from photographs mostly of people at leisure. I recognise a collective romanticism or yearning for the experience of the sublime or adventure. Maria is the recipient of the Laois Arts Office Tyrone Guthrie Bursary 2018.
Caroline Keane is originally from Portlaoise and studied Fine Art in the Limerick School of Art & Design, specializing in Sculpture and Combined Media. Currently her art practice is based in Laois where she also runs her own series of Art classes, community events and festival commissions. Her work investigates the role that cultural contexts play in an individuals’ experience of loss. Her practice explores behavioral displays of mourning, which are often culturally defined and the role in which heritage plays in an individual process of grief and mourning. These unique and emotional expressions are compared and displayed through a mix of media.
David Tully, Born in Ireland. David’s work swings from Digital to Site-Specific and everything in between. Over an 11yr period (abroad) David developed a site-specific practice best understood as “anonymous discovery”. His work can be comedic, intuitive, provoking and aesthetic combined. David has exhibited widely. His site-specific installations have been found at Pier 94, Hudson River New York / Jefferson Market Garden, Greenwich Village New York / MoMa New York / Armory Art Fair, Special Projects / Dublin Contemporary / Rose Windows, Sir John Rogersons Quay / Project Mapping, St Andrews Church, Westland Row Dublin
Jen Donnery – Jen Donnery was awarded a residency at The Laois Arthouse for her work in the 2017 Open Submission Exhibition, Dunamaise Arts Centre. A graduate of Abbeyleix FETC, she is currently studying at NCAD. A shortlisted artist for the UK National Open Art Prize 2017, Jen has exhibited work in group shows at Birr Technology Centre, The Dunamaise Arts Centre and the Solomon Gallery, Dublin. Most recently her work featured in the Sentient Structures group show as part of Birr Vintage Week. Her exhibition, Hidden Spaces will be on display in Roundwood House, near her home in County Laois, as part of Culture Night 2018. This body of work deals with our connection to past places and the fragility of security, questioning how the human figure moves through spaces, searching for a reaffirming connection to what went before.”
Eriko Yano – Born in Takamatsu, Kagawa, Japan. Eriko has a BA in Department of Industrial, Interior and Craft Design, Musashino Art University, Tokyo, JAPAN (Ceramics course) and worked as a research associate in Musashino Art University, Tokyo, Japan. She now lives and works in Dublin and in on a three month residency at the Laois Arthouse. Solo Exhibitions include: “eigo-no-daimei” Gallery Nenohoshi, Daikanyama, Tokyo, JAPAN and “A next of the next” Gallery Ruvent, Tokyo, Japan and she has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions in Japan.
Cathy Whelan is a Ceramic Artist and Educator. A graduate of the National College of Art and Design, Cathy’s practice explores behaviour and emotion. Cathy’s work has been exhibited as part of a group show in Gallery Zozimus, Dublin and as part of a collaborative exhibition in NCAD. Her current body of work investigates the effects of technology on our daily lives. It questions the pressures exerted by a modern digital culture and how this impacts our connection with the natural world.
Opening times: Tues and Thurs 1pm-5pm & 5.30pm-8pm, Sat: 10am-1pm (except on Bank Holiday) (entry through library) Wed and Fri 1pm-4pm (entry through Laois Arthouse)
For more details contact T: 057 8664033 E: email@example.com. On Culture Night Friday 21st September for extended hrs from 5pm-8pm to showcase the work.