There is yet another new gallery in Limerick—further testament to the vibrant arts scene in the city. In August 2011, Ormston House (9-10 Patrick Street) launched its visual art programme in a 2,100 square foot dedicated exhibition space.
Supported by the Creative Limerick initiative, the gallery will devise and deliver an experimental programme of multidisciplinary exhibitions and events, and develop a series of research-based and archival projects. A key focus is to support artistic, curatorial and design practices, as well as a writer-in-residence scheme, through access to studios, a reference library, professional development workshops, peer discussion groups and networking events.
I was at an LCGA event there recently—a fascinating talk/conversation with the famous artist, Brian O’Doherty (AKA Patrick Ireland) ahead of the launch of his exhibition at Dublin Contemporary. I gather the former shop unit used to be a gallery so the transformation and use is fitting. Creative Limerick is a scheme that gives unoccupied retail spaces a new purpose by facilitating their use for artistic endeavours of all types. It’s a great scheme and Limerick is a trailblazer in harnessing that potential in Ireland. Kudos to the local authority, city arts officer, Sheila Deegan and the Creative Limerick team. To paraphrase Father Ted, they’re “a great bunch of lads”!
The interesting press release also adds: “Operating under a licensed agreement, Ormston House acknowledges the circumstances and conditions of its existence and challenges the notion that art remains a ‘tolerated enclosure within the global capital in which non-productive, dysfunctional and pointless experimentation can still take place’. The purpose of this initiative is not to smooth over or aestheticise the economic difficulties facing the city until further notice, but to make a genuine contribution to the city’s cultural fabric and to create new working platforms for creative practitioners.”
Two things coming up at Ormston House Gallery…
There will be a preview of its new exhibition, Monkey Wrench, this Thursday, October 27 from 6 to 8pm. It brings together work by Kevin Cosgrove, Sonia Shiel and Keef Winter and will run from October 28 to November 26.
“Was the monkey wrench named after London blacksmith Charles Moncke or was it indeed invented by an industrious monkey? Either way the tools with which we work are inextricably linked with who we are” is the show’s premise.
“Within distinct conceptual frameworks, the artists negotiate the stuff of work – the physicality and aesthetic potential of their materials – with stylistic variety and analytic consistency. In doing so, they re-energise the recently reopened site at 9-10 Patrick Street as a useful workspace through playful interventions of cardboard machines, ‘handyman’ constructions and finely tuned paintings of the labourer’s workshop. Ormston House encourages an open dialogue with the artworks presenting an ambivalent exhibition of the epic and the shambolic, the strange and the everyday, upholding the saying that making is thinking. After a period of extended closure, the gallery proposes itself as a nexus for discussion on the critical issues that are affecting the people and the city, supporting the contributions that artists bring to the conversation.”
Call for submissions
Ormston House Gallery is inviting artists to submit proposals for the inaugural members’ exhibition, co-curated by Alice Maher and Aideen Barry. The deadline is Friday November 11 at 5pm; Applications to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submission requirements: Artist’s CV; short biography (200 words max.); work statement (500 words max., please include any specific installation requirements) and 3 x jpg images or 1 x mov file. Submissions should be no larger than 10MB and membership is a steal at €10 per year. For full details, please contact email@example.com