Michelle Horrigan Beeves Rock Lantern
Michele Horrigan’s videos and photographs frequently interrogate notions of environment and landscape. She aims to set up a kind of theatrical relationship to her subjects that probe and locate specific circumstances and values of representation. Galway Arts Centre is pleased to exhibit three projects completed by Horrigan since completing her studies at the Stadelschule, Frankfurt in 2007.
Nature Obscured by Factory / Factory Obscured by Fog investigates the social and environmental impacts of the Aughinish Alumina Factory on the Shannon River Estuary. The refinery produces 1.8 million tonnes of alumina yearly, making it the largest factory of its kind in Europe. Horrigan uses extracts from newspapers and media reports, displayed chronologically on a television monitor, to narrate a debate surrounding deaths of agricultural livestock, toxic deposits in the soil and harmful sulphur emissions, all allegedly attributed to the factory’s activities. A projected video shows wildlife in the locale where horses quietly graze, birds greet the dawn and ducks swim on the water in the shadow of the factory, highlighting the struggles between nature and industry, and economy and environment.
Notions of architectural decay and entropy are explored in two other works, Beeves Rock and Abandoned. Horrigan’s lens focuses upon a lighthouse close to her hometown of Askeaton, and to a series of uninhabited houses in County Leitrim.
Here, the aesthetics of ruins, as a state of flux between past, present and future, is explored. Horrigan’s images, as projections and photographs, portray isolated spaces that have been left to decompose slowly over time.
Michele Horrigan was educated in Fine Art at the Limerick School of Art and Design, at the University of Ulster, Belfast and the Stadelschule, Frankfurt. In recent times she has exhibited in Limerick City Gallery of Art, RIAA Buenos Aires, the Q gallery at the Royal Academy of Art, Copenhagen and Ritter & Staiff, Frankfurt. She is also founder and curatorial director of Askeaton Contemporary Arts. Based in County Limerick, ACA annually commissions international and Irish artists to produce new innovative projects in direct relationship to the town of Askeaton.
A publication on Horrigan’s work, featuring texts by Karen Normoyle-Haugh and John Logan, is also launched on the opening night.
Sinead Ni Mhaonaigh Untitled
The Galway Arts Centre, in association with Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh. Ní Mhaonaigh’s work explores the performative aspect of painting but also alludes to the idea of a contemplative place, between where a journey begins or ends. It is from this space that Ní Mhaonaigh’s latest series of paintings emerge. Present in these paintings are echoes of the equivocal constructions which typified Ní Mhaonaigh’s previous exhibitions. As Pádraic E.Moore has written, Sinéad’s
“paintings lies in their extrovertly taciturn quality, and by the way in which the gutsy, even aggressive application of colour is countered by the sensitive and delicately tentative scoring of the paint in all its precise and potent hues. Rare is it to see paint being worked so sensually and yet often so brutally. The juicy colours push and pull, and the eye is caught in an impossible impasse. Are we gazing onto boundless unlimited and infinite space, or are we peering into claustrophobically constraining, sealed and hermetic compartments from which nothing can leak? Can we, simultaneously, do both?”
Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh (b.1977) is a visual artist currently based in Dublin. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Solo exhibitions include Deoraíocht (2004), Eatramh (2006), Platform (2008) at the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery; Paintings (2006), Mermaid Arts Centre; Paintings (2008), Aras Eanna and Orange, Weiss, Gelb (2008), Ard Bia Berlin.
Her work is included in many collections, including The Arts Council of Ireland, the Office of Public Works, The National Centre of Youth Mental Health, Dublin Institute of Technology, Boyle Civic Collection, Ahern & Co, and private collections in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the USA.