Thursday, May 21, 2009

Frank Koolen & the Volvo Ocean Race

Just a quick Gallery update. 126 is showing work by Dutch artist Frank Koolen

from May 28th to June 27th. Curated by Maaike Gouwenberg (also Dutch) in time for the Volvo Ocean Race's Galway stop over. The exhibit is titled SPORTSBAR.  I like the way this blurb sums up his practice, taken from here 
My work can be described as an ongoing search for the ideal combination between the beauty of discovery and the happiness of recognition. A moment in which the everyday and the magical seem to collide, creating unexpected logic.
So if you're in town for the race or otherwise drop by.

I was just chatting with a friend about the cosmetic application Galway is putting on for the race due to the temporary international focus that we will gain. Planters, road repairs, new paint, and parking enforcement. I mention parking enforcement because those that know me know about the pet peeve that footpath (sidewalk) parkers are to me
this was taken from the Galway City Council site:
illegally parked vehicles would include, but is not limited to illegal parking in such areas as disabled parking bays, bus bays, clearways, single yellow lines, double yellow lines, median strips, pedestrian crossings, parking on footpaths and adjacent to junctions. In these cases, while the issuing of a parking offence ticket is still appropriate and will occur, clamping will also be applied as the deterrent with tow-away to be applied where there is obstruction. There is no “grace period” for this category of offence
Let me tell you I had a great big smile on my face after reading that. Mind you, I am not so naive as to think that all this pomp and circumstance will remain after the race has moved on, but it will be nice while it is here. Anyway the opening for the Koolen show is on Thursday the 28th at 8pm with the after party down the street at Bar No. 8  A great little lounge(y) bar that's not a pub.


Confounding Art shows and new work

Well we are into the middle of May over here in Ireland. What does that mean? Well not much really. I had to start the post with something. Had a chance to see the show over at the Galway Arts Centre. They have Lee Welch on two floors. The exhibit is called At the still point of the turning world. Here is a bit from the write up on it.
At the still point of the turning world. offers a constellation of points of reference, provocation and stimulation. Nonetheless, the show is modest in its form, comprising of a small array of carefully selected elements, which have been placed with thoughtful deliberation throughout the gallery space. Materials derived from contemporary phenomena and historic events make up much of this exhibition, including vintage magazine advertisements, rare editions of books and bootleg records. As the title suggests, At the still point of the turning world. offers a quiet and still space for reflection.
It goes on quite a bit. You can read more here. As I was walking through the exhibit I felt I wasn't getting something. The show is very sparse. Books, record sleeves, a magazine ad and so on. If the viewer takes the time to read the write up there is a reference to counterfeit cultural artifacts (relating to certain items in the exhibit),ok fine, but if you don't read the write up how on earth would you pick up on that? How does a person who walks in off the street engage with this show? I felt it was too vague and almost plays to an inclusive art club ego. Who is this for? Not the general public I would argue, or maybe I am not giving the gp enough credit. I admit I was lost trying to access, engage or relate with this exhibit. Any thoughts? I will say that the wall piece was quite good though. Found on the first floor, it plays with one's natural curiosity, but ends up confounding the viewer. Taking up almost all of a small room to the back of the first floor the wall pulls the viewer around to the back where you realise that there is no way to the other side. So you go back to the entrance thinking you missed it back there. Its at this point that you realize there is no access to the other side, no door no entry. Curses! I caught myself smiling at the manipulation. Here are a few rather poor cell/mobile pics of the show.

In the second Floor main room, this had a record player as well as a few pieces on the wall. The record sleeve in this image was a Beatles’ bootleg copy of Indian Rope Trick.

Playing from the record player was Apocalypse Now. Listening to Martin Sheen's spoken diary entries, as he was riding the patrol boat down the river made me want to go out and rent that flick again. I found myself wishing there was a chair or bench so I could sit and listen for longer.

Counterfeit Books
‘pirated’ editions of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover published in the late 1920’s

So this show is on till the 23rd of May. If you get a chance check it out. Glean your own opinion let me know what you thought.
Here are a couple images of my recent work. The paintings are in progress and a small 3d piece. Its meant to lie on its side. Washed up on shore I suppose, derelict.

Havent titled this little guy yet.


Monday, May 11, 2009

126, Fergus Byrne and Kelly Richardson !!

The Grand Re-Opening of 126 and the opening reception for Fergus Byrne's Dog Skipping Pegasus exhibition was a resounding success. I unfortunately fell victim once again to Galway's notoriously bad bus system, and as a result I missed the performance part of the night. All together though we had a great turn out and a wonderful first show. Below are some pics from the night. I will put some pics up of Fergus Byrne's work up in the next couple of days.


Off to the after party...

Kelly Richardson's Twilight Avenger

Now we can focus on other projects . Such as the showing of Kelly Richardson's work for this years Galway Film Fleadh. I cant tell you how excited I am to be able to exhibit her work over here. Not to mention my own grossly neglected projects. Anyway that is the update so far.


Thursday, May 07, 2009

New Gallery Space for 126

So I thought I would throw up a pic or two of the new space. We are officially re-opening on Sat 09 2009 with a show of recent work by Fergus Byrne. The place looks amazing. It has come such a long way from when we first saw it. Jim Ricks, Dave Callan, and Alwyn Revill all putting in a tremendous amount of time and effort. Grand re-opening this Sat. see you there.
Early Stages

Walls up

Floors done