Sitting, the title given to an upcoming residency, by artist Nick Miller, at the Laois Arthouse, Stradbally, Co Laois, will take place from 11th-20th July 2014, when over the course of ten days; Nick Miller will invite the public to sit for portraits in his studio. Sitting is curated by Arts Officer, Muireann Ní Chonaill.

The theme for this residency continues a long term involvement with contemporary portraiture that is central to his artistic practice and more particularly follows from a project Miller carried out in Brooklyn, NYC, where he spent 40 days painting a portrait a day.  He is looking forward to the residency in the Laois Arthouse which will afford him the opportunity to meet and engage with  members of the public who are willing to offer to sit and be painted.

People can volunteer by contacting the Laois Arthouse.  As many people as possible will be accommodated to avail of this unusual opportunity.  The portraits are not ‘commissions’, or photo realistic images, but more a record of the artist’s encounter with the sitter. Done on watercolour paper, each sitting will be “closed” or private in the studio with Nick, while he attempts to paint. It is a relaxed and hopefully enjoyable process. The sitter can talk and does not need to be absolutely still.  He will use watercolour for these portraits and it should take approximately one hour or less to complete, depending on the size of work.   All portraits will go on display at the end of the residency for an open day on Sunday 20th July. The portraits will remain on display until the 1st of September 2014. After the residency, a signed and limited edition archival fine art print of each portrait can be ordered and purchased for a nominal price of €40, but there is absolutely no obligation to buy. Payment can be made on the day of sitting and must be paid in full by September 1st. The original, may also be available to purchase and this can be discussed with the Arts Office.

The portraits will be done from 14-19 July, all day, in Studio 2, Laois Arthouse. To book a place, email your name, address, telephone contact, email and preferred date, morning, afternoon or evening, to or telephone, 057-8641740.  Places will be allocated by the Laois Arthouse, and there is no guarantee that all requests can be accommodated. Documentation of the residency will take place and you may be asked if you are happy to have your sitting recorded.

A further lasting legacy of Nick Miller’s residency is the commissioning of Nick Miller to paint the portraits in oil of well known artist, Cathy Carmen and writer, Pat Boran from Laois. Carmen and Boran were selected as sitters in recognition of their contribution to the arts in Ireland and as a welcome addition to the Laois County Art Collection.

Sitting includes an exhibition of selected portrait related works by Miller on loan from the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s Collection from the 1 July –2 September 2014. IMMA lends extensively from the collection to partner organisations creating wider access to the collection on a national level. Such collaborations allow IMMA the opportunity to contribute to distinctive exhibitions and projects such as Sitting.

The selection for Arthouse includes the drawing Corban which is part of a series of large scale portrait drawings undertaken by Nick Miller between 1996 and 1999. For each portrait the sitter is straddled and drawn inches from their face while lying on the paper. Corban Walker is also an artist whose work is also represented in the IMMA Collection.

Also included in the exhibition is a portrait of fellow Sligo based artist and Patrick Hall. The painting has personal meaning for Miller in terms of their friendship and of his interest in engaging with a subject which is present as distinct from his memory-based work such as the South Africa Memory Series I, made after an intense one month trip to South Africa which the artist undertook in 1991. The series explores the complex nature of a personal encounter with a country in the flux of major political and social change.

Nick Miller moved from London to Ireland in 1984, and has been based in Co Sligo since 1992 . His work, whatever his subject: a person, an object, or landscape, is concerned with portraiture and with how we experience and meet the world.  His paintings and drawings of friends and family members and colleagues, sometimes made from an unusually close range, parallel landscapes painted from a mobile studio devised to minimise the separation between artist and subject.  Miller has exhibited in Ireland and internationally since the 1980s.  His work is represented in many public and private collections. Miller was elected to Aosdána in 2001.

On the 20 July at 3.00pm, the final day of the residency, the public are invited to an open day at the Laois. Christina Kennedy, Head of the Collections of IMMA, will interview Nick Miller on his process, as well as viewing of the portraits undertaken during the residency and the IMMA art exhibits.

For the duration of the residency the Laois Arthouse is open to the public from 10am-5pm Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday 3.00pm-6.00pm

This project is funded by the Percent for Art Scheme and Laois County Council.

For further information and images please contact Muireann Ní Chonaill at or telephone: 0578664109/057864174

Twitter: @ArthouseLibrary



Nick Miller is represented by Rubicon Gallery /Projects More info at  and on the artist at

Map of Location of The Laois Arthouse in Stradbally, Co. Laois

Screen shot 2014-06-19 at 15.19.45For train details visit:

For Bus details visit:

For Driving directions visit:

Google Maps> Enter Desitnation: Stradbally Library



Summer Arts Workshops and Music Camps 2014: Laois County Council Arts Office & Music Generation Laois

The new Summer Arts Workshops and Music Camps Brochure is now available for Download.


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Available for Download Here:

Summer Arts Workshops and Music Camps 2014

If you wish to avail of one of these services please download the appropriate application form and please return to the appropriate address (see bottom of application form)

Arts Workshops Application Form

Music Generation Laois Application Form

Hard copies of the Brochure are also available from Laois County Council, The Laois Arthouse and other usual places.



malt house stradbally   




 featuring work by

Not Abel, Cathy Carmen, Charlie Dance, Vivienne Dick, Sarah Jones,

Breda Lynch, Yoeri Guepin, Isabel Oberländer, Ciaran Walsh


Laois Arthouse artist-in-residence Padraig Robinson presents the second manifestation of Felt & Fa(c)t, a rolling curatorial project, which was first presented in Ormston House Gallery, in January 2014. The Malt House Stradbally becomes a site where national international artists will gather together, for an event beginning on the 7th of June at 16.00, ending on 8th June 16.00. Irish documentary and filmmaker Vivienne Dick will screen her recent film “The Irreducible Difference of the Other”. All this will happen in the beautifully preserved former Malt House in Stradbally, which is itself an impressive piece of architecture. The screening will begin when it gets dark. Before that however, there will be lots going on, and lots to see. Austrian dancer Isabel Oberländer will respond to a spoken word soundtrack by Australian artist Sarah Jones. English artist Charlie Dance and Dutch artist Yoeri Guepin will exhibit new work, and former ArtHouse resident Cathy Carmen will exhibit a figurative sculpture. Irish artists Breda Lynch, Ciaran Walsh and Not Abel, will also be exhibiting. So it will be vibrant and experimental event worth visiting.


All who come are more than welcome to bring food, which we will cook on the BBQ in the beautiful garden of the MaltHouse.


Further details from Muireann Ní Chonaill, Arts Officer at or telephone:  057-8664109.




National Drawing Day took place in The Laois Arthouse, Stradbally on May 17th from 11am –l 1pm.

Children and Adults came along and joined in the fun.

There were four workshops co-ordinated by artists Cathy Carman, Maria O’ Brien, Caroline Keane and Gareth Jenkins. Everyone got to experience all that was on offer.

+ Cathy Carman set up a large scale drawing workshop in the Gallery Space and showed the participants how to draw using all of their senses.

+ Maria O’ Brien had set up a still life workshop and demonstrated how different mediums could be used to create exciting works of art.

+ Caroline Keane demonstrated paper-making using combined materials with fantastic results.

+ Gareth Jenkins completed a creative art event which showed participants the many ways in which they can experiment using paint brushes and pastels taped to bamboo shoots.

An extensive amount of fantastic artwork was created and we thank everyone who came along and joined in with the activities.

For further information contact Muireann Ní Chonaill, Arts Officer.
E: or T: 057-8641710

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Screening of Films By Lisa Fingleton and Jiří Žák at The Laois Arthouse, Stradbally on May 9th 2014.


Screening of Films By Lisa Fingleton and Jiří Žák at The Laois Arthouse, Stradbally on May 9th 2014.

The Laois Art House is pleased to present Lisa Fingleton’s film ‘Waiting for you’ on the 9th May 2014. Lisa Fingleton is an award winning artist and filmmaker, originally from Stradbally, Co. Laois. Artist-in-Residence Padraig Robinson will also screen a short film by Czech artist Jiří Žák called ‘I have it all here’.

Screening begins at 7:30pm sharp on May 9th. Everyone who attends is encouraged to bring a dish, so after the screening of the films we can eat and have an informal discussion. 

‘Waiting for you’ documents two women, living on a small farm in rural Ireland, and the highs and lows of the trying to have a baby. The video diary is addressed to the much longed for baby.’ Žák’s ongoing video project ‘I have it all here’ explores his grandfathers obsessive relationship to photographic technology, as a means of documenting his and his families life. The man must now learn to digitalize all of his analogue photographs, lest he have no “space” left in which to live in.

Both films screened in this event represent longing and preservation in the most private of spheres — the desire for, or the continuation of, family history. The reproductive function of the camera itself becomes the means of presenting intimate relationships to technology as a form of diary and remembering. But these films are more than documents of accumulating life; the films also present the effect that photographic and film technology have had on how we perceive and deal with the ‘private’. Unlike the handwritten diary, the video camera and the photographic image have a built in purpose to make something available to be seen by an absent or future onlooker. The written diary is usually always directed inward toward the private self, while the photograph is by its nature public. Even the titles of the two films “Waiting for you” and “I have it all here”, have a directness in relation to their respective contents. Although both films present similar technologies of diary or biography, they deal with two distinct uses of the image in relation to absent or future family. “Waiting for you” is a longing to create life, with the film being addressed to a future family member; while “I have it all here” is a document of the artist’s grandfather, and his relationship to technology as a means of preservation and celebration. Rather than ending in a reductive comparison of life and death, both films present a certain use of technology in genuine acts of memory and remembering. But what does it mean for the artists to make these ‘private’ technologies public?


L A O I S   A R T S   P L A N
+3: Sustain, Nurture, Grow

Cathaoirleach Mary Sweeney cordially invites you to the launch of The Laois Arts Plan 2014-2017 on May 7th at 2:30pm In the Library, the Laois Arthouse, Stradbally, Co. Laois.

The plan will be launched by Orlaith McBride, Director of the Arts Council.

Also there on the day:

  • Entertainment by Stampede Drumming,
  • Gallery viewing of work by Cathy Carman,
  • Meet the artists in their studios and,
  • Refreshments.

All are welcome to attend and we hope to see you there!

St. Colman’s visit Re-emergent Exhibition

Thank you very much to St. Colman’s National Schools Second Class for visiting the Re-Emergent Exhibition and meeting it’s artist Paul Swan last week at the laoisarthouse.
Everybody had a great time with lots of questions asked and answered.
We hope to see you again for all of our upcoming exhibitions!

Re-Emergent by Paul Swan will close tomorrow at The Arthouse @ 16:00pm. Paul Swan will be in attendance if anyone wishes to make any inquires about the work on view.

Opening times today and tomorrow are 13:00 to 16:00.

Viewing of this exhibition is not to be missed!

Contact Murieann Ní Chonaill E: or Tel: 05786 64109 / 41710

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