Opening of The Kilbride Arts Studio Annual Exhibition

Thursday 7th May at 6pm saw  the official launch of the Annual Kilbride Studio Art Exhibition in the Laois Arthouse. A great crowd turned out to celebrate the work of the artists.  The Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council launched the event and he was glowing in his praise for the work, the artists and the art tutor with the group, Una McCormack.  The paintings are available for sale at really good prices, so come along and view the show from now until Friday 29th May.  Opening hrs 1pm-4pm from Mon-Fri or by appointment T: 057 8664033.9

Saibhreas Exhibition


10520673_10153140517637492_3521839715866305738_nSaibhreas-opening Saturday 11 April at 3.00pm in Damer House Gallery in association with the Laois Arthouse

In a land that mourns the recent loss of material wealth, we sometimes have to stop and look at the richness that is all around us. Richness abounds in the Midlands and often it is free for us to enjoy; no money need change hands. Standing in the dusky evening as the light fades across the Slieve Blooms, monasticism ever present, castles, grand houses, burial sites, folklore, and hidden secrets beneath your feet as you walk the bogs and “the dark mutinous Shannon waves”.[i] In such moments it is difficult not to feel the rich pull of history and ancient culture and how it juxtaposes with the now, in the Midlands. Ghost estates, emigration, modern settlers, and orbital routes. Arteries pulsating with high speed traffic through the Midlands, often whirring over hidden gems.

In collaboration with Damer House Gallery and at the invitation of Muireann Ní Chonaill, artists associated with the Midlands have responded to the theme of Saibhreas, which means richness and abundance in Irish. Ranging from photography, print, painting and sculpture to film and audio, each artist has been influenced by people, surroundings and the life of the Midlands.

In this celebration of artistic creativity, the richness and abundance associated with the Midlands is acknowledged. Saibhreas will travel to the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, opening on June 18th at 7:30pm

[1] The Dead, James Joyce

 The artists: Aisling Conroy; Brendon Deacy; Brian Redmond; Caroline Conway; Cathy Carman; Eileen McDonagh; Eoin O’Conaill; Jerry Cahir; Jock Nichol; Ken Wardrop; Lisa Fingleton; Lorraine Walsh; Michael Boran; Niall Cahìr; Nick Miller; Nuala Hayes; Pat Fitzpatrick; Ray Murphy; Rita Duffy; Ruth Barry; Sharon Murphy; Simon Burch; Stephen Loughman; Vera McEvoy and Wendy Wright.

Curator: Muireann Ní Chonaill is Arts Officer in Laois County Council and Manager of the Laois Arthouse. She is a graduate of Arts Administration from UCD and has an MA in Visual Arts, specialising in Curating from IADT. She oversees the management of the Laois Arthouse in Stradbally. Last year she curated the Sitting residency by Nick Miller in the Laois Arthouse.

Thanks Laois County Council Arts Office for assistance. Special thanks to Wendy Wright for curatorial assistance in preparation of Saibhreas.

Exhibition runs until Sunday 10th May. For more information contact: The Arts Office, Laois County Council, Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise, Co Laois. T: 057 8664019. E: Or Damer House Gallery E:



Calling exhibition proposals for 2015/2016

Expressions of interest for exhibitions in the Gallery and in the outdoor Garden area are now invited. A contribution of €200 is available to support artists exhibiting. The indoor exhibition space has a hanging system and the outdoor area is an enclosed garden with a feature wall with a mounted public artwork. The exhibition programme also includes opportunities for artists to conduct talks and tours of work. Application form, details and maps available here Open Call for Exhibitions 2015 2016 or Tel: 057: 8664109/8664033 or email:

The Clearing


The Clearing – An Exhibition by Lorraine Walsh opened yesterday in the Stradbally Arthouse.  The multi disciplinary exhibition, draws on a series of paintings, objects, drawings, photography and mixed media sculptures to explore both our perception of and connection to the natural world. 

Open Mon – Fri from 1pm-4pm until Feb 12th, this must see exhibition is a feast for the eyes. [Exhibition is open this Sat Jan 24th from 12pm-2pm] 


Rehearsal Studio Available to Rent

A professional rehearsal studio, equipped with state of the art digital drums, amps, and sound system etc. is available to all musicians and bands to rent.

  • Spacious, carpeted sound proof room.
  • Fully functional PA system with microphones & stands.
  • Digital drum kit.
  • Electric guitar amp.
  • Bass guitar amp.
  • All studios are cleaned daily and have in-house toilet facilities.
  • Extra equipment is available to rent on request.

Rehearsal Studios are open during the following times:

Mon – Fri:     10am-8pm

Sat:     10am-1pm

Price per hour:     *€10.00 + €100.00 refundable deposit

*NB: Your deposit of €100.00 will be refunded after your session is complete and the equipment checklist is confirmed.

Call us today to book or view our rehearsal studio: The Arthouse and Library, Stradbally, Co. Laois. Ph:057-864 1740 / Email:




You are cordially Invited to

The Clearing

1. The act of a person or thing that clears, the process of becoming clear.

2.. A tract of land, as in a forest, that contains no trees or bushes; *

An End of Residency Exhibition

by Lorraine Walsh

The Clearing a multidisciplinary exhibition by Lorraine Walsh. The works in the exhibition were developed during the artist’s residency at the Arthouse studios, Stradbally where the artist was a recipient of the Laois Arthouse Studio Award 2014.

The Clearing explores both our perception of and connection to the natural world and includes drawing, painting, photography and installation of found, natural materials.

The artist is most drawn to places that define the edges between nature and culture usually unremarkable terrains at the edge of towns or along roadsides. An exploration of the Laois landscape uncovers a clearing of a commercial forest plantation, a wood chip factory and the grounds of Stradbally Estate. Inbetween patches of wild and cultivated ground, the domestic and the commercial; the work in the exhibition reflects on what constitutes place in cultural, ecological and poetic terms.

Using the particular qualities of paint and materials scavenged from the landscape the exhibition also evokes the artistic process itself, inviting the viewer to share in the activity of the artist- -the working and reworking of materials and ideas – in trying to make clear our complex relationship to the natural world.

Work created by participants during the artist’s community engagement projects will be exhibited in the Arthouse to coincide with The Clearing. The works include portraits painted by individuals of their pet animals and a Wildlife Light Installation displaying children’s shadow puppets made during Art Expedition, a series of shadow play workshops exploring the animal world.

About the Artist

Lorraine Walsh graduated with an MFA in painting in 2007 & a BA (!st class hons) in Fine Art & History of Art 2005 both from NCAD. She has participated in numerous group shows in Ireland & internationally including The Crawford Open and E:vent Gallery, London and 411 Galleries, China., Her work is included in private and corporate collections in Ireland and the U.S. Upcoming solo shows include The Last Place opening February 2015 at Custom House Gallery, Westport, Co. Mayo.

The artist gratefully acknowledges the support of Laois County Council, and Kildare Arts Service.

*clearing. (n.d.) Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary. (2010). Retrieved December 30 2014 from http://