Limerick events-jazz/visual arts/theatre/choral music over the next two days

There are a few interesting bits and pieces on around Limerick in the next few days. I might even go to see some. You can absorb culture by osmosis and very often it will have an effect…like a beneficial type of nerve gas.

Thursday 1.15pm @ Café Allegro (the Foundation Building of UL): Jazz trio, Spacious Suits.
Live@Allegro is an initiative of UCH Participation & Learning and aims to give a regular platform for up and coming performers from the wider region, with a particular focus on campus based talent. The members of Spacious Suits are: Birgit Burhenne, Joe O’Callaghan and Peter Hanagan. No charge. At least one of the performers is a participant in the Limerick Jazz Workshop. Live@Allegro is one to watch for future events.

The State of the Union visual art exhibition.1-5pm Wed-Sat @ Occupy Space, Thomas Street until April 1.

It brings together work by MFA Students from the Limerick School of Art and Design, the Burren College of Art, the Crawford College of Art, the National College of Art and Design and the University of Ulster. The work is by: Simon Bayliss, Becky Coffey, Joseph Noonan-Ganley, Mary Galvin, Emily Kaelin, Laura O’Connor, Nuala O’Sullivan, Beka Peralta, Jenna Whelan and Francis Wasser.
The work was selected by Basement Project Space Cork, Exchange Dublin, Platform Arts Belfast and Occupy Space Limerick.
The State of the Union aims to present a moment in Irish visual art culture in which artist-led spaces are helping to shape the dialogue of current practice. The 10 emergent artists selected present a diverse range of works representative of their specific research practices,” according to the blurb.
“The exhibition title refers both to a state of evaluation and the awareness of critical context within a national forum. The premise of the exhibition is to address not only the discourse created by artist-led spaces but to simultaneously recognise the importance of research in developing critically aware visual art communities.”
The exhibition is a collaborative curatorial project between four artist-led spaces, which is a positive thing. I’ll post the verdict if I go.

I saw the last exhibition at Occupy Space, which was an LCGA off-site show called Six Memos. I thought the exhibition itself was esoteric and a mixed bag. Not literally a sack in which you delve into to find pieces of art. Now that would have been something. Joking aside, some the photographs and two of the sculptures were striking. But like a crossword puzzle, it’d be great to get answers at the end (or maybe a note on what the artist was going for).

Nothing would surprise me with contemporary art. I think an exhibition consisting of blank gallery walls called The Emperor’s New Clothes would be interpreted as a post-modern comment on the emptiness of 21st century life/post Celtic Tiger Ireland/the civil war in Libya etc etc. I have intellectual copyright on that suggestion by the way ha ha!
An elderly city councillor made a comment at a council meeting a few years back about the art exhibition, EV+A, asking if one of the exhibits—consisting of a pile of broken chairs—constituted art these days. A source told me lately that the same councillor had gone on a bus tour explaining the exhibits and was very impressed.

Anyways, I’m learning all the time and not everything incurs my rage!

Double Take art exhibition

Ciaran O’Sullivan’s exhibition, Double Take, at the Belltable (still going on until March 31) is superb. His paintings use eye-catching colour and texture—often by a long, complex process of layering materials—and only then do you start to see the figures within the scene. Each piece seemingly has its own mood or theme but the interpretation of these moods are to some extent left open to the viewer. I like how it’s a traditional artform but still with a punchy, contemporary twist.

In the blurb, the artist explains: “I begin by taking a series of photographs, some spontaneous, some staged. I do a lot of sketchbook work whereby I work through a deconstructive process, beginning with a detailed tonal study in pencil to help me understand the shape of the figure/face, its form and volume. I then decide what salient pieces of information are to be kept when reinterpreting the subject in paint. These pieces of information are recreated using marks, blobs, drips, glazes and brushstrokes of thick paint. The subject merges and emerges from the many layers of paint built up over many months, even years.”

Drama, Drama, Drama
Shakespeare’s Othello is on at the Belltable tommorow (Thursday) and F*ck My Life (a play about the lot of modern teenagers) follows on Saturday 26/Sunday 27.
On Friday 25 and Saturday 26, St Patrick Players, Cloverfield present The Master by Brian McMahon at Friar’s Gate Theatre in Kilmallock. The nostalgic story of John Mattimoe, the principal of a two-teacher school in the fictional village of Tullig, on the Cork/Kerry border.

The Limerick Choral Festival
This event is going on all weekend with a lot of choirs from Limerick and beyond but the opening concert is on Friday 25at 8pm at St Augustine’s Church, O’Connell Street. Hibernia is a cross-disciplinary ensemble directed by Óscar Mascareñas that focuses on the performance of early music repertoires within the realm of contemporary practice. It includes performances from Limerick Choral Union and guest musicians from the Irish World Academy of Music And Dance.

And finally, I mentioned a lunchtime talk with photographer, Kim Haughton, at the Hunt Museum at 1pm on Friday before (See ‘Women of Concern’ post).

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