Stuff to occupy ya in Limerick this week, Feb 21 to 26

There’s a lot on this week, so I’lltry to give a brief run down…

The Belltable Arts Centre has averitable cultural feast this week hosting film, theatre and literary events.



The Cine Club is on tomorrow (Tuesday Feb 21) at 8pmwith The Deep Blue Sea starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston. The film is based on a play by Terence Rattigan where the wife of a judge lives a pampered but lonely life. She turns to her husband’s younger friend for comfort and the affair spurs a drastic change. The film deals with forbidden love, suppressed desires and the fear of being alone. On Saturday 25 at 8pm, it will screen Stella Days starring Martin Sheen and Stephen Rea. It is the story of a man whose love is the church and whose passion is the cinema. Set in the rural community of Borrisokane, County Tipperary in the mid 1950s – it views a world on the cusp of the modern era, a time stimulating both excitement and apprehension. Tickets for films are €8.50/6.50 (Special season ticket; 5 films for the price of 4 @ €34. Get one screening free).

The fantastic play, Tom Crean: Antarctic Explorer, is on Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23 at 8pm. Aidan Dooley’s multi award winning one-man play tells theheroic tale of Tom Crean—the intrepid, Irish Antarctic explorer. This play is truly moving and uplifting withan amazing true story. It’s so epic I’ve been to see it twice! The ticketsare €18/22.

Kate O’Brien Weekend
From Friday 24 to Sunday 26, the annual Kate O’Brien Weekend is on—the first two days in the Belltable and on Sunday, the venue is the Lime Tree Theatre in Mary Immaculate College.The event is a celebration of Irish writing in honour of Limerick novelist, Kate O’Brien and will include recitals, discussions and lectures on the theme of ‘Tell it slant’. Speakers include the poet, Seamus Heaney;novelist, John Boyne and Irish Times columnist, Frank McNally and a host of others. For more info, see

TAN! Theatre at The Loft

Promising local company, Wildebeest Theatre, will present a new comedy, TAN, at The Loft venue at 8pmin the Locke Bar Thursday Feb 23 to 26. It is written and performed by Ann Blake and Marie Boylan and directed by Myles Breen. Join Aisling and Siobhán, two Limerick girls, as they get ready for a night on the town. Putting on their make-up, discussing the ‘lads’, ordering the taxi,straightening the hair, then backcombing the hair, drinking the vodka, eyeing-up the Munster team, bitching about their other friends and applying that all important fake TAN! Tickets: €10 and booking is on 085-1462364.

Jazz and comedy at Dolan’s 

Dolan’s Upstairs on the Dock Road plays host to the Limerick Jazz Society’s first gig of its spring season on Wednesday Feb 22 with the Louis Stewart Quartet taking to the stage at 9.15pm. Guitarist, Louis Stewart, is a bit of a jazz legend and he plays with Len McCarthy on sax, Peter Hanagan on bass and John Daly on drums. Tickets are €13/10. Comedian and keyboard enthusiast, David O’Doherty, also performs at Dolan’s Warehouse on Thursday 23. I’ve seen him doing stand-up before and he’s excellent. The show is billed at 7.30pm and tickets are €16.

Music at Bourke’s Bar

The great, free music gigs on Thursday Nights @ Bourke’s will continue on Feb 23 with a doubleheader—Squarehead and Grand Pocket Orchestra—with doors at 9pm.

Concerts, conferences and readings at UL

The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in UL have three events this week—two concerts and a seminar. On Tuesday Feb 21, there will be a free traditional music performance from some of Ireland’s best traditional musicians from 1.15-2pmin Theatre 2 (the building is on the Clare campus, over the bridge; big dark wood and gold yoke).  On Wednesday Feb 22, there’s a seminar on performance/text/context there. If you’d like more information about this event, contact Ruadh Duggan ( Thursday Feb 23, there’s another lunchtime concert (1.15-2pm) with pianist, Fionnuala Moynihan, playing two piano sonatas by Hadyn.

As part of the Millstream Writers Series at UL, the Belfast poet Ciaran Carson will read from his published work in the Millstream Common Room on Friday Feb 24.  The free event will begin with a wine reception at 6.30pm and the reading by Ciaran Carson will be at 7pm.  Parking will be available in the car park adjacent to the University Concert Hall. For further details contact Linda Stevens on 061-202433 or email All welcome.

Visual art exhibitions–Object/ive Obsession and Bit Symphony

The exhibition, Object/ive Obsession, continues at the Limerick Printmakers Studio & Gallery on Sarsfield Street until March 3. Obsession is the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea or image, at Valentines we can easily relate it to obsessive love but for this exhibition we have invited artists to share what are their obsessions relating to their work. Each artist was given gallery space to display their chosen objects and obsessions.Then, several printmakers made a print in response to these pieces. The artists involved in this project are: Jacob Stack, Dawn West, Eoin Barry, Des Farrell, Alan Crowley, Catherine O Brien, Marie Connole, Brian O Shea, Carl Doran and Paraic Leahy. The printers are: Des McMahon, Dan Kenny, Pamela Dunne, Suzannah O Reilly, Emily Doyle, Fiona Quill and Gary Dempsey.

In celebration of the purchase of the neighbouring Opera Centre site by Limerick City Council, Ormston House on Patrick Street is presenting Bit Symphony, a solo exhibition by Liam O’Callaghan, which will also run until March 3. The show is an audio-visual installation consisting of an assemblage of turntables, amplifiers and speakers, reconfigured and manipulated so as to autonomously perform a complex musical composition of looping records. Liam O’Callaghan creates the sound by forcing loops, changing speeds, warping and physically scratching records, fading volume in and out and altering tones. Through these simple techniques the original sound is altered to be unrecognisable from its source and transformed into something new entirely: a series of unique sonic/music compositions.

Limerick City Gallery of Art reopens with two exhibitions

Limerick City Gallery of Art (LCGA)has officially reopened after 18 months and a €1.7m refurbishment.
Minister for fun, Jimmy Deenihan,did the ribbon cutting yesterday (January 16). I was going to go but then Iremembered that I don’t like art exhibition openings. D’oh! I did, however,have a look around today and the Carnegie Building looked beautiful—inside andout. 
The works include the addition of a new wing and a café space looking onto People’s Park. The expansive windows give the gallery a light and airy feel.I also noticed new bathroom facilities; general modernisation/fixtures and newsignage with a revamped logo. Behind the scenes, there is an educational spaceand a purpose built storage facility to ensure the collection if preserved. The work respected or restored a lot of the amazing period features of the building too.  
The entrance with the new signage.
The building dates back to 1906 andit was a library and museum before it became a home to the city’s municipal artcollection in 1948. The permanent collection now has 800 pieces. The ministersaid LCGA was “one of the key galleries in the country” and play a part in Limerick’smarketing as a city of culture, as well as sport.


There are also changes at the helm.New director/curator, Helen Carey, will be taking over from actingdirector/curator, Pippa Little. Ms Carey was formerly director of the CentreCulturel Irlandais in Paris. The opening also saw the launchof two exhibitions—both of which will run until early March—in the form of AVivid Imagination and Transitive Relationships (more on them below). There was a large range of artwork on display in a mix of media including paintings, video, photography, sculpture and performance art.


It’s lovely to see the gallery openagain and hopefully its visitor numbers will on the up. For all you Limerick people, when was the last time youwent to LCGA, if ever? It’s free AND now there’s a café, that’s the perfectexcuse to go. I took a few snaps today too. I didn’t take the names in mostcases; the photos are only intended to give an idea of the artwork and thespaces.   

The new wing extension 
A Vivid Imagination is where 40 people were invited to select engagingpieces from the gallery’s collection. Most of the selections are accompanied byexplanatory notes by the likes of artist John Shinnors, Minister JanO’Sullivan; several LCGA MA scholars; city librarian, Dolores Doyle etc. It’san eclectic exhibition which makes a vital local connection. There was atremendous sense of ownership from the pieces chosen.

The main exhibition space for A Vivid Imagination. The gorgeous floor and doors really add character.
Limerick, you’re a lady. Local icons- opera singer, Catherine Hayes, after whom the infamous ‘Opera Centre’ is named and ground-breaking novelist, Kate O’Brien.
Bronze sculpture with her hack to People’s Park.
Another unusual piece, highlighted by the spotlight in the new wing.
Transitive Relationships (upstairs) is a contemporary exhibition where nationallyestablished artists, Bea McMahon and Mark O’Kelly, were invited to presenttheir own work and choose the work of three emerging artists. These artistsare: Lucy Andrews, Kevin Kirwan and Magda Marysia Wieckiewicz and Ramon Kassam,Emmet Kierans and Laura McMorrow. The description reads: “Further relationshipshave emerged between the artworks, with threads of interest involvingabjection, sinister undertones and materials poised on a moment of change and aprocess based interest in gathering, saving and selecting implied in some ofthe artworks. Transitive Relationships considers the artists’ engagement withthe surrounding world and the notion that these interactions and process basedinvestigations have a universal element.In mathematics the term notates aseries of equivalent relationships.”

An example of one of the mixed media pieces in the show.
This was probably my favourite piece of what I saw at LCGA today. It’s called ‘The same thing, again and again’ by Emmett Kierans. It’s placed for maximum impact, facing you across the balcony as you walk onto the first floor. It’s cool. I loved the colours and the contrast between the materials-wax on brushed metal. Along with Ramon Kassam’s work, Kierans had some of the stand-out pieces in the exhibition.
The largest exhibition space upstairs with lovely light coming from all the windows.
There is a definite shift from the traditional with the content in this exhibition. No, this ISN’T a hoodie a workman left hanging on a rad; it’s contemporary art. Several other works in this room flummoxed me too. Maybe I’m just a philistine after all…

Art exhibitions and new gallery in Limerick

The Celtic Zoo
The Celtic Zoo—an exhibition of works by Tom Fitzgerald—is currentlyon display at the Bourn Vincent Gallery in the Foundation Building, Universityof Limerick until February 23.The Limerick native is a former Head of Sculpture at theLimerick Schoolof Art & Design. 
His work practiseincludes drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and temporary environmentalinterventions. Tom has exhibited widely in Irelandand abroad and was elected to Aosdana in 2001. The Celtic Zoo includes 24drawings and five slate wall works. The exhibition of satirical drawingsexplores the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger.
A Pitch for Shane
A Pitch for Shane—an exhibition of clay figures in memory of murderedGarryowen RFC player, Shane Geoghegan—will be on display in Istabraq Hall, City Hall until the end of January. Inspired by the ancient ‘terracottaarmy’, the initiative involved 21,000 figures being hand-craftedby members of the public all over Irelandand then collected together into a public art installation. The aim of the exhibition,which also includes photographs, is to make an appeal for a safe society, showsolidarity for innocent victims of violence and was an important event in theyear of Limerick’s reign as European City of Sport. 
Shane’s mothersummed up the project saying: “From the day welost Shane, we have being fighting for his memory. Fighting for his memorybecause of the danger that he may be remembered only by the manner of his dying-that would be another tragedy. We, his family, want Shane Geoghegan to beremembered for his life and the way he lived it. He was a contributor. He madeother people’s lives better. His name should continue to remind people of thatwonderful quality.” 
The exhibition will need a new venue/ homeafter that and any suggestions or offers can be made via the website, Istabraq Hall isopen Mon-Fri, 9-5pm.
Occupy Space islaunching a new exhibition, Location, with a preview this Thursday (January 12,7-9pm).It will start officially the day after and run until February 4.The artists include Lisa Flynn, Michele Horrigan, Elaine Reynolds and JonathanSammon. It is curated by Ruth Hogan.
The blurb reads: “Sites, places, locations: everyone has aplace of origin, a locus from where all things begin. Spaces where we interact,live and thrive.  Yet what role does this space play in determining asense of self and how does one negotiate a sense of identity in an unfamiliarenvironment?”
“The phenomenon of ‘psycho-geography’ as defined by theSituationists has been used to describe the practice of spatial engagementwithin natural and urban landscapes. The environment as a reflection of the self,it’s influences on perception and how it comes to effect and characteriseemotional and mental states becomes the narrative for this exhibition.”
‘People can see nothing around them that is not their ownimage; everything speaks to them of themselves. Their very landscape isanimated.” –Guy Debord, On the Passage of a Few Persons Through a Rather BriefUnity of Time.
For more information, see;opening times are Wed-Fri, 1-5pm
Sadhbh Lyons Art Gallery
Limerick is on its well on its way tobecoming the art gallery capital of Irelandwith another new addition thanks to the good people at Creative Limerick. Thescheme allows vacant retail spaces to be used for creative endeavours; it takesaway the literal and metaphorical emptiness of the city!
The Sadhbh Lyons Art Galleryis on Bedford Row, next to Limerick Travel. It exhibits paintings by selftaught local artist, Sadhbh Lyons as well as photography by her son, Eoghan.There are also photographs by Mark Lyons and pieces by wood-turner, Barry Lewison display. It aims to offer affordable art and photography—ideal for giftsetc. I’m nearly sure I went to secondary school with Eoghan (but even if I didn’t ha ha),I wish himself and his mother the very best of luck with the venture. Thegallery opens Tues-Sat 10am-5pm andSun 2-5pm.
For more details see,

December art exhibitions-remain[s]/CAVES; new curator for eva International

There are two newart exhibitions for local art connoisseurs this December to enjoy. In other news, eva hasappointed a curator for 2012.
remain[s], an exhibition of works by Patrick Fitzpatrick, opened yesterday and runs until December 10 at Ormston House. Gallery opening hours: Wed-Sat 12-6pm, or by appointment. The exhibition is part of a research masters at Limerick School of Art and Design.
“The exhibition examines memory and nature: in this case why memory is important to us and the role nature plays as the source of memory and meaning. We all gather things from our journeys: postcards, pint glasses and bills, and in the artists’ case flowers, plants and earth.” It explores associations through memory and nature that add depth to understanding and experience.

CAVES, a soloexhibition by Anthony Murphy, opens from today to December 22 at Occupy Space.The gallery opening hours are Weds-Sat 1-5pm.
Three large scale projection mapping works have been created by Murphy; thesepieces are based on explorations of simple 2D shapes, a different shape isexplored, dissected and manipulated in each of the three rooms that make up thegallery.
The premise is: ”Plato’s allegory of the cave describes prisoners, inhabitingthe cave since childhood, immobile, facing an interior wall. A large fire burnsbehind the prisoners, and as people pass this fire their shadows are cast uponthe cave’s wall, and these shadows of the activity being played out behind theprisoner become the only version of reality that the prisoner knows.” 
Each piece is “designedto immerse the viewer, and then to confront the audience with a questionregarding how far they, as privileged viewers of the shadows and reflectionsbeing played out upon the walls, are willing to allow themselves to believewhat they know to be a false reality”. 
eva International appoints new curator 
evaInternational, formerly ev+a, will run from May 19 to August 12 2012 and will be curated by Annie Fletcher. Ms Fletcher isthe Curator of Exhibitions at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, and tutor at De Appel, Amsterdam.
She saidof her appointment: “Everywhere we look and everything we read right now seemsto tell us we are at a new juncture. We are at an unprecedented moment ofchange – whether teetering on the precipice of financial ruin, or witnessingextraordinary new articulations of protest. This year eva International willattempt to tap into this feeling of imminence by understanding how artistsdefine and explain the status quo in relation to global events. What are we onthe verge of? How do artists envisage what is to come and what is to be done?”
Foundedin 1977, eva International is an artist-centred biennial of visual art thatworks with acclaimed guest curators to present innovative exhibitions acrossthe city of Limerick. Artists’ projects are selected through an internationalopen call for proposals and exhibitions take place in both gallery andnon-gallery spaces.
WoodrowKernohan, Director of eva International, added: “eva International is delightedthat Annie Fletcher will be the Curator for the 35th edition of Ireland’s biennial of visual art in 2012. We are looking forwardto working with her to create an exciting programme of exhibitions andassociated events that will animate the city and forge links across Limerick and beyond.”
Aninternational open call for proposals will be launched in early December with thedeadline for submissions: January 31 2012.See or email for further information. The exhibition is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Limerick City Council,Limerick City Gallery of Art and is in partnership with the Van Abbemuseum andVisual Artists Ireland.