Nick Miller Catalogue Launch

1-NickMillerIMMA-Social-4-12-144th December 2014

Pictured at IMMA in Kilmainham Dublin at the launch of a catalogue and film documentary of “Sitting a Portrait Project” by artist Nick Miller.  Miller painted 34 portraits over the period of a week in July 2014 during his residency at the Laois Arthouse.

Making up the majority of these images were 32 watercolours each of which had a strict timeframe of one hour. 

Documenting the residency was Film Maker Lisa Fingleton.

Photo’s by Dylan Vaughan.

Inaugural Hennessy Portrait Prize Winner – Nick Miller

Nick Miller Pat Boran Mirror July 2014

Nick Miller was revealed as the winner of the 2014 National Gallery of Ireland’s prestigious Hennessy Portrait Prize.Chosen from a shortlist of 12, he will receive €15,000 plus a commission worth €5,000 to produce a portrait for inclusion in the National Portrait Collection. The 12 finalists were shortlisted from about 400 entries and the exhibition will be open until Feburary 8th 2015.

Nick Miller

Miller was born in London but has been based in Ireland since 1984.  He is well known for the energy of his drawings and paintings which are primarily based on the human figure and the Irish landscape. His figurative work centres on the shared experience of the artist and the sitter. It is being true to this lived encounter, rather than a conventional likeness, that is important to him.

Taking up residency recently in the Laois Arthouse, Miller took the opportunity to engage in an art project that would ensure the engagement of multiple sitters.


On discussing the project Miller writes “Periodically I have an urge to put myself in pressured situations that I have to paint my way out of. “Sitting” was one of those. In Stradbally’s Laois Arthouse, I wanted to see how I would respond to multiple sittings; having to meet and paint 5 or 6 strangers in a day, one after the other, and to do that each day for a week. I was curious if I could physically and mentally sustain concentration, engagement and attention. In some ways, it was an endurance test, but also a good humored meeting with others. It continues a long time interest in approaching portraiture through direct encounter.”



Dunamaise Arts Centre announces the opening of its
‘One artist to be awarded month-long residency in The Arthouse, Stradbally’

The Dunamaise Arts Centre, is delighted to announce the opening of the annual ‘Open Submission’ exhibition at the Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise, on Friday November 14th at 8pm.

This year’s exhibition is featuring 30 pieces of art by 26 artists, carefully selected by guest curator, Geraldine O’ Reilly of Aosdána.

One selected artist will be awarded a month-long residency in The Arthouse, Stradbally, Co. Laois, kindly sponsored by Laois Arts Office. This is an opportunity for the artist to develop their work in a professional studio setting, with full residency support. The winner of this opportunity will be announced by director of Dunamaise Arts Centre, Michelle de Forge on the night.

     For further details on this exhibition please contact ph: 057 866 3355 or

Leaves Literature Festival events

Laois Leaves Literary Festival 2014,

Friday the 7th Nov at 8.00pm, the Laois Arthouse & Library, Stradbally- readings from bestselling novelist Donal Ryan and poet Louis de Paor. Music by Uilleann Piper, Séan Mc Keon.

Sat 8th Nov –at 8pm- an evening with Sr Caravaggio, in Castle Durrow Hotel, , with contributors to the novel Peter Cunningham, Cormac Millar, Peter Sheridan and Eilís Ní Dhuibhne. Music by Andeas Balke.

Sat 8th Nov-Workshops for young people aged 15-20 with Colm Keegan – 11-2pm – 2.30 to 4pm – in the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise-    editing and preparing work for reading on stage-cost €10.  Followed by free Open Mic event at 4.30pm.

Sunday 9th Nov at Noon in Castle Durrow Hotel – Readings by Poet and Novelist Mary Ó Donnell, Poet Noel Monahan and music by Vocalese.   

Tickets  €12 or €30 covering all 3 evening events.  Bookings  Tel:  057 8663355. and more info contact The Arts Office, Laois County Council T: 057 8664033/13 E:  Website:   

 Castle Durrow Hotel is offering an early bird dinner prior to Meeting Sister Caravaggio , €25 per head. Contact Castle Durrow Hotel on 057-8736555

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Pet Portrait Workshops with Resident Artist Lorraine Walsh

Week Three of Pet Portrait Workshops at the Arthouse!

“I am enjoying hearing of the connection participants share with the animals they’ve chosen to portray. I am encouraged by everyone’s willingness to experiment with paint and am very much looking forward to seeing the portraits develop over the coming weeks!” says Lorraine Walsh, Resident Artist.

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Opening of new Exhibition

Magically Overactive Imagination – an exhibition of artwork by artist Gemma Lalor will open on Thursday 2nd October @ 6pm.  Come along and meet the artist and view the work.  Adela Meally of “Adela and the Meanits” will officially launch the exhibition for Gemma..Coral Candy

New Storytelling Residency

A return to the Crossroads

Actress and Storyteller Nuala Hayes will soon commence a short residency at the Arthouse in Stradbally,  to compile a book of Laois Folktales for the History Press. This will be part of the Folktales of Ireland series, which is proving very popular.  Nuala hopes to follow on then with Folktales of Offaly. The residency at Stradbally will revisit and follow on from her work during a previous sojourn in Laois as Artist in Residence in 2004 when her aim was to unearth the stories from Laois.


She will revisit some of the people and places which featured in the audio CD’s, now stored in the local library.   Nuala has already begun researching the stories from Laois and Offaly, which were collected in the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s. A treasure trove of stories rich in mythology and mystery, are waiting to be savoured.

Nuala Hayes pic