Giant video projection, LANDLOCKED, to open tomorrow (Dec 12) until Jan 3

A002_C004_0609K1A large-scale outdoor projection of a series of documentary video portraits, LANDLOCKED, is being launched tomorrow (Friday December 12) at 5.30pm in the Thomas Street Community Gardens.

The work by video artist Christina Gangos will run until January 3 and will feature 10 people “who form the fabric of Limerick” projected on a large city wall on Thomas Street in Limerick City centre.

It was shot by the artist when she was living in Limerick and all the participants stand in silence. Participants were asked “to contemplate life-changing events for 10 minutes while they were filmed. Their thoughts are kept private, yet the camera documents the physical process, the slight movements and gentle motions of a body in thought”.

The people who took part in the recording range in age from eight years old to 50 (at the time of filming).

The project aims to create “a space for silence and stillness above the busy Christmas city streets”.

The giant video projections will be 20m x 11.25m and will be visible on the wall above the Thomas Street Community Gardens during the hours of darkness. The optimum time to view this work is from 5.30pm-7am.

Commenting on the installation of this work, the artist Christina Gangos, said she was “very excited to have the opportunity to project this work in a large-scale outdoor location”.

“So often people and their thoughts are invisible to us, in LANDLOCKED I wanted to create a space for us to commune with others, without shame, social coding or language,” she added.

Ms Gangos is an independent documentary filmmaker, who lived in Limerick city for six years and is currently based in Athens, Greece. She studied journalism and history at the American College of Greece and then went on to do a Masters in Documentary by Practice at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her films have been shown at the National Portrait Gallery in London, Center Pompidou in Paris, Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Gate Theater London, IFI Dublin and various major festivals.

“Her films aim to capture everyday moments and processes, inundated with the ability to disclose reality to the patient viewer. Stripping layer by layer of social representation and décor by elongating time to its normal length, her works in film are documents of bare living.”

Originally created with support and funding from the Arts Council, the exhibition and installation of LANDLOCKED in this prominent outdoor city location is is made possible by the support of Limerick City of Culture 2014. The support of Tony Clarke from City Centre Car Park was also much appreciated.

For more information, see

Make A Move Fest starting this Thursday

580x232xmake_a_move_3_580x232.jpg,qitok=upCPmQxE.pagespeed.ic.3kF1PyLyWtOne of the most unique festivals in the country will take place in Limerick from Thursday this week as the The Make A Move Festival comes to city streets and venues from July 3 to 6.

Now in its third year, the festival of hip-hop and urban culture has a packed programme encompassing music, dance, street art, theatre and more.

smug-mural-limerick-03From street dance to MCing/rapping and graffiti to discussion, Make A Move will showcase work from all around Ireland and abroad but “with a special focus on the work of the emerging talent and skill from Limerick”. The city was left with some spectacular graffiti from visiting artists last year (see example on the right) so here’s hoping we’ll see more of that this year.

There are many highlights on the programme (see here) like gigs and the paint parade. Another one of these is Raymond Scannell’s play, DEEP, an award winning play set in Ireland in the late 80s and 90s. The blurb is: “House Music, Club Culture, Vinyl Obsession. Larry Lehane knows all about them.” The play is part fiction and part documentary with interviews and footage from Sir Henry’s in Cork. The Irish Times describes Larry as “a character who is full of frantic energy and madcap dreaming”. DEEP won an award for Best Male Performer at the Dublin Fringe Festival Awards 2013 and was also nominated for the Spirit of the Fringe award.

The play runs for one night only this Thursday (July 3) at 8 pm at 69 O Connell Street (formerly the Belltable). Tickets from €12 (available here).

See a preview here:

Irish Times journo, Jim Carroll, will host an event called Banter on Friday July 4 at 7.30 pm in Shannon Rowing Club. The topic for discussion will be Limerick City of Culture and its aftermath.

“The big question, though, is what comes next. When the circus leaves town at midnight on December 31, will Limerick cease to be a city of culture? Does a city like Limerick need a city of culture designation to show off its wares? Isn’t culture supposed to be more about bed nights? What will Limerick remember most from and take from 2014′s cultural parade? Will we remember this year in a year solely for reports, spats, costs and inventive use of an old dairy”

Panelists include: City of Culture Director, Mike Fitzpatrick; Arts Council member, theatre practitioner and facilitator with the new Creative Communities Limerick Network, Monica Spencer; senior youth worker and board member of the Make a Move, Catherine O’Halloran and head of the Dept. of Arts Education & Physical Education at Mary Immaculate College, Mike Finneran.

For more information, see

Catch The Enclave before May 5!

438872188_640‘Enclave': A portion of territory surrounded by a larger territory whose inhabitants are culturally or ethnically distinct. A place or group that is different in character from those surrounding it.

I encourage anyone who hasn’t been yet to catch the exhibition, The Enclave, by Richard Mosse before it finishes up in Limerick this Bank Holiday Monday, May 5. It is in two parts—the photographs in a building in Rutland Street (opposite and down a bit from the Hunt Museum) and the multiple screen film in Ormston House in Patrick Street. I gather they should be viewed in the order: photos and then, film.

Now, I want to preface this by saying that I’m no expert on this mod-ren art craic. Sometimes, I genuinely can’t make any sense of pieces in exhibitions. It’s very much like: “A plastic bag under a marble slab beside some fishing line connected to a 2 x 4 plank…What the f**k is this?!” It reminds me of a news item I saw recently where a cleaner at a gallery had binned part of an exhibit by mistake. Well, the piece did include “cookie pieces scattered across the floor”. Easy mistake! This kind of thing has happened at least twice before. I once saw a jacket hung on a radiator in a gallery and wondered was it art or storage. I would just like to point out at this juncture, that I’ve seen many pieces of art I did appreciate.

From my untrained point of view, The Enclave is appropriately named. It is wholly “different in character from those surrounding it”. It is the result of a three year exploration of the conflicted landscape of the Democratic Republic of Congo by the artist.

War and peace, order and chaos, living and dying…all human life is here

Firstly, the look of the photos and footage is unlike anything I’ve seen before; it uses a discontinued military reconnaissance film originally designed for camouflage detection but which registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light. The effect is a psychedelic, ethereal colour-palette. Everything is displayed in shockingly vivid hues and the beauty of the landscape, in particular, jumps off the wall and screen.

The film literally surrounds you. You step into complete darkness and it encloses you with a combination of the multiple screens, a haunting musical score and ambient sound recordings. The words “it grabbed me” don’t do it justice. Unless you’re made of stone, it reaches into you and takes hold.

1.south masisiThe phrase “emotional rollercoaster” is a bit hackneyed at this stage but The Enclave is fast and shocking and exhilarating and sickening and a hundred other things. The way it’s shot, with a steadicam, makes it seem as if you are walking through the landscape and villages and bearing witness to the beautiful and horrifying things too.

The stark contrast between all the things it is at once is both the best and worst thing about the exhibition: war and peace, order and chaos, living and dying…all human life is here.

I’m going to stop writing before I lapse completely into nonsense (or have I already? You decide). Just go and see The Enclave. It’s amazing. It reminded me why I still risk going to contemporary visual art exhibitions, lest I experience some kind of Falling Down style outburst. Picasso once said that art “washes away the dust of everyday life” (not literally, Italian cleaner). I really believe that. For all the dross and abstract that you find on show, there is no real way to sweep all traces of this particular exhibition away. It stays with you.

The Enclave was chosen as Ireland’s representative at the Venice Art Biennale 2013, the world’s foremost art event, so kudos to the team at Ormston House and City of Culture for bringing it here and executing it so well. The opening hours have been extended: Thursday 12-7pm; Friday 12-6pm; Saturday 12-6pm; Sunday 12-6pm and Monday 12-6pm. Admission is free.

Visual Art Round-Up

Now to the lesser spotted visual arts. There is a lot going on around Limerick and there is a bit of a round-up below.

Brian McMahon/Geraldine Sadlier Exhibition

geraldine-sadlier_brian-mcmahon-exhibition_shannon-rowing-club_limerick_nov20132An exhibition of works by two well-known local artists, Brian McMahon and Geraldine Sadlier, is running in the Shannon Rowing Club on Sarsfield Bridge until November 9. As you can see from the above picture, there are some beautiful depictions and scenes among the display in the historic building.

Occupy Space

Cecil+St.Occupy Space, formerly of Thomas Street, has a new base in No. 9 Lower Cecil Street and later this week, will launch the new project, H-Q, which has been developed with artist, Gemma Gore.

H-Q is a cultural hub offering a platform for the arts in Limerick City. H-Q will provide professional studios for visual artists, an exhibition space for contemporary visual art and bookable project space for art-orms such as music, dance, theatre and literature. H-Q welcomes a diverse range of practices from local, national and international creative practitioners. H-Q is currently forging links with international organisations to develop an artist residency programme for 2014.

Limerick Arts Encounter

Michele Horrigan is curating visual arts at Limerick Arts Encounter and events will feature a selection of emerging artists based locally, nationally and internationally.

Arts_Encounter_Logo_RGB_mediumWhile using the old Belltable, 69 O’Connell Street, as a hub for these events, elements of the programme will also be located throughout the city. Debut solo exhibitions will be presented by two emerging artists, Aaron Lawless and Liz Ryan and two group exhibitions entitled Detonate and Undercover: A Dialect (part 2) will explore ideas of artistic process, each accompanied by public talks and events. A day-long symposium will feature national and international contributors, discussing the methods artists can now engage with new audiences and question the condition that art can exist in the public realm today.

The first exhibition, Detonate, will run until November 22.

Limerick City Gallery of Art

There are four distinct exhibitions running in LCGA until Dec 23. They are: Upending; Antennae; I go to seek a Great Perhaps and Difference Engine: Accumulator III.

Upending – an exhibition of enquiries presents new work by artists Kennedy Browne, Anthony Haughey, Anna Macleod, Augustine O’Donoghue, Susan Thomson and Bryonie Reid. The exhibition results from the artists’ participation in a year-long mobile think tank entitled Troubling Ireland which took place in 2010/11, commissioned by Fire Station Artists’ Studios and led by the Danish curatorial collective, Kuratorisk Aktion. Two years later, the artists were commissioned by Fire Station Artists Studios, in partnership with LCGA and directed by Think Tank participant, Helen Carey, to present new work in exhibition, which trouble Ireland from a wide variety of perspectives: addressing themes of sustainable energy, labour and loss in recessionary times, real and tourist approaches to Ireland, border identities, homophobia and its colonial legacy, and the landscape, both mental and physical, around the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland.

To complement this exhibition, there will be a symposium on ‘Art and Responsibility’ at LCGA on November 12 from 11am-4.15 pm. It will be run by Fire Station Artists’ Studios in partnership with LCGA and speakers include Galit Eilat; Tone Olaf Nielsen and Frederikke Hansen. There will also be contributions from Liz Burns; Helen Carey and a panel discussion with the artists presented in the exhibition. Admission is free. Booking necessary by calling 061-310633 or emailing

Difference Engine: Accumulator III is an evolving touring exhibition, a model of autonomous artist curation, by artists Mark Cullen, Wendy Judge Gillian Lawler and Jessica Foley, featuring Gordon Cheung, whose works infiltrate the grouping with the Portrait of Charles Babbage, the early founder of what was to become the ‘computer’. Cheung’s work is the only piece that is a constant through Difference Engine’s ensemble installations. For Limerick City Gallery of Art, Difference Engine bring existing work, but they also work with the spaces to make something that is particular to LCGA – theirs is a collaborative practice that is highly individual – an ambiguity that works for each artist, for each place and yet has a distinct character.

antennae_lowAlso on show is Antennae by David Beattie, which is in collaboration with Ormston House. LCGA in partnership with the Patrick Street gallery and collective, present Bring in the Noise, curated by Mary Cremin. The exhibition focuses on artists whose practice engage with and appropriate technology creating assemblages and installations. To complement this exhibition, David Beattie’s work presented in LCGA focuses on the experimental nature of his work, his methodology combines factors of low fidelity sound, organic movements, space, and the field of physics, introducing unlikely materials to gather and produce a set of object inter-relationships, keeping in mind their aesthetic dominance as well as distance.

At Ormston House, there is more work by Laura Buckley and Alexander Gutke in the same vein. More information at

I go to seek a Great Perhaps is drawn from the LCGA permanent collection. This exhibition, curated by Shinnors Scholar, Aoibheann McCarthy, is drawn from the Permanent Collection, using the methodology of involving the general public, in this case seven young adults who have been involved with LCGA in other projects. Through six sessions, the selection was made, and the resulting exhibition reflects an examination of issues and aspects of life pertinent to young people, such as environment, politics, relationships and ‘being’ in a rural context, as well as thinking about what the future holds for them in 21st century Ireland. The selection includes works by Mary Swanzy, Janet Mullarney, and Sean Keating alongside more contemporary works by artists such as Gavin Hogg, Donald Teskey and Siobhan Piercy.

538497_272197052865558_1713379594_neva International 2014
Ireland’s biennial of contemporary art will take place from April 12- July 6 next year. The 12-week programme of exhibitions and events taking place across Limerick City will be curated by Bassam El Baroni. Since being founded in 1977, eva International has worked with the world’s leading artists and curators, bringing outstanding exhibitions to diverse audiences.

Local graffiti

Walking around town these days, there seems to be colourful and intricate urban art springing up everywhere.

I’ve been taken to task about my praise for cool graffiti in the past. Generally people split into two groups—staunch NIMBYs (‘Not in my back yard!’) and people who really like it. I don’t agree with vandalising private property or artless tagging but I think we have some of the best graffiti in Ireland, if not the best. This is largely thanks to the Make a Move Festival but also talented artists in the locality. It adds a bit colour to a lot of derelict and drab spaces. Check out this page to get a taste of what’s around:

Graffiti 1

Art in the Attic and On the Park this weekend

Local artists and art lovers will play a vital role in two visual art events this weekend.

Art in the Attic—an innovative fundraiser for the Mid West Simon Community is running this Saturday (Sept 15)—from 2-8pm in the University Concert Hall.

If you have any stored or unwanted quality works of art, you can donate these to be sold in aid of the charity. It is accepting donations of paintings, etchings, framed photographs/prints, lithographs and sculptures in the coming days and even on the day (although it is preferable for cataloguing etc to hand material over before the event itself). Proceeds from the exhibition and sale of all artwork will go to the charity, which supports those who are homeless. There is no entry fee but all donations will be gratefully accepted.

There will be paintings and objets d’art on display from prominent local artists, along with donated gems from the collections of Limerick’s art owners. Visitors will also be in with a chance of winning artwork by leading Limerick artists, as well as other great prizes on the night. To make a donation, contact Dave on 085-2193968 or Susan on 086-1033195.

If you’re not all cultured out after the Elemental Arts and Culture Festival and Art in the Attic, there is a free open-air art exhibition in Pery Square this Sunday (Sept 16).

Art on the Park—so-called because the paintings will be displayed on the railings of the People’s Park—is modeled on the well-established exhibition at Merrion Square in Dublin.

Local artists will exhibit original paintings and limited edition prints in the exhibition so visitors can meet and buy art directly from the artist as well as perhaps gaining an insight into their work. No commission is included in the price of the paintings and the exhibition will run from 10am-2pm.

The event is being co-ordinated by Patricia Roberts, from No.1 Pery Square Hotel and Limerick Art Society, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.

Ms Roberts said that the area “is a superb, tranquil setting for this artistic venture…we want to raise the profile and showcase the Georgian Quarter of Limerick and Art on the Park is the perfect event to help us do so. We’re encouraging all Limerick artists and printmakers to take part; hopefully it will be a big success and become a regular sight in Pery Square”.

Pat O’Neill of Limerick Art Society is keen for all artists to get involved. “We have a wealth of wonderful artists in Limerick and this is a perfect way for all local artists to showcase their work. As Limerick is the first Irish City of Culture in 2014, we’re delighted to begin running a regular event like Art on the Park to profile our local artists and we’re hoping that the people of Limerick will come out and support our first such event,” he added.

More info at