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://


Laois Youth Theatre Resumes in January 2015


Plaoise YT rehearse the Musician at the Dunamaise ( large files)© Ciara Drennan 2014-20

The Laois Youth Theatre resumes on Saturday the 10th of January 2015 in the Dunamaise Arts Center, for what is anticipated to be a fun filled and hectic season.  If you are interested in drama, making plays, learning creative skills and meeting new people, this is the opportunity for you.

During the workshops youg people get the opportunity to learn all aspects of theatre, from creative game play to back stage management, gaining confidence and making new friends along the way. Aspects of drama, including voice, movement, improvisation, physical theatre and performance skills are covered in the weekly workshops culmination in a year end production which showcases the hard work undertaken by all members throughout the season.

Youth Theatre coordinator Siobhan Coffey is a highly qualified drama tutor who has worked with Laois Youth Theatre for many years and has successfully produced and directed plays with LYT.

New this year and due to demand, there will be two workshops taking place in the Dunamaise Arts Centre:

Workshop 1:        12-14 years        10am-11:30am

Workshop 2:        15-18 years        12pm-1:30pm

Fee for the year is €100 and can be paid in full or in two installments of €50 [payment of fees is required on enrolment] Call the Laois Arts Office now to book your place on 057 8664033 / 13 or                     email: Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.



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.”